Dealing with Work Failures

Building blocks to success

Jul 23, 2019

No one likes to do a bad job or fail at any given task, especially at work. Every successful person has failed at something and in some cases, many things.  Taking risks is part of becoming successful.  Sometimes the risks work out, and sometimes things go wrong.  The important thing is to remain positive and determined throughout the process.  

Take Bill Gates for example.  Bill Gates is one of the most recognizable people in the world, responsible for creating Microsoft. What people may not know, however, is that Bill Gates experienced a crushing failure prior to creating Microsoft. Originally, Gates created a product called Traf-O-Data, which analyzed data from traffic tapes. The product didn't work properly, so Gates decided to try something else.  The Lesson: Even though his first product was not successful, that was no reflection on his potential or his drive to succeed.  

Just as beginning gymnasts start out by learning how to fall without injuring themselves (and they fall A LOT), you need to learn how to face adversity and failure without shaking your confidence. Below are a few examples of how failure can lead to successes through experience.  

  • Failure keeps us focused on our strengths. One of the principal differences between a winner and a loser is that a winner always concentrates on what they CAN do instead of the things they CANNOT. When you find an area of weakness, work on a way to leverage it into a strength and use it to your advantage.
  • Failure teaches us to be flexible, because flexibility is key to success. Always be willing to change your approach to problems and circumstances to see what works best.
  • Failure teaches us how to rethink.  If you think failure happens because you don’t deserve success or that you are a failure, it’s time to rethink. If you internalize failure and blame yourself, you will continue to find ways to fail. If you externalize the problem, it will help you maintain the right perspective.
  • Failure teaches it’s not the end of the world. When leaders fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a life sentence. It’s a chance to project yourself ahead and see yourself having overcome and persevered.
  • Failure can be helpful in learning how to manage expectations. It takes time, effort and discipline to overcome a setback. You learn to approach each day with realistic expectations and not get down when things don’t work out. The greater the accomplishment, the greater the challenge, the more a realistic orientation is required.
  • Failure instructs us to keep trying. Every leader knows that in order to succeed, you have to learn to try and try again. Take a page from highly successful individuals who have failed and learn to keep moving forward no matter what happens. People like Walt Disney, Stephen King, JK Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, and Albert Einstein all had setbacks before they became successful.         

According to Truman Capote, “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”  It’s a necessary experience if you want to be successful, both enlightening and motivating…as long as you view it with the right perspective.  Learn from your mistakes and work harder to achieve your goals.  Both are important ingredients in finding success. 

About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Celebrating 40 years in staffing excellence! Contact us today.   

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