Sometimes you try to achieve things with all that you’ve got, and then you fail. Some say failure is good, that it teaches you what not to do, etc., etc.
I agree, failing is part of the process of learning how to win. But I never like failing, particularly when I feel like it happened on my watch because of choices I made.
I can feel the acid burning my gut. I always hate failure.
Last week I experienced such a failure. It wasn’t on a public project, so let’s not read too much into things. Nevertheless, I failed. What made it worse was that I felt really good about the situation, rehearsed and worked hard, and put in extra time to get ready.
When it was show time, the effort flew like a lead zeppelin.
It was so obvious that I was dead in the water from the get-go, and I had to finish the job. If the situation was a baseball game, the opposition had a 10-run first inning. No escape for three hours. Done and done. Good night.
At least I am laughing about it a week later.
Nevertheless, it bugged me. Looking back there were mistakes like a critical flaw in evaluating my audience. A big disconnect occurred. Plus, I was exhausted and that didn’t help anything.
So, I did what I always do when I fail. I got back up the next day, and started working on the next big thing, which is planning the 2014 edition of xPotomac (Patrick Ashamalla and Shonali Burke are joining me again as co-hosts this year).
Because that’s what I do. I get back up.
It’s important to take away what I can from the mistakes, adapt so next time there is different outcome, and work towards the next success. Maybe I’ll experience a win, maybe a different failure, but always move a step closer to the solution.
I also took the necessary time to rest. Self-care remains one of the best ways to overcome failure. There is always more work, and sometimes I just have to put it on the backburner. If I treat myself like crap, I will surely feel and perform like crap, too.
But no matter what, failures still burn, some more than others. That’s what makes winning all the more worthwhile. Call it fuel.
How do you handle failures?