5 lessons learned about Failure
I still remember the feelings of that morning: I came in the office late from the doctor's office, to confirm my suspicions: I was pregnant.
Happiness, excitement and a sense of peace surrounded me. As I walked in the office, this mood turn to the usual stress due to my workload - emails and a project to finish in less than two days.
I started reading my emails, when my manager approached me and, suddenly everything sunk to the bottom of my stomach: He asked me to follow him to the HR office.
That was it. I felt my legs, head and hands numbed as I walked behind him. Everybody else in the office didn’t notice what was about to happen.
This is it, this is it. F*ck! - I thought.
My ears processed the rest of the conversation between him, the HR rep and I like if I was under the water...until he said it. I got fired.
I felt like I wasn't worth a penny at that moment (and the following day or two). However, the sensation of starting a new chapter in my life and a deeper awareness about every single step I was about to take would add up to a greater goal, awoke my own sense of purpose and I felt relieved afterwards.
Sure, we all at some point in our lives go through situations like the one above. Mistakes and failure come hand in hand at times. It was my turn (I guessed at the beginning). After that moment, I gave myself time to think deeply about what I wanted to do with my life.
But then, I realized I had put my professional life to be decided by others. I had decided to give others THE POWER to decide for me. Wrong move.
Because I thought that's what I had studied for. To be guided and employed. To follow other people's decisions, not mine.
That moment ignited a spark I always wanted to lit, and now I am here talking to you. We decided to start our own venture. Without any previous experience. We decided to go for it 100% heart, body and soul.
Looking for inspiration and example, I started reading what others - especially successful people - did in bad situations. And I found Elon Musk’s failures.
Ambitious ideas can lead to greatness
An innovator and true entrepreneur, Musk is always focused on expanding his own boundaries. Yet, this also means he had to encounter multiple failures on the road to success. His company SpaceX did manage to land 18 thrust rocket first stages, but in between, they did have multiple failed launches and landings, now seen in the video with a touch of humor.
For many of us, this would have been the end of the road - reality slapping your face, but not for Elon Musk. These are the top 5 key lessons I’ve learned about Musk’s failures, to overcome my own perception of failure as a professional and as a person. And I’m pretty happy with that.
Top 5 lessons learned about failure from Elon Musk
1. Stay outside of your comfort zone and continue trying even if you fail.
Sticking to our comfort zone won’t lead you to greatness. It will just keep you in a safe zone, and that won’t bring in any innovation.
If we want to win in this life and guide our society to new heights, we have to take risks.
The outcome of bad situations and events like the one above should push you in the direction towards success, instead of stopping you!
2. Find inspiration through others.
Don’t stick to your own beliefs. If you failed at something, talk with others and be open. See how you can improve and use those ideas to better yourself. It’s not going to be an easy thing, but it can provide some great concepts on how you can push yourself forward!
3. Understand your priorities.
A failure will also offer you critical information about your mistakes. I got fired because I did not want to take ownership of what I wanted to do in life. My results followed suit. I lacked passion and purpose in my every day job, and I was also afraid of doing something completely new and exciting.
Ensure those adverse situations are overcome effectively and tackle everything in order of relevance! You are first!
4. Review and try again.
Learn from your mistakes and revamp your plan. Although yes, it feels awful when we don’t succeed, these things happen all the time.
All what matters is:
- Your ability to handle the situation,
- Identify the problem’s root causes and
- Find smarter ways to solve it for good.
Be positive; study all your data and the experience will indeed be more than OK in the long term!
5. Failure does not equal defeat.
Yes, failure mines our self-confidence, and it pulls us back in the comfort zone. But those setbacks shouldn’t define you or who you are.
Great leaders refuse to let failures define them, and Musk is a living example of this. So don’t feel ashamed for what you didn't or haven't achieved. Feel proud of your work, efforts and, of course, never give up.
We have to understand that failure is a natural part of a person’s growth. It all comes down to how we deal with it and how we effectively transform our life as a result. Our personal mission has ended up shifted towards helping women see their own hidden capabilities and focus on their personal success.
Embrace failure and it will help you shift your focus to success.
How have you overcome your failures? Have you learned different lessons than the ones above? Please share with us and our village in the comments, and don't forget to share with others on the links below. You'll never know when you'll change somebody's life with your actions.