10 Guidelines to Fail Forward

1. Appreciate the value of failure.
Very few unacquainted with failure will ever know the true joy of success. Don’t be afraid of defeat. Remind yourself that you’re one step closer to your potential and your dream. You are learning to fail forward.

2. Don’t take failure personally.
Accept your limitations as well as your strengths. So you messed up. Try again. Making mistakes is like breathing; it’s something you’ll keep doing as long as you’re alive. Even more so if you are up to something big. It’s not personal. Learn to live with it and move on.

3. Let failure redirect you.
Mistakes need to direct you. You may need to change your direction. You may need to take a detour or a rest. Look at the lesson in this.

4. Keep a sense of humor.
When all else fails, laugh. It’s easier to laugh when everything is going great; but it’s important to laugh when everything is going wrong.

5. Ask why, not who.
Don’t look for someone to blame. Look for ways to improve yourself, your process, your service, and your product.

6. Make failure a learning experience.
If you’re not continually learning, you’re going to make the same mistakes over and over again. if you fall down as long as you learn something as you get up.

7. Don’t let failure keep you down.
Henry Ford said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

8. Use failure as a gauge for growth.
Most successes failed an average of seven times before they succeeded. Success is coming in fourth, exhausted, but excited because you came in fifth the last time. It’s making progress. That’s what it means to fail forward and avoid an unnecessary detour.

9. See the big picture.
Perspective is necessary. Failure is not final – unless you quit. We all make mistakes. We can all come back.

10. Don’t give up!
Failure is a sign that you should explore other opportunities. Success comes as the result of good, old fashioned tenacity.

By Ellen Silverman If you enjoyed this nugget, you will enjoy the book, Your Road Map for Success, by John C. Maxwell, Thomas Nelson, 2002. It is full of stories, quotes, and reminders that success is a journey.