I recently received some bad news that has halted one of my projects. Actually it has only halted the project temporarily because I will regroup and still move forward…just a little differently than I’d planned. It occurred to me, however, that rarely do leaders talk about their failures or missteps. And if they do, it’s well after they’ve recovered.
The reality is failure is as much a part of success as winning. That sounds paradoxical but it’s truth. Until you learn to fail well you will never win.
Here’s three pieces nuggets of wisdom that are helping me and will help you:
1. Change Your Perspective. Because you failed at something doesn’t mean you are a failure. Rob Stearns, author of Winning Smart After Losing Big, reminds us of an important truth: “You are the same person after your loss as you were before your loss.” According to the YouVersion devotional, Working Through Failure, “it is strength of character that enables us to get up and keep moving when we’ve failed.” So don’t internalize the failure. Draw upon the truth of who you are inside and what you are called to do, to regroup. You are not a failure because you experienced failure.
[tweetthis]You are not a failure, because you experienced failure!”[/tweetthis]
2. Change your Expectations. Andy Crouch, editor of Christianity Today, reminds us, “all creativity leads through failure and some creativity leads you to failure. But all creativity requires the willingness to fail. When you are learning almost every creative endeavor initially will lead to some failure.” In other words, expect to go through a learning curve. If you are trying something new, or entering into a new field, expect to have to learn some new things. You won’t get it right the first time out the gate. Or the second. Or the maybe not even the tenth. But if you are doing what you are meant to do, and learning the lessons you are meant to learn you will improve and eventually win. Don’t give up your dream after one defeat.
[tweetthis]Don’t give up your dream after one defeat.[/tweetthis]
3. Change your Plan. Remember the saying, “Go back to the drawing board?” The imagery evoked by this idiom is of a designer whose original plans did not yield success having to go back to her drawing table to tweak the plan. Or scrap,the original plan altogether. Never does the designer lose sight of his or her vision or dream. Instead she has to change the plans or means to bring the dream to life. So it is with you and me. If you failed to get the funding you needed, go back to your proposal and refine it. If you failed to get a yes from one publisher, tighten your proposal and submit it to another. If you did not get hired from that last interview, dust off your resume and submit it elsewhere. Failure to get a yes now, doesn’t mean a final no.
[tweetthis]Failure to get a yes now, does not mean a final no[/tweetthis]
Starting today, take another look at your defeat and determine within, you will not let defeat defeat you. You will not let it destroy your confidence. You will not let it trample your trust. You will take some time to reflect, to grieve the loss, shift your thinking, revise your plan and get going again.
[tweetthis]Don’t let defeat defeat you.[/tweetthis]
(c) Dr Jeanne