Turn Failures into Opportunities
I’m going to give you the changes that I myself made to turn a not so ideal situation around and stop feeling like a failure.
Failing is uncomfortable and puts us in a low state of mind. It can make us feel:
- Like we aren’t good enough
- Like we have no idea what we are doing.
Nobody likes it, but it gets us all at some point!
When I sat down to write this post I was trying to think of grand epic failures to detail throughout this post. I soon came to the realization that it isn’t always a huge failure that stops us in our tracks every time. The small day-to-day situations we deem to be failures can haunt us at every turn. These failures may be worse, because we always face it and continue to feel like we’re stuck!
When I thought about failure in this new way, I knew exactly what I could offer to help you overcome your difficult situation.
Let’s get started on turning things around!
Identify Where the Feeling of Failure is Stemming From
When I was feeling like a failure in life, I noticed that I focused more on feeling sorry for myself and the stuck feeling. Instead I should have focused on how it could be overcome.
When we hit a failure bump, we all must go over it and get to the other side. I wasn’t allowing myself to do that.
It’s okay to take some time to lick your wounds and feel sad about failure. But, once you do that for a bit, it’s time to turn the situation around.
The first step in this was to reflect on why I was feeling this way. In this reflection, I noticed that I was feeling failure because I was tied up with trying to keep my clients organized. I was struggling to stay on track and on top of the work I was hired to do. I was failing because I didn’t realize organization had become my new offering. My clients were falling behind with keeping their end up, so it translated to me falling behind in keeping up my end.
Once I identified what the problem was, I set out to brainstorm how I could solve it.
- Why does the failure exist?
- What is in my control to change?
- What needs to be changed for me to begin to feel successful again?
When you can solve the problem and begin to get on track again, you will be feeling some wins in no time. Your confidence will shoot up in no time!
Solving the Problem
Now that you have identified where the problem is. You can begin to figure out how to solve it.
What will make the situation better and lead you to feeling successful again?
If you find yourself in a situation like mine, you desperately need to find something to get yourself out of the dark hole. I started to climb out by deciding that I needed to wrangle in the disorganization, and fine tune some processes.
There were two actions that I brainstormed. The first to keep a planner out on my desk in plain view, listing all my clients and their needs. Second, I would keep a running checklist of all questions or action items that were out to the client and waiting for a reply.
The planner sits on my desk and is an important tool I use to organize what my day will look like. If there is a task that I don’t get to by the end of the day, it will move it to the next day. This has helped me also get an idea of how long I am spending on tasks.
Before I leave work at the end of each day, I will go through and organize the next day which takes about 5 minutes or less! I’ve also been able to start including items from my “would like to get to” list which is a huge win.
The running checklist of all my client questions and action items is helpful because as information trickles in, I can check off what I have. The checklist will let me do a quick glance over of what is still needed for me to complete my project. If I need to, I can quickly pick up the phone and reach out and know exactly what is still needed. No more diving into a project, just to realize you really don’t have everything you need!
I hope going in depth with my solutions and how/why they helped gave you some ideas. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm and dig deep with this portion. Your success is everything and it deserves some one-on-one attention so give yourself some time and go there.
You should remember that failure is inevitable. Everyone faces it at some point and the idea is to come through it to the other side. Figuring out along the way those learning lessons you needed to carry forward with you.
A lot of times we are prone to beating ourselves up about not making everything happen like we hoped it would. Starting and finishing are huge accomplishments in themselves, so pat yourself on the back for that!
The biggest thing to remember is that you need to forgive yourself for failing. It will likely happen again, and it happens to everyone. You are in good company!
Also, don’t let someone else beat you up about a failure.
People want to pretend that they haven’t messed something up too or haven’t fallen short. They have and have no place in judging you.
If someone does come at you in a judgmental fashion over your failure. Acknowledge it and let them know that this doesn’t define who you are. If they are someone like a team member or a manger and you feel comfortable, loop them into your plan on how you are turning things around.
Failure Doesn’t Define You
Failure doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough or aren’t meant for something, it was a blip and that is it.
The next time you are dealing with a situation where it feels like you are failing:
- Identify where the failure is really coming from.
- Brainstorm solutions
- Forgive failure
- Look ahead
Being in a poor situation doesn’t define you or your abilities. You tried to accomplish something and hit a road block or found out it doesn’t work. You are ahead of the game because you tried. Dust yourself off and remind yourself you are more than this mistake. Be open with your game plan to get back on track.
Success is within reach!
Tell us in the comments what your game plan is to overcome a failure!
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Brandon and Cristal