Every time I hear an extremely successful entrepreneur deliver a keynote speech, I hear examples of their past failures. It becomes clear that their series of failures not only led to their success, but were necessary in order for the success to happen.
But when you are in the middle of a failure, it is sometimes difficult to keep your eye on the ball. Your ultimate vision becomes blurry. Self-doubt creeps in. I know all this because I’ve been there. Again and again. And again.
So the question is: how do you dust yourself off, get up, and try again when you experience failure?
- Do not let yourself get too attached to the success of any one project, launch, idea, program, or sales call. Now I’m not saying you should be excited and committed to your project- I’m saying focus on the mission and intent. Be fully present, give 100%, and be attached to the quality of the work you produce.
- Don’t be ashamed when things don’t go as well as you would like. Talk about it- share it with others. Full disclosure and honesty goes a long way toward creating trust and credibility. (And no, you are not alone. I know we constantly hear about all the gurus out there who have “instant success”- but we often don’t hear about the struggles.)
- Use a coach, a mentor or a trusted colleague to help you “debrief” after a “failure”. What went well? What needs to go better next time? What could you have done differently? Your coach can help you see things you may not see, and they can hold a strong belief in you when your self-belief is wavering.
- Keep focused on your “why”. What is your ultimate reason for doing what you do? Are you still connected to the desired results?
- Step up and get out there again. Implement the improved actions you defined during your debrief.
I recently saw this rather painful, and humorous video that did a great job of portraying the idea of “try, try again”. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XI3U8eupNQ