What does success mean to you?
We are constantly bombarded with ‘success’ stories in the media, someone lands the dream job or makes a million from bottling fresh air. They are shared with good intention, often they feed unrealistic expectations or don’t tell you about all the hard work and failure which preceded the ‘success’.
Poor old failure seems to be a dirty word. This is my Christmas present to failure and those of you who may have experienced some type of ‘failure’ this year.
We’ve all heard the sayings … ‘if at first you don’t succeed’ et cetera, et cetera. I don’t know about you, hearing them makes me want to groan. Yes mum, I know you meant well, I did listen. But … since then I’ve learned some other things.
Here’s what I’ve learned about failure
- Falling over and grazing your knee hurts, so does failure.
- If you don’t work out why you fell over you’ll keep on doing it, failure is the same.
- Failure means what you tried didn’t work as you expected it to. It doesn’t define you, you are not a failure.
- Failure is to be listened to, sometimes it’s shouting ‘Stop doing that!’
So next time you fail
- Feel the hurt and treat it if you need to.
- Look at the ‘failure’ with fresh eyes when you can.
- Ask yourself ‘what surprised me about how this turned out?‘
- Have another look. Perhaps what you did succeeded. Your expectation may have blinded you to what worked.
- Refocus on your purpose. Why did you try it?
- Thank your failure for what it has taught you.
- Congratulate yourself for having the courage to try, the humanity to feel, the wisdom to learn and the resilience to keep going.
I am going to keep trying, failing and learning. I hope you will too.
Jacqui Alder is a respected HR executive, writer, and mentor to women.
I write these articles for you and value your feedback. If you’d like to hear about a topic, have tried one of the exercises, or used any resources please let me know your thoughts. You can contact me by posting a comment below, send me a message via the Facebook page, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.