There are very few stories of success that don't start with at least a few failures along the way. But certainly not everyone who fails succeeds. Failure can easily turn into an insurmountable hurdle that can stop you in your tracks.
So what's the difference between those who let failure stop them from reaching their goals and those who turn failure into a giant success? It has to do with the way they respond to adversity. Here are five ways to turn failure into a giant success:
1) Accept that Failure is Part of the Journey Toward Success
Saying, "Failure isn't an option," quickly turns any failed attempt into a catastrophic event. The truth is, sometimes failure is unavoidable. Accepting that failure is part of the long journey to success can prevent you from panicking, even when you encounter the worst case scenario. A calm mindset is crucial to overcoming failure.
2) Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes
Playing the blame game won't get you anywhere, so don't waste energy trying to condemn everyone around you. You can't learn from your mistakes unless you acknowledge what went wrong. Whether you were unprepared, ill-equipped, or unskilled, accept full responsibility for the role you played in failure.
3) Embrace Your Feelings of Inadequacy
Failure often leads to feelings of inadequacy, and the way you deal with those feelings can play a big role in how you recover from your blunders. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that attempts to compensate for feelings of inadequacy actually backfire.
Buying luxury items, for example, in an attempt to project an image of success isn't helpful. Researchers found that people who tried to compensate for their feelings of inadequacy not only dwelt on their failures even more, but they also experienced decreased self-control. So rather than try to escape your feelings of inadequacy by buying an expensive watch when you don't land that promotion, embrace your insecurity and move on.
4) Acknowledge Your Strengths
In addition to acknowledging the areas where you need to improve, use failure as an opportunity to observe your positive attributes. Think about your capabilities, talents, and skills, and acknowledge how those things have helped you get to where you are today. Recalling your strengths can help you look toward the future with hope and determination.
5) Create a Plan to Move Forward
Although there's a lot to be said for 'getting back on the horse,' after a fall, it's important to move forward methodically. Picking yourself up and impulsively moving forward may only lead to another failure.
Create a clear plan of action. Consider what you've learned from failure and decide how you'll apply that information to your future attempts at success. When you turn each failure into a learning opportunity, you'll grow better with each failed attempt.