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Tuesday, 10 September 2019 00:49

The Power of Owing Your Failures Featured

UpCloseTeam logoLife can leave us with the impression that responsibility is a thing given to us. Nothing could be further from the truth

Owning Your Life

Life can leave us with the impression that responsibility is a thing given to us. Nothing could be further from the truth. Real responsibility is a thing we take. You might be given a promotion or an exciting new job in a growth industry, but those are only opportunities. Success is something different and the cost of success is responsibility.

Taking responsibility includes the good moments and the ones that are more challenging. It means owning your life, your actions, your mistakes and your growth. The only real power any of us has is the power to be responsible for ourselves.

Ask How, Not Why

When something difficult happens, it's tempting to complain about unfairness. You've probably noticed that complaining tends to be all talk and little action. Complaining is disempowering. Taking responsibility puts you in charge.

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This is a matter of attitude and focus. Rather than asking why things happen, we get more leverage out of asking how. This is especially true in moments of failure. When we make a mistake, we can choose to take responsibility or we can make excuses. While excuses may avoid discomfort, we only learn when we take responsibility.

Learning Through Failure

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard. Before starting Microsoft, he co-owned a business called Traf-O-Data, which failed. Rather than giving up, he learned from the mistake and tried again.

James Dyson, inventor and entrepreneur, went through 5,126 failed protypes before he succeeded at developing the world's first bagless vacuum cleaner. Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post empire, overcame initial negative reviews and resistance to create one of the most successful outlets on the web.

Thomas Watson of IBM once said, "The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate."

5 Steps for Learning from Failure

Moments of failure happen to us all. Here are five steps to help you learn from yours:

  1. Turn fear into motivation. Whenever we stretch into a new area, we are bound to feel some discomfort. Success does not happen without risks. Instead of being afraid, try taking that energy and turning it into motivation.
  2. See failure as food for growth. It's only natural to feel disappointed when things don't turn out the way you hoped. But if you can remember that failing leads to growth, you can draw encouragement from all of your experiences.
  3. Think about how it happened. John Maxwell says, "Failure isn't the best teacher. Neither is experience. Only evaluated experience teaches us." It's not the emotional experience of failing that matters. It's understanding how the failure happened. Take a look at your planning and execution. Get input from colleagues. This is the most labour-intensive part of the learning.
  4. Envision a different result. After experiencing a failure, it helps to think about how the idea might have succeeded. Walk through the process and the likely outcomes. Challenge yourself to purposely avoid things that went wrong previously.
  5. Get back in the game. The biggest thing to remember about moments of failure is that they are only moments. Try again and take courage in your dedication.
Call to Action

Think back to the last six months or the previous year. Did you experience a moment of failure? Were you able to learn from the experience?

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default." - J. K. Rowling

The best is yet to come. It starts with you.

Your friends,
UpCloseTeam

Last modified on Saturday, 14 September 2019 01:46

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