The gift of failure

Gift of failure banner

The road to success is rough, dimly lit and has more bends than a plate of spaghetti! Therefore, it is wise to expect failures along your journey.

Guy Shackleton of Positive Development writes:

Failures can crush our spirit and smother resourceful thinking, so how can we handle them? 

Well, successful achievers feel disappointment, frustration and discouragement like everyone else. What sets them apart is how they respond to failures. They treat them as learning opportunities rather than a confirmation of their incompetence. Yet, learning from failures takes conscious effort because of the following 2 reasons:

1. People are problem orientated

  • If something goes wrong, our natural response is to work around it quicklyand move on. This means we rarely step back, reflect and resolve the root cause.

2. People are defensive

  • If we don’t achieve the results we want, we use defensive reasoning: We tried, it failed, and we don’t want it to be our fault! We blame external events and focus on reasons why it wasn’t our fault. 

A more constructive approach is to explore the choices we made to arrive at the unwanted outcome. This will reveal the information needed to refine your approach moving forwards. One of my favourite presuppositions of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is...

“There is no failure, only feedback”.

“Failure” is often perceived as a real thing that exists in the world. Yet, “Failure” is merely a label we attach to an unwanted outcome. Choose to view failure as a gift and you will receive the information you need to achieve better results in future!


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We cultivate happy and motivated people by providing insights and development pathways that deliver positive outcomes. We use Motivational Maps®, a unique diagnostic tool, and NLP best practice for insight and strategies to improve wellbeing at work, productivity and personal fulfilment.

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