I am so excited to have guest bloggers Lily and Rachel from www.thedaisylifeblog.com here to share their thoughts and tips on failing forward. These Toronto based bloggers focus on wellness, self-care, and positivity (so CLEARLY we connected immediately thanks to Instagram). Their blog also includes posts about finance, career, and relationships. Their goal is to make the world a brighter place, one blog post at a time.
You will fail. Read that again because the reality is at some point in life, you will fail. This failure may be because you didn’t put in enough effort or because you gave up too soon or it may even be due to variables that we out of your control. Regardless of the reason why, the result remains the same: you failed.
I know you’re probably thinking right now that this post is sounding a little harsh and not really a typical Daisy Life post. But that’s the problem. You see failure as a bad thing. I never once said failure was bad. Read the first paragraph again. See? All I said is that you failed. We’ve been taught to see failure as a negative thing. Think way back to elementary school spelling quizzes. Failure meant extra practice and no one wants extra spelling homework.
Are all failures good? Probably not. But is anything ever truly totally good or totally bad for you? The point is, we need to change our thinking. Yes, failure sucks in the moment. Yes, you are entitled to your feelings of frustration, anger, and defeat. But you also have the power to fail forward.
To fail forward means to view failure as an opportunity to identify what went wrong and do better next times. To fail forward means you see failure as a stepping stone to future success rather than a permanent road block standing in the way. Here are four simple steps to help you fail forward:
Identify what went wrong
Did you skip all of your workouts this week? Did you have that piece of cake even though you’re trying to limit refined carbs? Did you not get chosen for that promotion at work? Whatever happened, ask yourself why? Again, sometimes the reason may be beyond your control. And sometimes it may seem as if there is no reason at all. If this is the case, revisit the failure a few weeks from now and see if you can figure it out. Failure can be emotionally taxing and sometimes we need time and space away from the event to allow us the necessary distance to critically analyze the failure.
Develop an action plan for the future
Okay, great. You’ve identified what went wrong. Now, how are you going to use this knowledge to identify what went wrong to make sure the same failure does not happen again. Try to use if/then statements to help you see the cause and effect.
Here are some examples of if/then statements from our aforementioned scenarios:
If I am too busy to do my regular workout, then I will do a shorter, modified workout that I will have time for.
If I really want that piece of cake then I will ask someone to split it with me so that I don’t have to eat the whole thing.
If I ask my boss for feedback on my interview then I can use that feedback to identify my areas of growth and prepare myself to interview for the next position.
Be realistic about your goals
Awesome! You’ve developed an action plan! Now you’re ready to failure forward right? Well, almost. Take a second to re-evaluate your goals. Are they realistic or are they too harsh? Yes, it is important to be disciplined, but it is even more important to set attainable goals so that you can actually achieve success. Take a look at the goals we’ve made, they are all achievable and thus we are setting ourselves up for success.
Be thankful for the failure
Look at you! You’ve taken a failure and figured out a way to fail forward. Pretty amazing right? But have you truly failed forward? You will know that you are failing forward when you are actually thankful for the failure you experienced because it is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Remember, failure is inevitable. We all fail at some point so you might as well fail forward!