This lovely guest post comes to us via Kim Lawler of Finest Imaginary fame. She blogs regularly about food, photography, design and working for yourself. And she designed my awesome new portfolio site! Drop by her blog and say hi!
I have failed on numerous occasions in my life. From that time I didn’t get accepted to a certain college, to the time I got a D on my Chemistry AS Level. I’d like to say that these failures didn’t derail me, but then I’d be completely lying. As far as I can remember both of those incidents ended up with me in a tantrum like state, crying and wailing that I wasn’t good at ANYYYYTTTHINNNGGG EVVVEERRRRR. A-hem.
But then, after allowing myself time in my pit of doom, I’d pick myself up and figure out what I needed to do to fix the fails. I applied for another college, and I retook my Chemistry AS level exams and came out with a B at A level. These two incidents really stand out to me when I hit road bumps in my career, just because you fail once doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing if it does happen.
5 Things to do when you fail
Without trying to sound like a self-help book, these are the things that have worked for me in the past couple of years when things haven’t exactly gone to plan.
1. I applied for a rather large craft fair a year or so ago and got rejected, it was a bit of a blow, but I didn’t let it put me off. I upped my game, got better at what I do, and this year I got accepted to an even BIGGER craft fair. One of the most important things you need to do when you fail is take stock of the situation. Why did you fail? Was there something you could’ve done to produce a better outcome? Was the failure completely beyond your control? Could you be better prepared next time?
My recent trip to Liberty resulted in a fail that I couldn’t control, at least not at the time, and I learned so much from that experience that the fail was totally worth while! Would I do it again even knowing that it wouldn’t come to anything? Of course!
2. Get angry, get mad, get passionate - you’re allowed, you know? You’re allowed to be mad that something didn’t work out, at least for a little while, because being mad will make you realize how much you really, REALLY want this thing. And how ridiculous would it be to not try again?
3. Remember that you’re not a failure, you just haven’t found the successful way of doing something yet. You’re only a failure if you stop trying, and what’s the point in that?
4. “Take a deep breath and count to 10″, “If it was easy everyone would be doing it”, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” Time to take note of all those things your Grandma used to say!
5. Albert Einstein once said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,” so be sane and make some changes. Use your failure as feedback & experience and come back with a better strategy.
The difference between being successful and never getting what you want is how you deal with failure. Use it as a catalyst to improve yourself, your business or your craft, not as an excuse to give up! Don’t look upon failure as a negative thing, failure is proof that you’re on your way to success!
What have you failed at? How did you get past it?