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How to Deal with Failure

“I was too ambitious with my goals, am I a failure?"

Goal setting can be a valuable tool for development. Whether the goal is personal or professional, goals can help propel you to accomplish more than you expected and move closer to accomplishing your dreams. Moving forward and reaching milestones signifies accomplishment and success. We celebrate our achievements and want to broadcast them to the world. But what about our failures? What happens when you review your milestones and have fallen short? Is it time to give up?

Failure is part of the process

“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time,
give ourselves permission to excel.” - Eloise Ristad

Some of the most effective growth and success happens after failure. In many ways, experiencing failure early can actually be a relief. A failure is inevitable, and there is a certain amount of uncertainty in not knowing when or where the failure will occur. Once it happens, and you push forward, it can be a relief to know that it’s ‘out of the way’.  

Failure reinforces commitment

“No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.” - Chris Hardwick

One of the most important benefits of failure is that it can re-define your commitment to your goal. It can cause you to ‘double down’ on reaching your goal, more determined than ever to succeed in spite of any temporary failures. A failure can also help you see that a goal may not be as important to you originally thought.

Failure can lead to new discoveries

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Thomas A. Edison

Part of dealing with failure is maintaining the right perspective. If each setback or failure is used as a learning experience, they can help you find better ways to reach your goal, ultimately making you more successful. When kept in the proper framework, a failure can be one of the most important things to happen along the path to success.  With a new discovery, the original goal may change. You may find that your failure led you to a better method or idea. Instead of focusing on the failure, focus on what new development can come from the failure.

Failure is not fatal

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat.
It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by
saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” - Denis Waitley

If you’ve experienced a failure, congratulations! It means that you’ve attempted to do something. That alone puts you ahead of many of your acquaintances and indicates that you’re on the path to success. Take heart when you review your milestones and find that you’ve fallen short. Evaluate the setback: What can you learn from it? How can you avoid the same setback in the future? Do you need to adjust your milestone?

Don’t be afraid of failure. When your accomplishments don’t meet your milestones, don’t be discouraged. Re-assess, re-engage and re-commit to your goals.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” - Winston Churchill

The My Big Idea™ Personal Goal Setting Workshops are an excellent step to make your next endeavor a success. For those with staff or a team, consider the Professional Goal Setting Workshops for you and your team. Any questions? Contact us to find out which is the best workshop for you.

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