If failure does not lead to a new product, process, or discovery, it should lead to some type of learning. Leaders with developed character regarding failure have the poise to accept it without condemning themselves. Like a good football coach looking at the game films after the big loss, leaders review their failure with acceptance, but ask themselves and others, “What could we have done better? What was wrong in our analysis or system or process? What can we do to change?”
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
~ Denis Waitley
Here’s the deal about winning and losing. The difference between winners and losers is that winners lose well (and learn from it), and losers lose poorly (don’t learn from it, and stay stuck in self-pity). As a result, winners lose less in the future and do not lose the same way they lost last time, because they have learned from the loss and did not repeat the pattern.
Losers are more inclined to carry that losing pattern into the next endeavor, job, or relationship, and repeat the same way of losing.
When you lose, because you will at some point (if you haven’t already)…sit with it, understand it, process it, and LEARN from it before going on. That takes strength and depth of character.
That can be you. That is you. Will you see yourself clearly? Will you admit your flaws honestly? Will you leverage your strengths joyfully and passionately? Will you have the strength of character to get back up and learn from it?
Mistakes happen. Defeats occur. Failure is inevitable. None of these are dirty words. Rather, they can be signs you’re doing something tough, exciting, and out of the ordinary.
Choose to learn from the failure, and get back up.