We never want to see ourselves fail. After putting so much time and energy into something, it’s upsetting when it doesn’t go the way we hoped it would. We often get disappointed or mad at ourselves for the outcome. These are natural reactions to failure. However, these emotions become a problem when it leads us to “shut down” and give up on ourselves. And failing to continue to try is even worse than failure itself.
The truth is, failure is an essential part of life. We have all failed once before and we will fail again. But it’s the moments that follow our setbacks that matter. Successful people don’t do the same thing over and over and expect the same results. Instead, they celebrate failures as opportunities.
You may be asking yourself why celebrating our failures is so important. It’s because people who learn from prior mistakes are generally more successful than people who don’t. Research shows that how a person learns and responds to failure has a meaningful impact on their long-term success. For example, It’s almost always the negative feedback that allows us to recognize and fix what isn’t working. By reflecting on what caused our mistakes, we give ourselves room to pivot — make improvements, become more agile, and perfect our process.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
— Thomas A. Edison.
Key Ideas For Celebrating Failure:
- First things first, allow yourself to recognize your feelings and emotions. It’s okay to feel upset about not achieving your initial goal. Every emotion is valid, don’t discredit that.
- However, don’t dwell on your negative reaction to a challenge or setback. Quickly pivot your thinking to view the recent barrier or setback as a learning opportunity. Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve done, what went wrong, and how to improve. This doesn’t mean that you should simply continue trying to no avail. Instead, take this opportunity to rewrite your initial disappointment into motivation. Perseverance will be more useful than self-doubt.
- Listen to what your team needs. If this is a group effort, ask your team members for their input. They may provide new perspectives and ideas that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. Then, collaborate with your team to determine a successful path forward.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
— Henry Ford.
Let’s Not Forget To Celebrate Our Brava’s Too!
While we’ve focused on the need to learn from our failures, we shouldn’t overlook the importance of celebrating our wins! Positive feedback is necessary for our self-confidence and motivation, along with the morale of our teams. We all deserve to celebrate a job well done. Recognizing wins, big or small, provides important cues to yourself and team members about what is going well and how to continue. Our failures don’t define us. It’s how we react to them that determines our road to real success — getting back on our feet and moving forward. Learning from our past mistakes will better prepare us for the bigger and brighter opportunities ahead.
“Failure is success if we learn from it.”
— Malcolm Forbes