Failing Forward

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Some amazing things have been created through what seems like “failure”: chocolate chip cookies, Penicillin, microwaves, fireworks, and more. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, The Beatles were rejected by their first record label, and even more successful people have been knocked down a few times. 

Call it what you want—I am going to call it failing forward—it happens to the best of us, maybe when we least expect it to. It is bound to happen in any setting, but it could not be worse at work. You might have had a big presentation and completely bombed it, or a meeting did not go your way, or you overslept and missed a meeting with a potential client. Whatever the case may be, it happens to the best of us. 

Failing forward at work, school, in life, happens. While it is unavoidable, it is important to not let mistakes consume you. Big or small, it can affect our day to day lives. However, with the right mindset and attitude, you can turn a misstep into a success in the blink of an eye. 

  1. Own up to it. 

While it may be hard to take the blame for something that goes wrong, it will help you in the long run to be honest about your mistakes. Don’t provide endless excuses or cast the blame on another employee. Explain the scenarios of what went wrong, ensure it will not happen again, and figure out how to move forward. 

  1. Figure out your next course of action. 

After a mistake happens, it is hard to bounce back sometimes. Find a solution to your mistake and fix the problem at hand. Make things right. This is what failing forward is all about!

  1. Shift your mindset. 

I know, personally, when I mess up, I feel like that is all I am capable of from then on. If you fail once, it doesn’t mean you are going to continue to fail. Find something you know you are good at and focus on it for a little bit while you manage to get your groove back.

  1. Find the good. 

If you look closely, there is a silver lining in just about everything, especially your failures. There is a lesson buried in there: a way to grow. Find it and hold on tight; let it motivate you!  

  1. Take on your next big project—and succeed. 

I know it may be hard to get back on the horse, but when you do and you excel, you will feel even better. Make sure you really put the work into it to come out on the other side successful. Your “failure” will soon fade into memory. 

  1. You aren’t alone. 

You may feel like you are the only one going through a workplace mistake. That couldn’t be further from the truth! I would just about guarantee that most of your coworkers have made one mistake or another at their job, and if they haven’t, they aren’t learning. 

Don’t go out looking to make mistakes, but know when they inevitably occur, know that you can take them and grow from them. Take these tips into consideration when you feel down and out after failing forward at work, and you might just create the next greatest thing! 

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