Turn Your Failures Into Opportunities

We have all been there. That feeling of failure and knowing you messed up.

You could spend weeks analyzing why things went in the direction they did, or you could turn your failure into an opportunity. 

I have seen my share of failures as my husband likes to make fun of me for. There was that stint in Beauty School when I realized I hated doing people's hair and my customer service job actually wasn't so bad! Then there was the time I got my Bachelor's degree in teaching, only to discover I thought teaching was awful and seriously made me question my sanity for thinking it was a good choice! After two expensive failures I could have resigned myself to a job I didn't like, just to prove something. Luckily I am pretty headstrong and decided I could find something that suited me better.

Sprinkle in a bit of luck and I was called in for an interview in Human Resources, my absolute dream job! I aced the interview (I can help with those skills BTW :)) and was offered a job at a salary higher than I would have received as a new teacher. 

Because I have experienced situations which made me unhappy and miserable, I was so grateful for the opportunity to try something else. Instead of dwelling on how I made a mistake and getting all bent out of shape about it,I reflected on what I had learned about myself and how I could make better decisions in the future.


The next time you don't live up to your expectations, evaluate the situation by asking yourself these questions:

  • How big of a deal is it? Are you overreacting to the significance?
  • Think about the preparation you took prior to the event? Could you have done more research or planning?
  • Without obsessing, review the sequence of events objectively and pick out 3-4 things you would do differently.
  • What personality traits held you back from success?
  • How will you move past this? How will you stay positive?

After you have done this assessment and reviewed the lessons learned, take this knowledge and move on! Don't go over it again and again, agonizing about the what could have been. That negative thinking will not help you succeed in the future. 

What ways have you learned from a failure?