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Once I Became a Success at Failure, I Could Achieve Anything

Right now you’re probably thinking, ‘why would I want to succeed at being a failure?

I get it. What I’m saying probably goes against everything you’ve been taught.

But I’m not talking about thinking of yourself as a ‘failure’ (nobody should!).

What I’m talking about is the way you deal with failure. Knowing how to deal with failure positively has taught me that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

As someone that used to take failure pretty hard, especially when it came to business or my career, I understand from personal experience the anxiety and depression it can cause.

But I also discovered (the hard way) that how I approached and dealt with failure also greatly impacted my chances at success – especially when it came to starting a business or taking my career in a new direction.

Trust me, as someone that interviews purpose-driven startup founders for my blog globesprouting, I can promise you that the journey to business success is normally a VERY long one. And the people that succeed, are the ones that approached failure as a lesson, rather than as a reason to give up and quit.

So, in an effort to spare more of you from the same frustrations I went through when dealing with failure, following are what I believe to be best ways to literally become a success at failure and achieve anything.

achieve anything - woman smiling

1. Don’t give in to fear

Just recently, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to write a book called ‘I f*cked up! The unspoken truth about starting a business.’

I’ve never run a Kickstarter campaign – and was pretty terrified at first with the idea of putting myself out there!

And while I really hope I get the chance to write the book (and help other entrepreneurs succeed by sharing our mistakes) I know that even if I fail to reach my funding goal, the lessons learned and the way it has pushed me to approach people I normally wouldn’t, will help me achieve larger success in the long run. 

2. Own up to it

If you do fail at something, be brave enough to admit to it. Trust me, choosing to hide behind your mistakes will be failure #2!

As a PR & Communications consultant, I always advise my clients to be true to themselves and others.  I mean, just think back to all of those people, brands and companies who hid behind mistakes – only to admit later, that yes, they actually did screw up! Will you ever trust what they say again?

Not only will owning up to a failure show that you’re honest, it will also make people relate to you more. Think about it, don’t you always wonder what’s REALLY going on behind-the-scenes with those people whose Instagram feeds appear to be near perfect?!

3. Don’t throw shade

This one’s really REALLY important. Unless you can accept the fact that you really only have yourself to blame, then you’re not going to take away any lessons that might help you achieve future success.

It’s also a fast way to make enemies, damage your integrity and probably say a few things that you’ll regret later on.

Oh, and while you might forget about what happened, always remember – the internet doesn’t!

4. Focus on the journey

Please get this idea of ‘overnight success’ out of your head! Not only is it hard to predict, but it’s also usually pretty short-lived.

Success is most often the result of hard work – put in over long periods of time.

Especially when it comes to starting a business or shifting your career, failure is just one of the many, many steps involved in reaching your end goal.

I always keep these long-term end goals in mind when I fail, because it honestly makes me realize that I didn’t fail at the bigger picture – I just didn’t succeed at one of the many steps it takes to get there. So, regardless of what you’re looking to succeed at, I recommend creating a strategic plan that includes your bigger goals and the individual steps you’re taking to get there – just to keep everything in perspective.

Whenever I looked at each individual step as the be all and end all, that’s when I got anxious and depressed. It’s when I performed and acted at my worst.

So try to change your perspective….otherwise it can really hold you back! 

5. Learn something

Trust me, I know it sucks to fail – I’m not saying it feels good. But you’re only going to feel worse if you don’t get anything out of it.

As an entrepreneur taking my career in a new direction, the one thing I DON’T have is time to waste (there already aren’t enough hours in the day!). So if something isn’t working, I follow a few simple rules:

  1. ADMIT to what isn’t working
  2. STOP doing what isn’t working – IMMEDIATELY
  3. ASSESS whether I need to stop altogether or just change direction
  4. If I CHANGE direction, then I’ll come up with a few ideas to help me do this and implement small actions everyday to change my course
  5. RE-ASSESS!

6. Share your mistakes

By not sharing your mistakes and failures, you’re not just hurting yourself – you’re also depriving people of some pretty valuable lessons.

This is of course one of the reasons I wanted to write for prsuit and why I interview startup founders for my blog – because I also whole-heartedly believe that it’s best to learn from the people who’ve actually MADE the mistakes.

It’s also worth pointing out here that a lot of people have actually turned sharing lessons learned from their biggest failure into their most rewarding source of income – SO WHY NOT YOU?!

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No fluff or "pie in the sky inspiration." Just real stories.

Written by Rebecca Cressman

Rebecca Cressman is a PR & Communications Consultant and the founder of globesprouting, a blog that tells inspiring startup stories and provides expert advice to help entrepreneurs launch and grow a purpose-driven business. Connect with her @becmann

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