When Something Doesn’t Work, See an Opportunity Instead of Failure


make a mistake on the spreadsheet; getting the boot from your job; Or choosing the wrong career path. Failure, in many different forms, affects every one of us at some point, even the most successful of us.

Ever heard the old saying, “form is temporary, class is permanent”, and failure can be just that – temporary. In fact, I know from my own journey that with the right mindset and attitude, failure can be the thing that pushes you towards bigger things.

It really is redefining what you think about failure and recognizing that taking two steps forward and one step back is an often essential feature of the road to success.

Obviously, it’s easier said than done. Our culture rewards those who strive for perfection, but as we all know, perfection does not exist, so why hold ourselves to such unrealistic expectations?

It’s not about deciding what to do if you fail, but knowing how to respond when you fail.

Five ways to be best friends with failure:

#1: Understand the Reason

You must have the courage to accept your failure stand up and face your fears. Never underestimate how important this first step really is. It is a natural human reaction to try to turn away from uncomfortable situations and feelings. After all, we’ve all made a mistake and tried to bury it under the sand, pass the buck, or make excuses.

However, if you really want to grow and embrace failure, that’s no longer an option.

Immediately after something goes wrong, don’t worry about trying to correct a mistake or who might be affected by it – first you need to understand what went wrong.

Instead of beating yourself up, and yourself, realistically assess the consequences of your wrong move and why you let it happen. It’s important to do this before anything else.

#2: Take Ownership

Once you’ve determined what went wrong, why and what, and how you can prevent this problem in the future, it’s time to take ownership.

Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, everyone in that organization wants you to have the maturity, courage, and strength of character to call in to say something hasn’t happened as you wanted it to.

It doesn’t need to be a long drawn out process. It’s as simple as sitting down with your co-workers, or even checking yourself why your start-up failed, why you forgot to send that important email, and most importantly, what you did to make sure. Doing so that it doesn’t happen again.

“There is no such thing as failure, there are only consequences.” – Tony Robbins

#3: Learn Your Lesson

Learning from your failure is a key aspect of making peace with yourself. When you rearrange your thought process, you can give yourself room for turn failure into opportunity.

Think about any great achievement in your life—be it a promotion, buying your first home, or having children—each of which requires a certain aspect to change the way you think, especially later.

The same thing applies when you make mistakes – after all, what’s the point of hitting yourself with a hammer for something that’s inherently human? And those are all mistakes, and ultimately failure is what really happens.

Once you have looked at yourself in the mirror and accepted your fate, resolve to learn something from it.

Before proceeding though, give yourself a pat on the back. While, yes, you have taken the wrong step somewhere, celebrate the fact that you have learned something new along your journey.

#4: Move On

Often, it is not the fault itself that causes the damage. This is the lasting effect of not being able to manage your guilt and regrets.

Don’t let the experience of failure jeopardize your future; Don’t let it define your life and how you interact with the pursuit of success. Repeating your past over and over and wishing that things would have been different will not solve anything.

Life is not fair, it never was and never will be; Never fall into the trap of feeling like you are a victim, you are not and it is important that you accept that and move on.

The most important part of embracing failure is forgiving yourself. If you hold on to those memories as a negative experience, you will fall into the trap of the victim. Instead, constantly remind yourself of what you learned during this time.

#5: Share your experience

Sharing your experiences about what you have learned with those around you is a great way to free yourself from the shackles of failure. Having said that, it’s important to formulate your statement properly, whether you’re speaking as an employer, employee, or even a friend.

Don’t toe the general line of “Jeez, I’m so stupid, guess what happened to me a few weeks ago”. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to fall into old habits and claim your own narrative.

Lead the story with your new perspective, “Guess what happened to me a few weeks ago. It was a tough day, but I learned a really hard lesson.”

By telling the story this way, you can include each of the five points we talked about in this article.