Reframing failure: making failure work for you

Failure - getting things wrong, botching the job, messing up, bungling it… There is literally nothing worse. Right?

Well, maybe not… Your failures could be seen as embarrassing evidence of your inability to do things right, but if you change the way you think about failure – if you reframe failure – you might just be onto a winner.

Failure can be a tool (even if it’s not always a pleasant one!) that helps you better understand a situation, and allows you to learn so you can make more informed decisions in the future.

Watch and listen as our entrepreneurs explain how they reframe failure into something positive.

Let’s recap:

  • Fear of failure can be motivating. It can motivate you to work extra-hard, to think super-creatively and to triumph over adversity to achieve success. As Sian Gabbidon says, “It’s one of my biggest fears yet it’s one of my biggest drivers, too.”
  • Failure is feedback. Every time to you fail, you learn something, and this means that you will be able to make better decisions in the future. Jack Parsons believes that failure is a good thing – “Just don’t make the same mistakes twice!”
  • Your failure helps others. Failure can be feedback for loads of people… you can help others to avoid specific mistakes while highlighting that they should expect failures to occur occasionally - and should welcome the feedback that brings. Sheree Atcheson asks, “When things go wrong, can you talk about those, can you share those as a learning point? Can you be open that it’s not all roses?”
  • Don’t let the thought of failure paralyse you. We all know that failure can burn, and that it can sometimes take a while to get over the slight. But, as Casper Lee explains, “You’ll miss 100% of the choices you don’t take – so just take every shot and don’t worry about the failures!”

So, try not to fear failure. Embrace it when it happens and decide what went wrong, and what you’d do differently next time. As Jackie Fast says:

Business is a learning experience, and it’s not about being perfect. As long as you’re able to grow, change and move forward, that’s what makes a good entrepreneur.

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