I’ve Failed & I Admit It!

February 6, 2014

I read many books, articles and tweets that tell me that “I should never fail”, instead I should see my ‘situations’ as way’s I’ve found that don’t work!

Now I am truly a positive person, my glass is always half full and I always see the good in other people and in most situations. In direct contradiction to the Positive Mental Attitude guru’s out there however, I think it is absolutely fine to fail and admit defeat from time to time.

Everyone is different and my experience of what works for me may or may not work for you. What I do know (and I’ve mentioned this in blogs before) is when someone is really ‘down’ they will not listen or respond if you try to be overly happy in an attempt to ‘jolly them up’. They will just fight against your positivity and ask to be left to wallow in peace. If I am the person that is down, then I want someone to wallow with me for a while!

In my early 30’s I built a business from nothing to great in a year and then grew that business year on year for 6 years. At that point I had a brainwave and diversified into a new area. This new area had the potential to be massive but was also a risk as I had to invest most of the capital I had built up over the years. The venture failed and I lost ALL my capital investment.

At times of crises such as these it is all very well for books to give us nuggets of wisdom such as “Everything happens for a reason” and “We will be better for it”, as well as my own most hated cliché in this area “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Have you noticed that when you have said these things to people at times of crisis in their lives (redundancy, divorce, business failure, serious illness), they usually tell you to go away, only not so nicely?

For me, a major issue has to be treated as a full grieving process, you have to go through the sadness and despair, then move into reflection of the past, be realistic about the present and then build and plan for the future with renewed hope. A true friend will support and you through this process rather than try and rush you to be happy again.

I have designed my own process for dealing with failure/major crises which I call The 6 Rs for reasons that will become obvious:

  • Retreat (give yourself time to grieve)
  • Reflect (think about what has happened and learn from both the good and bad decisions you made in the process)
  • Regroup (gather your thoughts)
  • Reenergise (bring your physical and mental strength back to full health)
  • Redesign (plan your way ahead, your future, define new goals)
  • Rebuild (the stages above allow you to build stronger and firmer foundations, from which you can ‘grow again’

Next time you are faced with a major catastrophe in your life give yourself some R&R, R&R and R&R time!

Many thanks

Stuart Allen

Trainer & Consultant at MTD Training


(Image by Imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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