Two Sides of Failure

Failing doesn’t always lead to a negative outcomeThough most people enjoy success, it can actually be beneficial for a person not to succeed in every aspect of life. Have you ever planned a new project or strategy down to the smallest detail, only to have it turn out nothing like you imagined? Have you ever completely failed? Failure is something that everyone will experience in life, and although it is disappointing, there is a bright side to this unpleasant event. Failure is an excellent teacher of a powerful lesson: failure teaches you what not to do. Therefore, wise women know how to embrace failure and convert it into a personal tutor. Wise women know how to use failure to win.

Failure is a two-sided coin: the negative side is bitter and disappointing, and everyone knows that side of the coin; the more valuable side of the coin is generally overlooked. It may be uncomfortable, but if you take a deep look at your failures, you will be surprised at what you discover. You might find that failure is so much more than not achieving your goal. It is actually an opportunity to grow, a platform to learn, and a tool to achieve future success. You can access the positive aspects of failure in any situation by asking three simple questions:

1. What did I learn? Every failure teaches you something, whether that lesson is about your process, your people, your pace or your plan. Creating a personal questionnaire is an excellent way to analyze your failed effort. Compile a list of questions addressing every aspect of the failure. Include questions such as: What could I have done differently? What worked well? What did not work well? Were there enough resources? Was there enough time? Were the right people involved? Where were the breakdowns? The answers to questions like these provide you with the guidance you need for future efforts.

2. How can I apply the lessons learned? Refusing to apply new information is equivalent to never learning the information. Your future success requires you to use what you’ve learned about your failure. Identify ways that you can incorporate the information you have gathered, and do it as soon as possible. Delayed application will likely promote future failure.

3. Is it worth another shot? Some of your ideas are brilliant, but simply need some tweaking. Other ideas were not as useful and are not worthy of your time and resources. A good analysis of your failed attempts will help you determine if something is worth a second try. Be brave enough to accept the truth about the value of your ideas, and move forward according. Keep in mind that there is no failure in growth, and assessing your failures is a growth process.

Average people accept failure as a lost, but wise people know that failure is an opportunity to get better. You are wired for success, so be bold enough to use every available tool to reach your successful place—even if a tool is wrapped up in a failure.