Whether you’re an entrepreneur or simply living your best life, you will inevitably have to deal with failure. Not everything can go your way all of the time.
That’s okay. Because it’s not the successes that make you who you are, but the failures. Failures are the things that stretch your boundaries so that you can achieve greatness.
Don’t Fear Failure
If you don’t believe me, check out this study from Bloomberg Business. It found that failed business owners were more likely to succeed the second time around.
“Of the first-time entrepreneurs whose businesses closed quickly, the overwhelming majority—71 percent—didn’t bother to try again. But the tenacious 29 percent who did were more likely to be successful the second, third, and even tenth time around,” writes Bloomberg Business.
It’s human nature to want to give up after you fail, but the great entrepreneurs push back. They see failure as a challenge. They faced their fears and pushed on through them.
To take that next step as an entrepreneur, you need to face your failure and push through it.
How to Overcome a Fear of Failure
Sometimes overcoming your fear of failure is easier said than done.
That’s okay too.
But you have to take that first step. If you’re unsure how, check out this previous post, where we outline three simple yet effective ways to deal with your fear of failure, including accepting that the fear is real.
What to Do After You Fail
Once you overcome that fear, you may find your way to success. But you may also fail just like you feared you would.
What you need to understand is that failure isn’t always a bad thing. Failure can be a good thing if you take the proper steps after you fail.
Be Nice to Yourself
First and foremost, be nice to yourself. Leadership blogger Frank Sonnenberg points out one of the most important things you should do if you fail is be nice to yourself.
“Don’t tear yourself down for failing. You don’t speak to others that way, so give yourself a break,” writes Sonnenberg.
If you continually beat yourself up for failing, you’re going to continue to fear failure. What’s more, you’re likely to undermine your confidence.
Failing is okay. Everyone does it.
Do Not Spread the Blame
It is easy to look at a failure and determine that you would have succeeded if someone else had done what they were supposed to do. Do not allow yourself to do this.
“Through this lens, you jump quickly to identify and blame the role that others played in the situation without reflecting on your own contributions. This is typically a way to deflect personal ownership, vulnerability, and the recognition of needed improvement or learning,” writes Skybound Coaching and Training.
Blaming someone else will not turn your failure into a success. The only success that can come out of failure is through the process of learning.
Learn From Failure
This leads to the next point, learn from your failure. While you shouldn’t beat yourself up over a failure, you also shouldn’t ignore the fact that the failure happened.
Take a minute to lick your wounds and then evaluate what happened. What went wrong? What could you have done differently? Is there something that you didn’t take into account? What did you do well?
Conduct a study of your failure and take the good with the bad. File the good away in your mind, so you know what works. Look at the bad and try and figure out what you could have done to make it good.
Think of your failure as a case study that you can learn from.
Keep the Proper Perspective
“Mentally strong people don’t run around predicting the sky is falling just because things don’t go as planned,” writes The Muse. “Instead, they keep setbacks in proper perspective. They intentionally regulate their thoughts and manage their emotions so they can continue to behave productively, despite whatever hardships they face.”
Failing isn’t the end of the world, and the sooner you realize that the better off you’re going to be as a person and as a business owner.
They say that nothing ventured is nothing gained. This is especially true in the world of business.
If a business stays with the status quo and never ventures outside of its comfort zone, it will eventually be surpassed by other companies willing to test the boundaries.
As an entrepreneur, if you never face your fear of failure or dust yourself off after you fail, you will never succeed.
Ask yourself this: would you rather fail because you took a chance or never evolve because you were too scared to try?
Written by Erika Towne