Marketing Eye

My biggest failures are my biggest lessons

Failure is inevitable and mostly out of our control. Nobody actually sets out to fail? I certainly don't. But it happens, a little more often than I would like.

I fail at many things: walking my dog each day, keeping all employees engaged 100% of the time, communicating the value proposition of our business when we have severely over serviced, keeping a timesheet, and letting go.

My biggest failure 
Letting go is possibly my biggest failure. I find it hard to do even though my head tells me that it is a sensible pathway.

I regularly read articles on people who provide aphorisms celebrating their failures, and I often feel that mostly it's just a publicity stunt. As a marketer I know that if I write about failure in a blog, it will get 10 times the number of readers, and be shared more than any other blog that I may write. People love that honesty. They say our best lessons are in the failures we have and mostly that is true, but it doesn't feel great to be constantly whipped with the failure stick.

The truth. The superglue.
Truth be told, when I fail at something important to me, it feels like I have been hit over the head with a heavy log and my whole body plummets to the ground. My feet feel like they have somehow been superglued to the ground, unable to move or release that horrid feeling of failing - yet again.

My mood changes. My smile disappears. My vision becomes blurred. I feel beaten down. 

My first thoughts are not of how I can get myself out of the position of "failure" but of how I got there in the first place. I analyze every single aspect of what led me to that position then I go over it over and over again.

At some point, this exhausts me. I come to a point where I realize that there is only so much you can go over and while you may have failed, you certainly can't change the fact that it happened. What you can do is understand it better, learn from it and then recover.

In the learning phase, my thoughts always lead to how I can minimise the impact of the failure. What can I do to lessen the extent of failing? Who does the failure impact and what have I done to help them better understand what has happened and what solutions I plan to put in place to fix the problem. What can I learn from this? How can I improve the way I manage failure?

Failure is bad?
We are programmed at a young age to believe that failure is bad. But it is in failure we understand our true self. The person we are. How we handle failure and learn from it is the essence of what type of person we are and how strong and resilient we are when things don't go our way.

Mostly when people fail, they place blame. If something fails in my business, I never blame another. I blame myself. But even in this thought process, it doesn't make sense. Failure is something that we should never blame someone for, even ourselves. It is inevitable that we will all fail over and over again. Instead of seeing a negative, see a positive. Embrace it. Not in the way you say it's ok to make the same mistakes over and over again, but more in a way that says that this happened, I've learned a few lessons, and next time I am going to handle it better.

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