Dealing with failure is a crucial step in achieving success. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to achieve your success without experiencing some failures and setbacks along the way. It’s encouraging though that so many famous failures have been able to turn their setbacks into comebacks.
Most people are afraid to fail and they try to avoid anything that can lead to failure. That’s too bad. By trying to avoid failure, you can end up avoiding experiences that have the potential to enrich your life.
Just because you failed at something doesn’t make you a failure. It’s important to understand the real meaning of failure; so, you’re not crippled by it. Instead, you can learn to embrace it as a necessary part of the process of achieving your goals and becoming successful.
What is failure? It just means you have not achieved the goals you have set for yourself at the specified time period.
What can you do after you fail? You can extend your time frame for achievement. Maybe you need to re-evaluate your goal. Is your goal appropriate for who you truly are? You can not force yourself to be other than who you are. If you violate your own value system, you are more likely to suffer and fail. You can not ignore your connection to your mind, body and soul as you travel the road to success.
Failures and setbacks can be great engines for change. Why? People learn by doing, failing, overcoming setbacks and learning from their mistakes. Lessons learned though failure become indelible lessons. Failing to accomplish something is a way to get better. It’s a crucial part of the success process.
Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough. — Elon Musk
Most business creations and innovations are done by trial and error. Entrepreneurs have to try things, make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. By having the courage to try seemingly impossible things — and being willing to fail many, many times — entrepreneurs have created amazing things that have changed the world.
Failure and setbacks can be painful or even devastating, but they can provide great lessons and stepping stones for success. Dealing with failures and setbacks can transform you as a human being as well as an entrepreneur.
Things that make you feel vulnerable can make you stronger. Your mistakes, setbacks and failures point the way to your success. They can expose your ignorance and blind spots, if you’re willing to look. They show you what you need to learn and where you need to go in order to achieve your goals and become successful.
Failing with regularity is the quickest path to success. Failing faster allows you to accelerate the process of making a comeback. You can learn faster why your idea didn’t work, figure out something better, adjust your game plan and try your new method. Yes! You can bounce back after you fail.
Credit: Bernard Goldbach
Dealing With Failure? 14 Ways to Turn Setbacks Into Comebacks
- Prepare for problems in advance. Analyze risks before you start. Have enough financial reserves that can cushion the blow of any potential setbacks.
- Be creative and flexible. Avoid being too committed to any idea that is not selling. Instead, test different business ideas and let the customers tell you what they want to buy. You can test profitability of different opportunities and pivot as needed.
- Don’t catastrophize setbacks or failures. They don’t necessarily mean the end of your business. Think of them as a delay in achievement due to things beyond your control. Failure doesn’t have to be permanent unless you don’t try again. So, keep moving. Keep trying.
- Accept the situation, forgive yourself and move on. Recognize that some things were probably beyond your control. Acknowledge the mistakes you made and forgive yourself. No one intentionally causes mistakes that create problems. Stop beating yourself up and move on. Try again and again.
- Appreciate what you’re doing right and recognize what you’re doing wrong. Using a success journal to track what’s working and what’s failing can help point you in the right direction and accelerate your progress.
- Do your best and forget the rest. No matter what you’re trying to achieve, you can only do your best. There is nothing beyond that. If nothing is working that day and you’ve already tried your best, take a break. Breath. Relax. Clear your head. Try again when you have more clarity.
- Be realistic with your time frame for achievement. Most business ventures take years to become successful. Get-rich-quick schemes usually just waste time and money for entrepreneurs.
- Don’t take setbacks and failures personally. A setback or failure doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It just means you have not achieved your goal yet. You may need more time to achieve your goal. You may need to re-evaluate your goal. Maybe you’re working on the wrong project or goal. Applying your energy to the right project can lead you to success.
- Learn from mistakes, setbacks and failures. If not, you’ll keep repeating the same mistakes. Take the time to analyze what happened and how you can prevent the problems from happening again. Keep analyzing, re-evaluating and refining your process until you get the desired result.
- Clarify your values and be true to yourself. You can not force yourself to be other than who you are. If you try to violate your own value system, you are more likely to suffer and fail. You will be most effective when your focused energy is connected to your mind, body and soul.
- Develop necessary skills for your business ventures. To face challenges and overcome obstacles, you will need to develop new skills.
- Be willing to see your ignorance and blind spots. Learn from them and make the necessary adjustments to keep yourself from being blindsided by problems.
- Set aside pride and arrogance. Failure and setbacks teach you humility. Pride and arrogance can keep you ignorant, but humility allows you to see what you’ve been unwilling to see and allows you to adjust your attitude.
- Ask for help and support. Network with other entrepreneurs and learn from each other’s problems and solutions. Surround yourself with like-minded people that can offer support. Get help from family or friends. Outsource some tasks, if you can afford it.
Failures and setbacks are necessary steps along the way to success. Instead of being afraid of them and allowing yourself to be crippled by them, embrace them. They can provide a springboard for a strong comeback. Failing faster can get you that much closer to success.
If you’re willing to learn from setbacks and failures, you can sharpen your game plan and strengthen your resolve to go after what you want. No matter how many times you fail and fall down, fight the urge to stay down. Get up again and again. Stay in the game and give yourself a chance of winning. Stay long enough to give yourself a chance at success.
Fail, fail and fail again. Because if you approach it with the right attitude, failing could be the best thing that ever happened to you.
What you think of as a ‘failure’ one year, may well be responsible for a series of actions afterward that leads to an enormous ‘win’ later.
Nothing is static; as long as you keep moving and remain motivated, there will always be a light at the end of a sometimes very long tunnel. — Barbara Berger, Creative Director (From: We All Fail. But Here’s How These Incredible Women Bounced Back By Mairi Mackay and Stephanie Busari, CNN)
Unless you’re not doing anything to improve and achieve, you can not avoid failure. The biggest companies have had to endure huge failures on their their path to huge success. Check out this infographic on Google Failures and Flops. Yes, even Google misses and fails.
Dealing With Failure Effectively Helped These Famous Failures Find Success
More Advice About Dealing with Failure and Setbacks
- 4 Motivating TED Talks to Help You Bounce Back From Failure
- Why Entrepreneurs Should Plan for Failure, Not Success