Written by Karen D. Swim
Are you familiar with the sound effects that accompany total failure? It sounds a little like this...did you hear it? Exactly, it is so silent you can hear dust move across the floor.
Public failure can be especially difficult. There is no covering it up when you blow it while others are watching. Yet, it's not often humiliation that stings the most, it is our own heartbreak when our results don't live up to our expectations. The reel of negative self talk plays in a never ending loop. My MERRY tips have helped me to hit the pause button on the torture tape and move on.
- Mourn the Loss. Yes, it is a loss! To deny what you feel only prolongs it. I give myself a specific time period to mourn the loss. I find that 6 1/2 minutes works magic. I can cry, brood and feel sucky and then it's time to move on.
- Examine your Expectations. Were your expectations realistic? There's a fine balance between aiming high and setting yourself up for utter disappointment. The balance lies in managing your expectations. Aim for the moon, but if you land in the stars, celebrate your accomplishment rather than mourn your failure.
- Re-evaluate your motive. If you launched a product to make a zillion dollars, land on Oprah and party like Diddy with no thought of the end user and their benefit, well your profits may fall short of expectations. Yes you rock, but you must rock with purpose.
- Roll up your sleeves and learn. Failure teaches us tremendous lessons if you're willing to learn them. Perhaps the results fell short of expectations but there is much to be gained from the experience. Be willing to honestly examine your process, preparation and attitude. Take notes and use what you've learned to continue to move forward.
- You're not done yet! So you bombed, it's not the end of the world. I can prove it, you're here reading this post aren't you?
So there you have it my MERRY tips for recovering from failure. How do you move on when something has not gone quite as expected? Share your thoughts in the comments.