Standing up after you fail.

IMG_0572All of the self-help guru’s talk about how getting up from failures is what makes a person successful.  It sounds a lot sexier than it is.  I offer practical steps to help you “stand up” again, in the midst of failure.

So, it is brought to your attention that you failed at something.  Ok, now what?

1. The first thing we may do is defend our position, especially if we’ve previously had some level of success.  A lot of us first try to think about how we personally didn’t fail or how we aren’t totally to blame.  We know that inherently we are good and working toward a greater good.

This doesn’t mean anything.  Honestly if you’re wrong, you’re just wrong.  The quicker you get over yourself, your anger and your ego, the quicker you can work to resolve the issue.  Good people mess up too.

2. We may try to find fault somewhere else.  The system or other people involved become targets for us.  We begin to lash out, telling others that it’s not us who need the fixing, but other factors external to us.

Again, this doesn’t mean anything if you are being held accountable for your actions.  Crying that the system is rigged is not how to approach the issue.  Working in the system and changing it from within, is a much better tact.

3. Maybe the mistake isn’t obvious to us.   We may be the last ones to know.  Sometimes, even if we truly feel we are right, the perception of others reigns.  In those cases, can we honestly say “everybody else is wrong and I’m right”?

If there is a group perception that you did something wrong, you need to take a hard look at it.  Sometimes, we’re going to be wrong and it’s better to learn from our mistakes, rather than waste energy trying to prove we are “right”.  It won’t be taken well by the group.  Humble yourself.

4. At some point we gain acceptance that we’ve made a mistake.  You will go home, soul search and realize that, yup, I’m wrong.  Now the real work can begin.

Now you begin to get your footing.  You start the process of standing up.  Truly standing up includes getting to the root of the issue and understanding what’s fueling it.  Where did you go wrong and how can you fix it?  Most importantly, you don’t repeat the same mistake.

Final Thought – If you blame others for your problems, you give away the ability to fix the issue.  You are inherently saying “I can’t fix the issue, because the issue lies with someone else”.  You will own the solution, only by accepting responsibility and allowing others to hold you accountable.