Top-Shelf Tip No. 103:

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."

Winston Churchill

Five Ways To Approach Your Next Failure

Failure isn't fun, and for most people, it isn't something they broadcast to others. When was the last time you jumped at the chance to tell a group of friends or colleagues about a major fumble? Most people prefer to hide their failures, even though they value the importance of grit and a growth mindset.

Author, performance strategist and TEDx speaker, Laura Garnett, says that failures are a critical part of a successful career and how you handle them is a big indication of your true potential. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we examine Garnett's five suggestions for navigating failures and making the most of them.

1. Focus on what you can learn from the failure. When you goof up or drop the ball, you learn so much about yourself, your impact in the world and how you may not be in alignment with who you are. Getting fired for example may be painful, but it means you were not in a job that was right for you. Getting fired gives you another opportunity to fix that situation. Review all the possible lessons you can gain and see how they can help you think more strategically about your next step.

2. Use failure as a grit-building opportunity. Being gritty means that you don't give up no matter what. If you feel like giving up on something but stick with it, you're building perseverance, which is an essential part of being successful.

3. View your failure from a growth mindset. Garnett seconds what motivation researcher Carol Dweck says, "In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment." If you see your failure as a reminder that with hard work and dedication you can do better, you are operating in a growth mindset.

4. Celebrate failure as a sign that you're pushing your comfort zone. If you're staying put and not taking any risks, you're stagnating. It's important to accept failure as a necessary part of growth. Garnett encourages professionals and leaders to remember that failures are a sign that you're not settling and that you're confidently pursing things that are on the edge of your comfort zone. It's only by pushing through boredom that you can get to greatness. Failures can be a wonderful reminder that you're not settling and that you're working hard, striving for greater things.

5. Review how this failure is a stepping stone to something greater. While you may be disappointed in the moment, remember that failures often provide a stepping stone to something around the corner that you weren't expecting. For that reason, once you commit to learning from them, you can also be curious about what is next.

Failure is a part of life. How you respond to it makes the difference. The next time something doesn't work out the way you planned, refer to these tips to help you learn from the experience.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Laura Garnett is a performance strategist, TEDx speaker and author of the upcoming book, The Genius Habit. She works with CEOs and executives to identify their unique genius and purpose, and craft an actionable plan to leverage them in their day-to-day work. She has consulted with organizations including OpenTable, Google, LinkedIn and Pandora.

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