No one likes to fail—especially when it means negatively affecting your colleagues, professional reputation, or potential for career advancement. That being said, the same struggles that can fill us with anxiety and self-doubt can also be the ones that push us to do better in the future. The trick is to see failure as an opportunity for something greater. Consider the following to help change your perception of failure in the workplace. 

You Have to Take Chances—Even if it Means Failing

You’ve probably heard the saying, “The road to success is paved with failure.” All of the people that we look up to and revere in the business world are those who have taken chances and put their neck on the line, which, by nature, makes them vulnerable to failure. 

But the idea of failure can be paralyzing in and of itself. Many people would prefer to avoid the potential of defeat altogether. However, those who play it safe will never get to experience some of the best things in life—professionally and personally. The bottom line is that you’ll never know unless you try. 

You Will Gain Invaluable Experience 

By putting yourself in an unknown situation, you will not only learn more about the particular circumstances and necessary skills that come into play, but you will also learn a lot about yourself in the process. This will give you an advantage in the future when you find yourself in a similar situation, helping you make better choices than you would have otherwise. 

The important thing here is to make sure that you are continually asking for feedback after experiencing setback or failure. Talk to managers or colleagues whose opinions you respect to dissect the ins and outs of the particular situation that went awry. Where did you go wrong? When should you have acted differently? What can you learn from this experience? 

Do What Is Right for Yourself

There is another perspective to consider: whether you have been true to yourself and your moral compass. If doing so resulted in failure, this may be a sign that you are not on the right path. For many, professional failure can be the start of something new and better. Remember that there is always another opportunity, even if it isn’t something you had previously had your sights set on. 

In midst of a failure, take some time to really self reflect. Is this what you actually want to be doing, or is there another area that you might be better off putting your time and energy toward. To cite another popular adage, “When one door closes, another opens.” 

In Spite of Failure, Keep Moving Forward 

When experiencing a professional failure, it can seem as though all is lost. But life will go on. Just be sure that you are continuing to take chances, learning from every experience, and are staying true to yourself. By doing so, failure will take on a whole new meaning in all aspects of your life. 


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