How to Deal with Failure

By: Julie East, Corp. Marketing & Recruiting

Jul 12, 2022

No one likes to do a bad job or fail at a task, especially at work. When we do, it can be a bitter pill to swallow. But failure, as much as it hurts, is also a necessary part of life. It’s often the very pathway we need to reach our goals.

Taking risks is part of becoming successful.  In fact, the most successful and famous people in the world have taken huge risks and as a result, often endured enormous failures. What sets them apart is that no matter how many times they failed, they refused to call it quits.  Instead, they remained positive and determined, got back up, and kept right on going.  That’s what it takes to succeed.  A perfect example of this is Author J.K. Rowling. 

J.K. Rowling is arguably one of the most famous and renowned authors of our time, having created the beloved Harry Potter series of books.  The books led to countless movies, merchandise, clothing line, and even a highly successful theme park. Most people know the story of how she came up with the concept of the book on a four-hour train ride, but what people may not know is that J.K. Rowling experienced several crushing failures prior to the first book being published.

After a strenuous and abusive relationship with her then husband resulted in divorce, J.K. Rowling was forced to move to Edinburgh with her sister. She was diagnosed with clinical depression and was suicidal. Five years after her original concept on the train, Rowling finished the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She located an agent, but after one year of trying to get it published, 12 major publishing houses rejected her book. A small literary house in London named Bloomsbury picked it up. Seven years after the initial idea for the young wizard, the first Harry Potter book was published. By 2004, according to Forbes, Rowling had become the first author to become a billionaire through book writing.

The Lesson: Failure will make you better – stronger – if you simply do not quit. Even though she struggled with personal hardships and was turned down by multiple publishers, this did not dissuade J.K. Rowling from her goal of getting her vision published.


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 to see that you have 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 trailblazer 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 Henry Ford, Michael Jordan, J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, and Albert Einstein all had setbacks before they became successful.


According to Henry Ford, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”  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. Never give up on your hopes and your dreams. Never allow someone else to tell you that you’re not good enough, smart enough or talented enough to achieve greatness in whatever capacity you’re seeking. You can do anything you put your mind to.


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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