“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”. – Winston Churchill
Failure and all the repercussions that come with it such as financial loss, embarrassment, etc. can be an extremely bitter pill to swallow. Yet, failure is crucial to your success, because it’s not the opposite of success but an integral part of it.
Success and failure are 2 sides of the same coin.
How you cope with failure is the only thing that matters. In fact, the difference between those who win and those who don’t come down to their ability to cope with failure and keep going.
It’s easy to get discouraged and quit. It takes everything to pick yourself up and keep going. That’s what moulds winners. They’re forged in the flames of failure and come out stronger and more experienced.
1. Be prepared
With any business venture, there will be risks involved. It’s crucial that you not risk your entire business by betting the farm. Always manage your risk.
Managing cash flow intelligently is crucial when you’re running a business. You don’t want a situation where you lose your business and your house at the same time. You must have contingency plans in place.
You need to adopt a mindset where you expect the best, but you’re ready for the worst. All this preparation takes place before you risk anything. In the event you encounter failure, you’ll be better equipped to deal with it.
No matter how bleak the situation may be, it’s important to assess your losses (if there are any). Ask yourself what you can do to salvage the situation. Throwing in the towel is NOT an option.
It’s helpful to keep a journal and record down what went wrong, how it could have been avoided, and so on. While hindsight is 20/20, we mustn’t forget that we are now armed with this hindsight for the next attempt.
So, your future endeavors will be wiser and you’ll know what to avoid. This insight you’ll gain from self-reflection is priceless.
3. Don’t let inertia set in
While failure can send you reeling, you should never let it get you down for more than 2-3 days. If you keep replaying scenarios in your head about what you should have done or could have done and you take your failure personally, you’ll become depressed.
From there, it’s a dangerous and slippery slope down to quitting and despair.
Never take failure personally and ignore anyone who gloats or tries to tell you that they told you so.
Rest assured, there will be a few people who crawl out of the woodwork to console you while trying to hint that you should have been wiser. The truth is that it’s easy for a pencil to remain sharp and look good if it doesn’t do any writing.
You, however, are a winner, and even after you’re blunt from the toll of work and failure, you’ll need to sharpen yourself and get back to winning.
The longer you stay in the doldrums, the harder it will be to come out of it. It’s immensely difficult to get started once inertia sets in.
Forget the self-help books and motivational talks. Get moving. Work on the next step in your business. Action will dispel fear and create change in your life.
That’s the best way to recover from failure.
4. Don’t let it all slide
Very often, when people are in sadness or grief, they stop exercising and doing the things they love. They let their feelings dictate their actions. This is a cardinal error.
Taking a break from what you do because you don’t feel like it will NOT make you feel better. It’ll make you feel worse because now your life has come to a standstill.
If you’ve failed in your business, don’t stop going to the gym or bringing your family out, or doing any of the other things you do. Keep doing them.
You may not be in the mood but do them ANYWAY. Go through the motions. As the days go by, you’ll feel better and the fire within you will return.
5. Try again
Once you disassociate yourself from failure, you’ll realize that it’s an event and not a person. With different variables, the outcome for the same event will be different. You just need to find out which variables need to be in place for success to be the outcome.
If you’ve kept moving, inertia would not have set in and you’ll still be ready to try again… and that’s what you must do.
Change your course of action, but don’t change the destination.
Ultimately, overcoming failure is all about managing your feelings and keeping them in check… while you grit your teeth and plod along on your way to success.
Like the Japanese proverb goes, “Fall down 7 times, get up 8.”