Success Tweet: Don’t be afraid to fail. You only fail if you don’t learn something from the experience. Treat every failure as an opportunity to grow. Fear is the enemy of self confidence – and career success. Most people fear failure, criticism and rejection. It’s only normal. We all want to feel good about ourselves. Failure, criticism and rejection are not pleasant experiences. They lower our self esteem and make us feel bad about ourselves, so we often avoid doing things we think might lead to failure, criticism or rejection. However, if you want to create the life and career success you want and deserve, you have to have the courage to do things that might result in failure, criticism or rejection. Failure, criticism and rejection provide you with the opportunity to grow and develop – to succeed. You can’t take failure, criticism and rejection personally. Failure, criticism and rejection are outcomes. They are a result of things you have done. They are not who you are. We all make mistakes and fail. We all do things that cause others to criticize or reject us. This doesn’t mean that we are failures. It means we have made some poor choices and done some not so smart things. Failure, criticism and rejection provide the opportunity to start over – hopefully a little smarter. Buckminster Fuller once said, “Whatever humans have learned had to be learned as a consequence of trial and error experience. Humans have learned only through mistakes.” That’s why fear is the enemy of self confidence and career success. Take it from a career success coach. If your fear of failure, criticism and rejection paralyzes you to the point where you aren’t willing to take calculated risks, you’ll never learn anything or accomplish any of your goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail, or when others criticize of reject you. My best career advice is to put your energy into figuring out why you failed and then do something different. Here are four career success coach questions to ask yourself the next time you fail, or get criticized or rejected.
- Why did I fail? Why did I get criticized or rejected? What did I do to cause the failure, criticism or rejection?
- What could I have done to prevent the failure, criticism or rejection?
- What have I learned from this situation?
- What will I do differently the next time?