Some of us love a good failure story. While victories are inspiring, true tales of messing up are often more relatable, but most importantly, indispensable learning opportunities.

If we can shift our perspective to see our flops as valuable progress, each washout can become a win.

Eight ways to help failure breed success:

1. Change your mindset.
See failure as a pathway to success rather than a roadblock. The road to success is paved with deviations. We can reframe the old adage, ‘try, try again’, as ‘fail, fail again’, because that’s what it takes to achieve continuous improvement.

3. Watch the self-talk.
Being self-critical or dwelling on a mistake can be damaging following a failure. No one needs a metaphorical whipping from their inner critic. Feel the initial sting, then review your task list, priorities and goals, and get back on track.

2. Fail more.
Everyone sets ‘Win’ goals but how about ‘Fail goals”. If failed attempts improve our outcomes shouldn’t we seek to increase our failure rate? If you only set Win goals, and you’re not successful then you can quickly become disengaged. Whereas setting goals where attempting, trialling, exploring and testing is the desired outcome, fail or flop – you’ve achieved, and no doubt gained invaluable learnings.

4. Relish your failures.
Often, we try to forget the times we miss the mark. This is very glass half-empty thinking. Failure is better than inaction! Everyone has set backs, so rather than shirking from failure, celebrate the fact you tried and consider (briefly!) why the failure occurred, and if any aspects could be adapted for future success.

5. Recognise mistakes don’t have to define you.
We’re often too embarrassed to talk about past mistakes for fear of judgement. We’re all human. Bottling, and to an extent denying our mistakes ever happened, doesn’t help us learn from them. But if we flip this on its head, we can empathise and learn from each other’s stuff ups.

6. Act consistently.
Practising failure is like going to the gym. You can’t go once and expect results. Consistency is key to forming new habits. So, pick up that heavier-than-normal weight (i.e. project), let it drop, then inhale and try again. Daily action helps create success. Use and develop your ‘courage muscle’ by feeling fear and taking action anyway. Use it or lose it.

7. The enemy is fear.
Fear of failure can hinder our success. All that’s required for failure to triumph is for us to do nothing. It may take time and repeated daily exposure, but eventually, overcoming fear of failure sets us on the path to success.

8. Don’t go it alone.
Sometimes, we turn failure’s molehills into mountains and seek to climb them without support. Don’t make the mistake of being the lone wolf. Think of someone you admire – a friend or mentor who has overcome obstacles – chances are, they’d be happy to help provide the nudge you need to reach your goals.

“Failure is success in progress.” – Albert Einstein

This information does not constitute financial or legal advice and is for general information purposes only. Please contact DLA Partners for specific advice relating to your particular circumstances.

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