Career Tips

Changing the trajectory of failure

Failure.  It’s inevitable and inescapable part of any journey in work and your career.  Anyone who tells you that they have never made a mistake, or a so-called bad decision is either lying or in denial. Every journey has its detours and apparent dead ends, and although stumbling blocks can be disheartening, they are essential in steering you back on track, while helping you to grow and learn.

  “Just like a pilot takes control of a plane, returning it back on its intended route when the plane is thrown off course by bad weather conditions, you can be the take the necessary actions in order to navigate the obstacles which present themselves as perceived mistakes and failure in your own career and life,” says Natalie Rabson career specialist at Boston City Campus & Business College.

  Failure brings lessons, new opportunities and a chance to grow.  It’s your choice: To let it define you as who you are – or to see it as an opportunity at another shot at the prize.  Here are some ways to help you do just that:

You are judged by the company you keep – mix with successful people.

Seek out a coach or mentor who can help you keep track of your goals, help you establish your goals, and help you redefine your goals when failure happens.

Accept that Failure happens. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and sportspeople have experienced failure – from Steve Jobs to Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan who was cut from his high school basketball team and Benni McCarthy who was dropped from the Bafana Bafana squad.  So, take heart – if you’ve failed so have others who have gone on to achieve great success.

Feedback, not failure – change your perception of failure so that it becomes a learning opportunity and not a dead-end.

Ask yourself: “What went wrong and how can I do it differently next time?” 

Change your internal script – develop a positive attitude!

Support yourself with encouraging thoughts.  Plenty of people have failed.  You’re not the first.  But it is your attitude and determination to start again that will put you on track to achieving your goal.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Failure often makes us freeze up, making us avoid trying again and going forward.  However, we can also view it as a moment of truth.  What do we need to do that we are not doing?

  If you want a different result you need to try a different approach – that applies to the actions, you take and your attitude.  Action creates further action.  Take the next step, in spite of your fear. 

While everyone’s lives are really busy, we must not let life stop us from progress! You need to make yourself a priority as well in order to achieve your goal.

Start by:

1. Writing down the goal you want to achieve

2. List the obstacles between where you are and where you want to be

3. Write down the necessary steps to overcome each obstacle

4. Use a symbol or picture of achieving each of these steps and paste on a vision board

5. Each morning when you wake up, look at your vision board, picturing your new business achieving success, yourself in a graduation gown.  In other words, create a new identity of yourself and make your goal top of mind. 

6. It is also vital to picture your steps along the way.  So for example, see yourself taking the online course, learning new skills on your way to your new qualification.

7. See yourself committing wholeheartedly to achieving your goal.  When you have made a significant commitment, you are on the road to achieving your goals step by step.

“Failure has a bad rap.  Instead of viewing it as something negative, we need to approach it with a mindset that it is a learning curve – failure can be transformed into your most valuable tool, creating a successful trajectory for your life and career,” says Rabson. 

For further information contact Boston on 011 551 2000

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