When was the last time you messed up? Fell flat on your face. Didn’t get what you wanted. Just plain lost.
Keep thinking about the thing—how you felt, what you thought about yourself, how long you dwelled…
Now, when was the last time you were happy something didn’t work out?
Think: didn’t land a job, but then a better one came along; lost a deal, but then discovered a more lucrative one; missed an opportunity, only to learn the perfect one was still out there.
What if we kept that sentiment at the forefront every time we failed?
Our culture is weird about failure. We have a love/hate relationship with it. We love a Cinderella story. We edify successful figures of all shapes and sizes. We attach shame to failure. We don’t talk about it as part of the natural cycle of winning and losing and living. We either conveniently leave out people’s failures or make their failure the whole story.
I would argue that most people’s successes are made up of many small disappointments, missteps, winding roads, and less than glamorous failures. So, what if we made it more a part of the conversation to talk about what didn’t go right when we share what did?
What if we emphasize our stories to include what comes after failure?
Which failures are you most grateful for in your career and life? Does it help you to think of those when you consider changing your response to failure? How can you make what came next a part of your story?