I asked a tech entrepreneur and investor who has successfully created and sold half a dozen startups to the likes of Google, Salesforce, Yahoo and other industry giants, “What is the one trait that you need to succeed?” Without hesitation, he said, “it’s the ability to fail repeatedly, learn from it, get up and do it all over again”. J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter books, says, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all–in which case, you fail by default.” That really made me think, just how do you not let failure stop you from your goals? Here are some tips from Fast Company on how to turn a negative experience into a positive outcome:
1. Accept that failure is part of the process (and life! — that’s from me). Little explanation is needed for this one. S**T happens. Period.
2. Let your frustration out. Don’t hide. Don’t deny. Face what happened and express any anger, sadness, guilt, disappointment….. Name your favorite negative emotion. Let yourself feel it, then let it go.
3. Be brutally honest. Same comments as in no.2, except I would add that you should share the experience with ones whose opinions you value, and can give you objective assessment of the situation.
4. Everyone’s favorite phrase these days: FAIL FORWARD. Here’s the process. After doing nos. 1, 2 and 3 above, we get clear on the learning from our setbacks and make the appropriate adjustments and keep iterating until we succeed.
Yes, failure never feels good. And sometimes it may feel like it’s impossible to get over. But getting over failure is just like exercising a muscle. The more we do it, the easier it gets, and the less daunting the task becomes.
Finally, here’s one tip from HoneyMoneyMakers. Failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Remember that.
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