Failing is part of ‘the process’ and it WILL change.
If failure is permanent you might as well close the book, whichever chapter you’ve reached and skip to ‘The End’.
Now, if you’re a cinephile (lover of the cinema) you’ll know that is an unsatisfactory ending. Box set watchers will be frustrated by a story that gives up and calls time before its time.
Having a ‘fail perspective’ rather than a ‘failure perspective’, means that you can always envisage a sequel or second season to look forward to.
Failing is part of the human journey. It doesn’t make you weird, rubbish or a terrible human. Through failing you will in fact gain knowledge and insight that, with focussed effort, can be used to fuel your next move.
Seeing oneself as a failure, on the other hand, is a dead end, causing us to become the victim and ready to give up. We then start to look for excuses rather than address the reasons for why we failed. Becoming defined by failure maligns our future.
Failing is not the end! You decide which chapter your story is at! You write the narrative. Other people need you to keep going. There are even people that you haven’t met yet who need what you have to give.
The obstacles that hinder you will teach you to climb, the disappointment and disadvantages will teach you to become resourceful. The voices that scream “Give in!” will be exposed as lies from your past. As you learn not to get distracted you’ll prioritise your pressing goals and you’ll fight back. Your future comes after this comma, it’s not a full stop! Even when it appears to be over, failing isn’t the reason to give up, it is the reason to keep going.
Don’t quit because it’s hard. Entrepreneurship is hard. Ask yourself some hard questions. What do I lose if I quit out on purpose? Just because you might have been driving the wrong vehicle doesn’t mean that you need to stop driving all together.
Too many people quit on their purpose when it starts to cost them something, when it hurts and things don’t go well. Rather make the adjustments that failing communicates to us that we need to make. Anything built well has hundreds of hours worth of fails! A designed logo has about 50-60 terrible executions. We have to get used to the iterative life. Small changes based on fails, and that might be regular and often.
Stop asking for permission to fail. Take some risks. The greatest voice we need to hear encouraging us is our own. We’ll be too hard on ourselves and make excuses for others when in actual fact they might need to step up as well.
As a Liverpool fan I saw my team destroy Manchester United 7-0 this week ( I had to mention this somehow). Throughout this season Klopp, the Liverpool manager, knew that the players had it in them to raise their game but had to endure failure after failure as the ageing team went through transition. Finally, we were shown that the new players and system were starting to bring rewards. The process has been hard (and Ten Hag the Manchester United manager is going through his own journey), but in an unforgiving sport the brave stick with the process.
After one defeat by a team that LFC should have beaten, at the post press conference Klopp was asked whether he could fix it? Taking a sip of water and standing up, he emphatically said yes. Failing yes, but failure? Not a chance.
The principles remain but the players may change.
When you look to overcome failure sometimes the players that got you to a point of success might need repositioning or freshening up. To remain the same would mean continued failure. When you change things up you create momentum in the midst of pain.
As a leader, entrepreneur or business owner, you have to make brave moves. It gets lonely and you’ll need the right people around you to help you make those big moves.
Great leaders are not made during easy times. It’s in the midst of pressure and adversity that true giants are formed.
As we all emerge from the silence of lockdown and into the fallout from Covid, inflation and a fearful economy, failure is common. Yet today as you read this, know that failure needn’t be fatal and failing can propel you forward, if you choose to learn from its lessons.
Three core things to take…
YOU might fail but YOU are not a failure.
Too often we judge our worth as a human against what we do as a person. We make mistakes, yet, to judge ourselves by our mistakes as a sense of value is a BIG miss.
You are a human who has missed it. No matter what you do, occasionally you will have a bad day at the office, or life will turn up unexpectedly and knock you.
Staying there beating ourselves up holds us and robs us. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to forgive ourselves and move on.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are a walking miracle (400million to 1 chance of being alive). Keep growing.
Failing forward give us stories to inspire.
When you overcome a failure you have a story to tell. We recommend that you do just that. Over the years I’ve missed meetings (one guy told me in less than a few words that I was the worst for doing so), crashed cars, made bad tackles, said the wrong thing, dated the wrong person and been the wrong date. The point is, in work and in life I’ve not been perfect BUT I’ve progressed.
Today, I rarely miss a meeting, I watch rather than play football, listen more than I speak and I’ve been married for 22 years! We win and learn, rather than win and lose.
Failing is part of the learning journey.
Maturity is about being more consistent. That is it. Being humble enough to learn and try new things means it won’t always be perfect.
Learning to rely on others rather than doing it all yourself is another strength that we need to hone. If we fail regularly in an area, it reveals that, while our purpose may remain, we need support from someone with strength in that particular area.
You can build your own website and run your own marketing campaign, but the results will never be as good as if you get support from the experts.
So when you fail in an area that causes you a constant struggle then be brave to make the call and make the call!
Failing shouldn’t be fatal. We can approach our fails as challenges to change rather than calling ourselves out as failures! Then we’ll already be halfway to turning our mess into a message!
If you have grown frustrated, doing marketing by yourself or trying to organise it all ‘in house’ we can help you to build strong by telling real stories that stick.