You know, sometimes you don’t make it. You plan and work hard, but you don’t reach your goal. That can hurt. You might even feel like giving up. But it’s essential to accept that failure is part and parcel of life. It comes with the territory of accepting the challenge.
Yes, you need to pick yourself up and move on, but there is some homework to do first. You need to accept that your goal didn’t happen. If you don’t embrace that failure, you won’t learn, and you won’t do better next time. Use that failure to learn and grow! Here are seven steps you can take to build a new plan.
1. Understand your original goal
It might be painful to look back at your initial goal, but you need to understand what you were trying to achieve. Looking back at your goal might also show you how close you came to succeeding, and you’ll get some perspective on your failure.
2. Understand the outcome
That means you get clarity on what you did achieve. You may not have reached your goal, but it’s almost certain that all that work was not for nothing. Get a good handle on what did go well and what didn’t. Sure, you will need to do things differently, but not everything. Acknowledge the good things you did.
3. List what went wrong
It can be cathartic to write down all the things that went wrong in your project. More importantly, you need to know what stopped you from achieving your goal.
4. Uncover what was out of your control
Take your list of things that didn’t work and separate it into two columns: What was within your control and what was out of your control. That will help get some perspective on your failure and help you change tactics for next time.
5. Focus on what you can control
Acknowledge the things on your list which were out of your control and then leave them behind. Concentrate on what you have control over.
6. Use your list to make an action plan
Now you have a good handle on the things you can focus on and change. You can now take positive steps to create an action plan and work out how to do things differently.
Now you know what went wrong and why. You have a list of things you can act on and an action plan to follow. Bravo! You have looked at your failure face on and learned from it. Even better, you have a process you can learn from every time you don’t achieve your goals. And that makes success all the more likely!