5 Ways to Fail Gracefully

5 Things to Do When You Fail | The Fresh Exchange

We all know that part of life is not just about the success but also about the failures we have. Both are super important to growing, learning, and refining who we are. This doesn’t mean that it makes it any easier when we fall short of someone’s expectations or even our own. Owning a business has brought many successes and highs but at times even the small failures have felt like they have outweighed even the biggest successes. It took me time to learn to take fail well. So, over time I have been working on this post to pull together the lessons I have learned in the art of failing gracefully . It is no easy task especially for a people pleaser like myself. That being said I thought today I would share the things I do to help myself move forward after big or even small failures in life or business. They are bound to come and the sooner we can move forward and learn from them the closer we are to achieving our dreams. Failure isn’t bad and in fact this is where I have learned some amazing lessons, but how we handle it and pick ourselves up, is what can determine the future. I always remind myself it is very important to never fail the same way twice, and this is how I have learned to not make that happen:

1. Take it all in:
When the failure happens accept it. How you react in the moment to what has happened, big or small, it can be the very thing that can make the biggest difference in how this situation will affect you from here on out. When things don’t go as planned accept that it hasn’t, have a good hysterical moment, and then make a cocktail simply to take the edge off.

2. Ask why:
Once you have come off the ledge begin to reflect on why things went wrong. Maybe things were not in your favor or maybe you royally effed up. Whatever it may be, it is important to ask where it went wrong and why it didn’t happen as expected.

3. Make the change:
Once you have come to terms with the fact you failed and why you failed. It is important to immediately ask how you can change to make things better next time. Decide that maybe you didn’t set a good enough timeline or set hard enough deadlines, maybe you didn’t communicate expectations, or maybe you really had not given it all you should have. Whatever it may be, find the change you need to make and choose how you can make sure it does not happen again. Once again, failing is not bad, but failing the same way is.

4. Find the silver lining:
Within every failure, there is a lesson. The kind of lesson that down the road will keep you from falling victim again to failing in a similar way. Know that failures can be definers for directions in life and they can be the place where we discover strength and even weaknesses that help define us better. Don’t discount a failure no matter the size or the weight, there is always a beautiful lesson to be learned.

5. Allow Grace:
Accept your imperfections and embrace them as things that make you who you are. No one is perfect, we all know that, so offering up grace to yourself and allowing yourself peace is important. Being hard on yourself is okay, but realizing you are human is also necessary.

So many times I have learned to see my failures as being my exposure of my weaknesses and not giving myself the grace I need. When in fact failures are where I find the strength and drive to push forward and reflect. You will fail many times, it will hurt, but how you use those failures will make or break you. Remember that.

Go out there and get’em! You are stronger than you think.

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  1. Thanks for this Megan. Your blog has inspired me to go out and follow my passion, I don’t know how I’m going to get there or what road to take, but I have the drive because of this blog to do it. Thank-you so much! 🙂

  2. This post was perfect timing for me, Megan. Your strength & honesty is inspiring.

    Thank you for sharing how you deal with failure. It’s so hard! But so necessary for peace of mind & continuing the journey to your dreams.
    “…know that failures can be definers for directions in life”. A strong drink is always helpful too!

  3. What fun is life if you’re not failing every once in a while. I also seem to find that failures usually come at just the precise moment when you’re needing something to ground you, whether you realize it at the time or not.

    I especially enjoy Milton Glaser’s thoughts on it: http://vimeo.com/23285699

  4. This is the most wonderful, timely advice!! I’m such a people-pleaser and really struggle with messing up, and having things go wrong (whether or not it’s my fault). Love hearing your tips and, most importantly, your reminder that we need to give ourselves grace.

    Thank you!

  5. I’ve had one of those weeks and this post is a brilliant reminder that it’s ok when we fail. I was beating myself up about it all yesterday, but now I’m going to breathe and make sure I don’t fail the same again. Thanks, Megan 🙂 xx

  6. Really appreciate these lessons shared. I am 6 weeks into beginning my social enterprise business and blogging/writing full-time. While I am prepared as much as I can be to face the moments of failure in order to do this fully and without fear, you just don’t really know how it is going to be. I have a feeling I will be coming back to this post in the near future. Thanks for this post!

  7. Appreciate you sharing these thoughts Megan. I am 6 weeks into building my social enterprise jewelry & accessories line as well as blogging/writing. I am prepared to come face to face with failure at some point because I’m human and its all a part of the learning curve. However, as much as you think you’re ready, who knows what actually experiencing it will be like. I have a feeling I will be coming back to this post. Until then, doing this fully and fearlessly each day!

    Thank you for this post!

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