(By Kat Boogaard, extracted from Inc.com)
When's the last time you heard a story about someone who achieved amazing success without ever hitting a single bump in the road? Probably never.
Failure is inevitable. And, while it's not necessarily fun, it's something that you can learn a lot from--as long as you're willing to stop wallowing in self pity long enough to actually absorb those lessons.
Failure is a tough pill to swallow. Here's how to make the most of it. These are five things you need to do in order to not only bounce back from failure, but use it to your advantage.
1. Lean on Your Support System
Failure can definitely be a bit of a blow to your ego. And, you're allowed to feel a little deflated by the experience. You're only human, after all.
But, in those moments when you feel yourself spiraling downwards, it's best to rely on your network of supporters. Whether it's your family, close friends, or a mentor, they'll help to shake you out of that self-deprecating state and boost you back up again.
2. Stay Positive
Many of us have the tendency to roll our eyes when hearing this cliché advice. But, this isn't necessarily all about tuning out any negative thoughts--those can be particularly revealing.
Instead, this is about avoiding obsessing over them. Take some time to determine where things went wrong and how you can improve. But then, move on. Continuing to beat yourself up won't do you any favors.
Plus, doing your best to maintain a positive attitude will make the rest of these steps that much easier.
3. Ask For Feedback
When faced with failure, most of us have the immediate inclination to just run the other way--dealing with it head-on can feel a little too mortifying.
But, sucking up your pride and asking for some feedback is crucial for turning those circumstances around and using them to better yourself. So, when a situation warrants it, grab the bull by the horns and find out what you could've done better.
No, it's not always easy. But, it can make all the difference.
4. Avoid Making Excuses
Of course, receiving the feedback is only part of the process. The key is to be willing to learn from it.
It's all too easy to reply to suggestions for improvement with things like, "Well, I did that because..." or, "I responded that way because..." But, it's important that you resist the urge to make excuses and instead accept responsibility.
In the end, it really doesn't matter if you couldn't sleep, your car broke down, or the sun was in your eyes. If you aren't willing to recognize the role you played in your own failure, you'll have a hard time learning from it.
5. View It as an Opportunity
Failure is harsh. So, viewing it as an opportunity can feel a little counterintuitive.
But, that's exactly what it is. Reacting to failure in a positive and professional way is your chance to prove both your flexibility and resiliency. We all fail, and learning to roll with the punches is necessary.
I'll spare you the cliché anecdotes about Abraham Lincoln or the Wright Brothers. But, the important thing to keep your sights on is this: Failure is usually a precursor to success.
There's no denying that failure can be a brutal (albeit, inevitable) pill to swallow. However, as tough as it might seem, it can truly be a valuable learning experience that leads to personal and professional growth.
Use these tips to bounce back from failure, and you're sure to come back even better than before.