How to Learn From What Didn’t Work

How to Learn From What Didn’t Work

1184809_six_booksThe expectation of a positive, predictable outcome is found at the beginning of a new project or business, or when setting goals. However, there is always the risk of failure. This risk is calculated, analyzed, viewed at several angles, and then a plan is set in place to protect failure from happening, but suddenly things do did not go as planned; leaving a lull in motivation and a void that is ready to be filled.

A failure in the plan can be one of the most important steps to success. There is a skill in turning the knowledge of failure into a lesson and start moving again. Here are some key considerations when facing a setback recovery period.

Make a habit of dusting yourself off and moving forward after a setback. Never hesitate because of what someone else might think. Gather your confidence and know that you can emerge from the setback. The biggest hurdle can often be our own hesitance.

Failure has a way of stripping away the inessential. Consider what is most important, and let all else fall aside. At the onset of a great plan, there is an enormous amount of information to be considered. When the plan does not work out, the inconsequential is self-sifting. The things that are most important have a way of rising to the surface and can lead to a renewed focus.

Knowledge is gained from experience. Some lessons can be learned from mistakes made by others. Other times, experience and knowledge can only come after you have put your plan in to action. In either form knowledge is instrumental to the next phase of your progression.

Embrace the experience. Move quickly through the phases of regret: denial, bewilderment, and punishment. Smile through it and use humor for coping. Broaden your view to and see what happened at all angles.

Wherever you’ve landed can be an excellent platform to build upon. Keep exploring. A setback does not show that something was done poorly, but that it can be done better.

Things can only go wrong, but we must do something to get anything done. So we can deduce that unpleasant results are probable, and setbacks and failures can be some of the most powerful learning tools. The trick, however, is embracing those lessons, and turning them around to contribute to the betterment.

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