Success After Failure: Learning from Your Mistakes
Fear is one of the biggest reasons people hesitate to change careers. The fear of the unknown, The fear of failure. People that successfully switch career paths embrace their fear, knowing that experiencing failure –and learning from failure – can actually be a helpful way to discover the right career for their evolving selves. Finding success after failure is not only possible, but a common factor in some of today’s more successful people.
In the moment, failure can feel like the end of the world, almost like a personal insult. Failure is painful, demoralizing and humbling. However, failure is actually an integral part of the learning process. Without failure, there is no room for improvement. Failing helps you recognize mistakes that you made, so you can prevent them in the future.
Accepting Failure and Moving On
There are different degrees of failure in your career. They range the gamut in severity from missing a deadline to an underperforming or ineffective work product, to termination from a job.
The key to turning failure into success is ATTITUDE.
You must be emotionally and mentally able to recognize that YOU are not a failure. You failed at doing something. That is a huge distinction. Recognizing why you failed can actually be a launching pad for success – but first you need to be willing to forgive yourself and embrace the opportunity to grow.
Success After Failure
How do you move on from failure?
Try talking to a mentor.
Having a conversation with someone that you respect can lend you perspective. Everyone has failed at some point. Hearing how others have made mistakes, chosen careers that were wrong for them, or lost jobs AND THEN moved on to thrive can be the encouragement you need. There are countless examples of successful people that have failed (sometimes many times) and gone on to be wildly successful. Find people in your own life that can help you understand how they were able to overcome their own failures.
Knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do want. Every failure brings us closer to knowing what career is best for who we are and how we want to live.
Shannon recently spoke with Katina Turner, who after a successful career in producing at MTV launched several businesses that ultimately did not succeed, before finding her path in a yoga and fashion boutique. While her initial business ventures did not succeed, she learned important things about herself. She doesn’t like partnering. She needs to follow her passion. She learned that she needed to be more knowledgeable in all levels of her business.
Put on your objectivity hat and carefully revisit what went wrong. Itemize the mistakes that were made that resulted in failure. Did you rush? Do you need to hone any skills? Did you take on too much? Make a list of specific things that you could improve upon and how they can be prevented in the future.
Focus on the Big Moments.
After making your list, move on. Stop fixating on all the little things that you did wrong and concentrate on what went right. Did you get rejected by an editor for your novel? Remember: you WROTE a BOOK. Did you get rejected from an interview? You are getting experience interviewing.
Career Lessons from Failure
There are myriad opportunities to learn from mistakes in your career and build critical, enduring skills. The most obvious lesson to be learned is understanding where some of your technical skills may fall short. If you flubbed a presentation, start practicing more. Take a public speaking course. If you got the numbers wrong in a spreadsheet, bone up on your accounting or excel skills. Identifying these areas for improvement – and then working to improve them – can be instrumental in succeeding after failure.
In addition to these technical skills, the emotional lessons attained can be invaluable. Some of these include:
- Handling criticism
- Coping with negativity
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Identifying opportunities for improvement
- Understanding yourself
- Reprioritizing career goals
- Regulates your ego
- Fosters creativity
- Become more efficient’
Take what you learned from failure and leverage it to make your next venture a success. You will be stronger, more focused and poised to avoid personal mistakes that lead to undesirable results.
Failure isn’t an ending. It is an opportunity. Success after failure can be more rewarding and feel more fulfilling. Don’t let setbacks slow you down.