How to Bounce Back from a “Failure”

No one likes to “fail” but the fact is we all mess up at various times in our lives. So what! Nobody who ever achieved anything great never made a mistake. In fact successful people make loads of mistakes. Failure is just a concept; an illusion we beat ourselves up with when we don’t get the result we would like. Think about this: how much better would your results be if you saw failure as successful people see failure? Successful people do not see a mistake as failure - it’s seen as feedback that a new approach is needed. To achieve your goal you may just need to refine your strategy or perhaps you may need to adopt a new one. Learn from what didn’t work out and move on. It is much more useful. When we see “failures” as feedback results improve dramatically. So let’s bring things into perspective and help you bounce back from whatever difficulty you are experiencing! Below are some tips to help you.

Limit the Damage

Once you realize that your initial approach hasn’t worked, you need to take steps to limit any possible future damage.

  • Be honest. Communicate your situation to anyone involved so everyone understands what’s happening – no matter how bad. People don’t like the unknown. They might like the truth but if you are honest with you have some chance of rectifying the situation.

  • Seek support if you need it. Nobody can do everything on their own. If you need help ask for it. It is okay to ask for help!

  • Apologize if you need to and focus on solutions.

  • Make the situation manageable. For example, if you have any outstanding debt and cannot pay it off in one lump sum agree to pay it in manageable instalments. Another example would be if you took on more responsibility than you could manage at work or in an organisation. Be prepared to step down or get assistance, if needed. Whatever the situation, do not bury your head in the sand. Say it as it is and do what you can with what you have to find a solution.

Remind Yourself of Your Strengths and Past Successes

You have the ability to triumph over challenge. You have done it before (several times) and you can do it again. Think of all the times in the past when you’ve succeeded when you thought you couldn’t and write them down. May be you learned to write or read, may be you learned a new language, won a competition, received an award, got a promotion, created a piece of art, got in shape, learned how to play an instrument or perhaps it was something else. List at least twenty successes, no matter how small you think they are, to remind yourself that you are a capable human being!

List Lessons

Look at what valuable lessons you learned in the past that you can draw on. What resources did you use, what valuable advice could you implement now, what do you need to refine or change?

Make a Decision

Most likely you are at a decision crossroads right now but it’s important not to stay there. You have three choices when it comes to decisions and I’m going to give you some TLC here:

  • Take it

  • Leave it

  • Change it

It’s time to look forward and pave your way to a successful outcome. Do you stay in the same rut? Do you run away? Do you get proactive and make it better? The decision is yours.

If you decide to change your situation, you might consider doing the following:

  • Talk to someone who has been through what you are going through and came out the other end successful. Ask them what they did. They will be happy to tell you as they have been where you are.

  • Find someone who has what you want and model their strategies.

  • Get expert advice. Ask for recommendations from people who have used the experts and got a positive result. Not everyone who says they are an expert is an expert so look for results!

  • Inform Yourself. What information do you need in order to take the best action? Knowledge is power.

  • Become teachable. You do not know everything so be humble enough to accept that, If you need a skill find someone to teach you and keep practicing until you are skilled in that area.

  • Accept help. People feel good when they help someone else so if someone wants to help you, allow them to!

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