When was the last time you openly shared a big failure at a dinner party? Probably not recently, unless you were having a vulnerable and open conversation with one person. Research about the importance of grit and a growth mindset is readily available, we still feel our failures are something to be hidden. However, failure is a critical part of a sucessful career, and how you handle it is a big indication of your true potential. Here's how you can make it work for you:

  1. Focus on what you can learn from the failure. Failures can teach you so much about yourself, your impact in the world, and how you may not be in alignment with who you are. For example, getting fired may be painful, but it means you were not in a job that was right for you. Review all the possible lessons, and see how it can help you think more strategically about the next step.
  2. Use it as an opportunity to build grit. Being gritty means that no matter what, you don't give up. If you feel like giving up but don't, then you're building perseverance, which according to grit researcher Angela Duckworth, is an essential part of being successful.
  3. Use it as an opportunity to approach it from a growth mindset. According to researcher and author Carol Dweck, "In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work; brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment." If you see the failure as a reminder that with hard work and dedication you can do better, you are operating in a growth mindset.
Published on: May 14, 2019