Frustrating, yet Fortunate Failure

fortunate failure

Waaaaa! She was really looking forward to the taste. She was so careful, but she dropped her ice cream cone. The specifics don’t matter. As a manager, you’ve been there. Maybe it was a project you tried, a job you wanted, or an event you planned. You worked. You prepared. Yet, you failed. Try to take a distant vantage point. You might find you’ve experienced a fortunate failure.

We are taught to think that success is good and failure is bad. But sometimes the reverse is true. Do you know someone who is stuck in a job they hate? They felt successful when they first got it, but maybe a fortunate failure would have been better in the long run.

You haven’t really failed until you quit. So, the next time you experience a frustrating failure, try to reframe your view of it. Think of it as a fortunate failure. Take these steps:

  • First, lick your proverbial wounds. Failure hurts – acknowledge it. But set a time limit for this part.
  • Think about the lessons you learned from how you failed – how can you prepare better next time?
  • Consider some of the negative aspects that may have come if you had succeeded.
  • Reexamine what you were trying to do – was it the right time? place? company?
  • Give yourself some positive self-talk! You’re worthy. You’ll learn. You’ll grow. You’ll try again and succeed.
  • What will you think of this failure in 5 years? Will you even remember it?

Maybe she didn’t really want the ice cream’s cholesterol. It might just be a fortunate failure that she dropped it. Sure, a failure is frustrating. But we all have them. Don’t get hung up in the drama. Take a bird’s eye view of the situation. You haven’t peaked yet!

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