How To Learn From Failure


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Failure is a fact of life. Every venture will involve a certain amount of failure on the road to success. These plans that fall through can be an important part of the growing process on one condition - that you take the time to learn from your failures. The only failure that is permanent is to give up completely. Let's take a look at how to learn from failure.

The most important concept is that you should keep from repeating the steps that led to the failure in the first place. If you repeat the same methods, you are most likely to have the same outcome. Take the time to analyze what went wrong. What steps did you take, and which ones were responsible for the bad outcome? Perhaps you went way off track, or maybe you would have succeeded except for a small detail or two.

For instance, consider that you were scheduled to make a public presentation, like a home demonstration, about your business. After the presentation, though, you had the distinct impression that it was a flop! Look back over the steps you went through to get prepared. Did you take the time to find out exactly what was expected of you? Did you find out beforehand what sort of audience you would be speaking to? Did you practice? Did you have adequate notes? Just what caused the flop, anyway?

When you get another demonstration booked, you can avoid the mistakes of the first one. Maybe you were simply nervous and forgot all your preparation the first time. If this was the case, practice with diligence and be encouraged that the more you do it, the easier it will get, and the less nervous you will be.

Another example is that of a failed interpersonal relationship. This is a little different sort of thing to analyze, since everyone is different - what might work with one person might not work with another. However, there are some basic principles to dealing with people and forming friendships that are pretty much standard. For instance, did you really listen to that other person's concerns? Or did you make assumptions that you already knew what was bugging them? Did you make time to keep the friendship alive, or did you leave all the planning to them?

Also, when forming friendships, don't forget about the golden rule. What would you like? If you treat people like you like to be treated, you probably won't go too far wrong in most cases. This isn't fool-proof, though, considering the differences in individual personalities. For instance, some people simply need more personal space than others.

What about business failure? Have you tried to start businesses in the past, only to meet repeatedly with failure? Did you get yourself informed so that you knew just what was expected of you? Did you follow the advice of those who were already successful in the business? Did you take the time and make the effort to get organized? Did you make the number of phone calls or contacts that were recommended by the pros in your organization?

If you don't take the time to figure out where you went wrong, you have a high probability of making the same mistakes again. Give yourself a fighting chance by learning from your failures.

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