Go ahead, make mistakes. The worst that can happen is you become memorable.
– Sara Blakely : Founder and CEO of SPANX
Over the years, the notion that failure means doom and embarrassment has started to soften. We are slowly warming up to the fact that in order to be successful (whatever the endeavour is), you WILL mess up and make mistakes along the way. And you know what? That is ok.
However, despite all the motivational cheer-leading and quotes we see on Instagram, it can still be embarrassing, leaving our ego bruised and self-belief knocked. So, whilst it is important to “fail your way to success” so they say, it is also important to learn how to bounce back from your failure. ASAP.
Over the years, I have had my fair share of “learning curves”. From failing my AS levels and driving test, to admitting defeat on the dream of running a bar for holiday makers abroad in less than a year, I know a thing or two about bouncing back from failure.
But before I reveal my big five tips, first let’s look into why this ‘bounce-back-ability’ thing is so important.
First, as Matthew Syed says in his brilliant book Bounce, “it is practice, not talent, that holds the key to success”. Practice involves repetition. If we gave up every time we failed, there would be no repetition, therefore no practice, no success.
Second, bouncing back is a determinant of grit. As Angela Duckworth shares in her book of that title, Grit, she says, “failures are going to happen, and how you deal with them may be the most important thing in whether you succeed. You need fierce resolve… grit”. You can’t let temporary setbacks become permanent excuses. You need to learn to bounce back.
Let me share my 5 tips for bounce-back-ability and how I managed it.
I know this sounds strange, and you’re thinking ‘Alice, why on earth would I feel grateful for failing’ but gratitude is a powerful way to shift your mood and mindset. This is crucial for bouncing back as quick as you can. There is a way to do this properly, though. Don’t just say it for the sake of it. Think about why you are grateful for it… is it because it is making you more resilient, did you learn a valuable lesson, has it made you more aware of warning signs?
Practising gratitude is a powerful way to reframe any situation, not just failure.
Failure feels personal. Our ego doesn’t take too kindly to it, which is what makes it so hard to digest. One of the ways I quickly learn from my mistakes and move on, is to separate them from my identity of ‘Alice’. I will learn from the mistake by reframing it as one of my personas (we all have good and bad qualities to our personality, aka personas). For example, “Control Freak Alice” is the one who pushes too hard, is impatient, or takes on too much as she doesn’t trust anyone. If a failure arises from that, I will look at what “Control Freak Alice” did. This slight separation is kinder to yourself but still provides the valuable insight and learning we need from the failure.
I think it is slightly unrealistic to feel fantastic after a mess up. I don’t think I have met anyone that has had a royal whoopsie then popped open the champers to celebrate. Therefore, I think it is more realistic to have a “mourning period”. A moment to be sad about it and be ok that you are sad about it!
The key of course is to make sure you don’t dwell there, so put a time frame on it!
I remember when I was younger, losing my job, I knew deep down it was beyond my control and something I could bounce back from, but I needed the ability to be sad about it in that moment. I just lost my job, of course I wanted to cry! I told my friends and explicitly said, I am giving myself the weekend to wallow in self-pity about this but then I am bouncing back better than before. Mourn, then move on quickly.
They say that the only way to truly learn and master something is to teach it to others. This is so true and with failure, it acts as a cathartic way to get it out and benefit others from taking the same treacherous actions. One of the benefits of failure is the ability to help others. The ability to say “hey, I made this muck up… let me tell you so you don’t have to make the same”.
You had to expect the obligatory “learn from your failure” in a blog post about failure right! It is a cliché but true. Failure is not lost or a terrible experience, so long as you learn from it, but you know that already. Everyone says it. From Henry Ford (the visionary behind Ford motor cars) saying “failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” to “if you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost” quoted by motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, you KNOW that you have to learn from failure in order for it not to be wasted.
The trouble is it can be hard to do. Don’t make ‘learning from failure’ a token effort but really tap into it. Talk it out with your coach or mentor.
Ask yourself the questions like the ones below to help find the learning so you can bounce back quicker (but don’t keep reliving or replaying the situation over and over in your head)…
Remember, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The lessons learned are priceless! A few years ago, my parents and I bought a guesthouse and bar in Cambodia with a friend of my dad’s as a partner in the venture – the expat’s dream of sun, sea and serving drinks to happy holiday makers. For various reasons, it failed! I learnt so much from it!
So don’t be afraid to fail. Know that with these five simple tips, you can bounce back from failure asap.
Finally, remember, the failure in your mind is amplified compared to what others are thinking about you. I was enjoying a date night at the magnificent cirque du soleil, when the juggling act came on. With an incredible amount of batons in his hand (maybe 8 or 9), I was thinking I couldn’t even hold them in two hands, let alone juggle them. He builds up to his finale… and then drops the lot. The crowd in unison goes “awwww”. He tried one final time though… and…. He fails again, in front of thousands. But you know what, he still got a HUGE round of applause. People admired his courage. The audience didn’t mind. So, nor should he. The failure in your mind is more noticeable than what others see.
The next time you stumble on a setback, you can have the confidence that you now have a fool proof way to bounce back from failure asap! We live, we learn, we bounce back!
Habits are what gets you success and my blog 4 Insanely easy ways to create good habits explains four insanely easy ways to start creating good habits.
Work towards you goals in easy bit by bit using the compound-effect of the Law of the Slight Edge. In a nutshell, the Slight Edge is the law that everything adds up bit by bit. The actions we take will move us either towards our goals or away from them. Learn more about the Law of the Slight Edge in my ground-breaking article Using The Slight Edge To Achieve Your Goal.
Remember, it is always good positive habits that are going to get you success and move you towards your goal not willpower or education or anything like that. It simply is just good daily habits. So, there you have it! Four easy ways to start creating good habits!
They're back! This is the perfect mini coaching call for busy people! In your complimentary "Productivity Check Up" I will help you find a solution or a tweak to improve how you use your time!
If you ever feel like you’re lost in your to-do list, you sometimes procrastinate, or there are never enough hours in a day, then this is a MUST for you!
In this short blast of coaching, you'll get some easy-to-implement solutions to improve your time management and productivity instantly!
Book your complimentary check up spot now, as spaces are limited and filling up quickly!
Have You Ever Thought About 1-2-1 Coaching?
What is 2021 going to bring you? Excited but wanting that extra push and support? Or perhaps you’ve no idea what you want, let alone how you are going to get there!
Coaching helps you get from where you are now, to where you want to be – it’ll give you the skills, tools and knowledge to unlock your potential, reframe your thinking and overcome obstacles to help you reach your goals. In particular, I specialise in goal setting, time management and mindset, empowering you to create a life by design. So if you’re ready to start living a life you love, then let’s chat.
I have just THREE spots available for new clients opening up in February 2021!!!
So, whether you are interested to learn more about how I can help you or you are curious about what coaching is, let’s have a virtual coffee and a friendly chat to see if 1-2-1 coaching is for you!
What My 1-2-1 Clients Are Saying
I initially signed up with Alice to help me with my time management and productivity in my business and everyday life. Alice is a fantastic coach. She is very supportive and kind. I love her honest and straightforward approach. Since working with Alice, I have discovered so many new ways of doing things. She has helped me uncover the root of some of my habitual tendencies and transform them. The amount of care and support she offers is priceless. I highly recommend working with her.
Oonagh English - Life Coach and Nutritional Therapist
Let's Work Together
If you are serious about wanting to make life-long changes and positively transform your life, then I would love to hear from you to see how I can support you.
I have helped a range of people on a huge variety of goals – from suffering with confidence loss, to publishing a book, to enabling a change of direction in life, to small business owners struggling with staff – but my main focus is to support the busy professional who is trying to juggle it all.
Success Box is your revolutionary monthly membership book club combining the learning and community you expect from a book club with the empowerment and growth you gain in a group coaching environment. All through the effortlessness of a monthly subscription box. You can find out more about Success Box by clicking HERE.
📚 Take inspired action from reading personal development books (not just reading them for the sake of it)
📚 Accountability with others to prevent procrastination
📚 Be introduced to new personal development books that you may not have chosen
📚 Be confident in their worth as all books are vetted
📚 Empowering and support with a like-minded, driven, inspiring community
Are you ready for a life-changing monthly meeting, support and community that will inspire you, challenge you and grow you, all through reading and sharing ideas?
Have you ever wondered what does it take to successfully work from home? My latest book is a hands-on guide for everyone working at home. It will show you in easy to read tips how to work from home, whilst staying productive, healthy and sane.
In informative, easy to read chapters, you will learn how to set up your own dedicated workspace, select the right office equipment and tips for video calling and conferencing. You will also learn the importance of setting and maintaining boundaries inside the home, managing distractions, avoiding procrastination and learn how to establish a routine that suits your lifestyle.
With many people working from home for the first time, this book is a practical guide to show you how to work from home, whilst staying productive, healthy and sane.
Please share this blog with others if it has resonated with you! I would also love to hear from you!
Like this article? Then why not share it on social media? Also, sign up to stay in touch and to receive useful information and offers to help transform your life. No spamming. No Selling of your data. No bombarding your inbox either. Sign up below! 👇👇👇
This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.
For more information please see www.alicedartnell.com.
Copyright 2020 Alice Dartnell Limited
This blog is published solely for educational and entertainment purposes. The author and publisher are not offering it as legal, accounting, health care or other professional services advice. While best efforts have been used in preparing this blog, the author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind and assume no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be held liable or responsible to any person or entity with respect to any loss or incidental or consequential damages caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained herein. Every person and company are different, and the advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. Alice Dartnell or Alice Dartnell Limited is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in this blog. You should seek the services of a competent professional as appropriate. You are responsible for your own choices, actions, and results. Always consult your own General Practitioner if you're in any way concerned about your health.