From the Little League pitch to the executive suite, failure is a natural part of the human experience. And, that failure can be a valuable learning experience for us. However, it’s often difficult to understand what we should take away from a situation, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves. What matters is learning how to stand up and push on after a failure. Here are just a few things that professionals should keep in mind when plans go awry.

Not All Failures Are Bad

On the surface, the word “failure” has negative connotations, while “success” is considered its positive antonym. However, there are such things as good failures. These good failures may involve less-than-ideal results, but they also impart valuable lessons that can be applied to future situations. The ability to identify what might go wrong, and the additional benefit of knowing when to pivot or how to mitigate that risk, can go a long way in the business world. 

It Is Okay To Take Risks

Many people are reluctant to take risks in fear they may fail. That said, risks often yield incredible rewards, should things play out in your favor. Because risks can precipitate significant success or failure, it’s key to know when and how to take risks. Risk analysis and management are two terrific means of understanding and respecting risk. Besides, not all risk is inherently bad. 

Failure Does Not Define An Individual

Contrary to popular belief, failure does not define one’s character. Failure only defines someone if they choose to quit and not attempt to improve. If you make a mistake the first day on the job, that doesn’t mean you’ll be viewed negatively throughout your tenure there. Keep your head up and work towards success, no matter how much is thrown your way.


Giving Up Is Easy

It might be an overused cliché, but the phrase “never give up” is appropriate for any professional endeavor. Successful professionals will not give up regardless of how many unsuccessful attempts they might have made. The understanding is that a breakthrough will occur at some point, and every attempt made brings them closer to that achievement.

Remaining Positive

During times of struggle, it can be easy to let negative thoughts fester. That said, truly successful people avoid such pitfalls by learning to remain positive. Entertaining only good thoughts can help professionals realize that their goals, while difficult to achieve, are attainable. Those with positive attitudes know they’re on the right track, have identified their goals, are working hard to achieve them, and are able to learn from their mistakes.