What goes up must come down, right? We just don’t want to be the ones “it” comes down on.
But as much as we try to avoid it, failure happens.
That massive campaign wasn’t executed properly. Or maybe you bombed your presentation. Perhaps you’re the one who dropped the ball and missed deadline on that team project.
Whatever the circumstance is—big or small—failure is going to happen. So instead of living as a paranoid perfectionist trying to escape the inevitable, prepare yourself with the four things to do when that time comes.
- Accept it.
This isn’t the time to make excuses and point fingers. You messed up. Own it. If apologies are in order, give one (or two… or three). The sooner you take responsibility for your shortcomings, the sooner you’ll be on your way to making this mistake a thing of the past.
- Learn from it.
After you realize that you failed, analyze how so that you don’t do it again. Should you have set a reminder on your calendar? Maybe you realized a weakness in your teammate and won’t assign them to certain tasks anymore. Either way, mistakes will happen. But as the saying goes, “You can’t make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it’s a choice.” Equip yourself with the information to not become a repeat offender.
- Move on.
Don’t be a prisoner to your mistake for too long. That will just foster unnecessary guilt and pressure inside of you. You may have had to ask for forgiveness in the “accept it” stage, but you really need to forgive yourself also. Let it go, and don’t be so hard on yourself. Life is a learning experience, so add this one to your “experience bank” and keep on striving for greatness.
- Share it.
This is the step that separates leaders from mere managers. Now that you’ve been through a failure, pass on the knowledge to someone else that needs it to prevent that person from making the same wrong move. As a leader, it shows that you’re open about your experiences and you care about the well-being of others. Only an immature person in a position of power would sit back and internally snicker in hopes that someone else will make the same mistake.
“The only failures are those who fail to try.” – Lester Pearson
Failing doesn’t make you a failure. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes—just know how to deal with them appropriately when they happen.