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Learning From Failure--What To Do When You Blow It! By Roy DeBrule

Becoming successful is not easy. We all get tossed around somewhat in our attempts to win or succeed. Learning opportunities are usually created by the “I-Blew-Its”.

The biggest challenge you face in overcoming the “I-Blew-Its” is whether or not to curl back up into a ball or seize the day and learn from your mistakes and failures. The choice is yours.

Turn Failure Into Learning Opportunities

Here are a few tips if you choose to use your “I-Blew-Its” as opportunities for personal growth:

  1. Assess The Situation. Identify why you are uncomfortable – Were you unprepared? Did you misread what the client wanted? Did you not perform up to your usual standards?
  2. Admit Your Mistake. Confess to yourself that it could have been worse. Try to be objective and look at all sides of the issue. If you take a big picture perspective, then it will not seem as bad as you think.
  3. Don’t Panic – Move On. If you’ve made an honest error or mistake, then apologize and make reparation where appropriate. The worst thing you can do is to obsess about it.
  4. Do Something That You Love. Now is a good time to enjoy your favorite hobby. Go to the movies or call your best friend.
  5. Analyze Your Successes. Identify commonalities from your successes and why this time things didn’t work. The important thing is to focus on the positives.
  6. Find A Mentor Or Coach. We who are self-employed often work alone without outside input. As a result, we can become isolated or too introspective. A mentor or coach can provide objective and honest feed back.
  7. Celebrate each accomplishment. For starters, at the end of a successful week simply treat yourself by doing something you enjoy.

The Alternative

If you choose instead to nurse a sense of failure by curling up into a fetal position while lamenting your sad state, make sure you are well-stocked with tissues, a warm blanket, and your favorite drink. Enjoy your private pity party. No one else will come (even if you invite them).

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