Don’t we all have awful days? You know, the dreaded day you fail. Failure can scare the wits out of most of us.
You know the day when you thought you were going to make that huge sale and then it disappeared? You go over it again and again in your mind asking yourself, “What did I do wrong?”
You ask yourself, what should I have said that I didn’t? You spend the whole day ruminating about what happened and where you went wrong.
You know it doesn’t help right? It doesn’t help because you only have one side of the story, your side. You have no idea what was going on with the customer even though you think you do. You feel paralyzed.
Failure can actually be a trigger to motivate you to success. Scary right?
Think about the Beetles, they were told in 1962 that Decca records didn’t like their sound. Decca was one of the biggest labels at the time—they must know best right? And then there was Stephen King who was told that no one wanted to see a science fiction movie that was depressing! Somehow Stephen found his place.
How can you make it work? Here are some ideas:
- Accept what just happened, it’s part of life. It only happens to those who step outside their little comfort zone. Those who want something different and are willing to accept an occasional set back. When I was a kid, my next door neighbor was very good at predicting the summer weather. I wanted every day to be hot so I could go swimming.I can remember how disappointed I was when it rained. Sam always said to me, “There will always be another day for you. If you try long enough, you will get what you want.” I have never forgotten that advice. It came from a man who spent 10 long years in the New York Hospital for the Incurables in 1935 with a collapsed spine. In 1958 he bought his first house in the country despite his disability.
- Wanting things to be different doesn’t change anything! Looking to change the past is a depressive strategy. Nothing ever changes in the past no matter how hard you wish for it. Wallowing in it never makes it better. I have a friend who is never happy. It doesn’t matter what she’s doing, she’s unhappy. She only goes to work and the grocery store. When her boyfriend visits, they only go out to the grocery store! They never go to a museum, a play or just a walk in the park. No wonder she’s depressed.
- Revise your plan of action. If the plan you have isn’t working, figure out how you might tweak it. Don’t get rid of it entirely, just determine what changes you need to make and do it. What the heck, it’s only time. Remember what Sam said.
According to Charles Manz in his book, “The Power of Failure,” Manz says that failure is very often a misconception about the difference between what exists and goes unnoticed (such as growth and learning) when we fall short of reaching a goal and what is realized later (longer term success). In other words, failure is no longer fatal! Consider failure just a challenge in life.
Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses rethink their failures to success for over twenty years. To have her help your team, reach her at [email protected]