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The Art of Turning Failure Into Success

On07/ 11 /18
“Behind each success story is usually a lesson on how to overcome failure”

There’s hardly a successful person in history that hasn’t seen failure in life. And while losing can be tough, failures are inevitable in any career, but - if handled right – they can actually help you out in the long run. 

Yes, it’s OK to fail. And the sooner we stop shaming our failures, the easier it will be to turn them to our advantage. Here is everything you should know about overcoming failure.

Stay cold-blooded 

Disappointment, regret, anger… While failing can bring some negative emotions, it’s essential to leave your frustrations behind and build some distance to get a fresh point of view. Remember that failure is never final, and there might be a solution to improve your situation – but you need to have a clear head to find it. 

If you need to relieve stress and tame your temper, take a timeout. Get some exercise – it pumps up your endorphins, which improves your sleep cycle, which is proven to reduce stress. If you seek an instant relief, try expressive writing – some people tend to write an angry letter expressing what they want to say, before they later burn it (or send an email to YOURSELF), which is an effective way of letting go of stress and negative emotions straight away. 

Done? Now, breathe, and go back to your desk. 

Own the mistake

The best way of avoiding repeated mistakes in the future is to make sure that you learn from them. You can’t just ignore your mistake and move on – instead, own the error and take steps towards resolving it. By owning your mistake, you send a clear message of being a mature professional who is willing to step out their comfort zone to face the consequences. So admit the failure, decide who to loop in and give the right people a subtle heads-up – this will definitely help your professional image and accelerate the implementation of back-up strategies to ensure it doesn’t happen again.


Making a list of things that went wrong and caused the failure in the first place is vital in order to understand the core of the problem. Remember to never walk past a mistake - instead stop and analyse it. Ask why it happened - try not to blame anyone and don’t be too hard on yourself either. Can you see the root of your failure? Are there any positives to take from it? Don’t be afraid to enter your discomfort zone and ask an expert, such as your boss, for their feedback on what went wrong. This can be invaluable for your professional growth and self-improvement. 


If you were to face the same problematic situation ever again, is there anything you would do differently? Again, revisit your mistake, think about what caused the failure and plan how you can improve for the future. Perhaps having a mentor would help? Or maybe you can recognise a lack of particular skills that can be improved by undertaking extra training? Whatever the plan is, don’t keep it to yourself and share it with people who might be able to help and support you to achieve it. 

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