Seven Effective Ways To Deal With Failure At Work

Who hasn’t heard “I want this done today” from their boss at least once in a day, or at least once in a lifetime? There is no single employee who does not feel pressured by tight deadlines, hectic work schedules, no salaries, or low work bonuses. Be it a fresher or be an experienced employee, facing failure at the work is normal. But what matters the most is the ability to deal with the failure in a civilized manner.

The feeling of failure at work can be crushing. However, it is important to understand that failure happens to everyone and everyone has to handle its aftermath. Take a look at the following ways to deal with failure at work and the criticism that comes along without going insane.

Be Honest With Your Manager

Unless your mistake is one that you can fix on your own, you should go to your boss and explain what happened. It is going to suck, totally, but it is the first step to clearing things up.

Tell them what has happened, why and how it happened. Let him know that you are pretty serious about how serious the situation is. While you might still need to figure out how to solve the problem, ensure them that it will not happen again.

Don’t Take It Personally

Separate the failure from your identity. Just because you haven’t found a successful way of doing something doesn’t mean you are a failure. These are two completely different thoughts. Yet many of us blur the line between them.

You don’t need to take the failure to your heart. Don’t worry. You don’t need to feel upset or depressed because of the situation. Personalizing failures can wreck your self-esteem and confidence.

Break down Why The Failure Happened

It is easy to blame yourself, but failure is rarely personal. Write down the reasons because of which you think you failed. Then brainstorm any potential root causes or contributing factors for those reasons.

For instance, if you are passed over for a promotion, the reason may be that the company wants someone with seven years of experience and you have only two.

Don’t Spew Out Endless Excuses

After any of your mistakes, you tend to tell everyone how you were so busy with other projects all week. And that was the reason you weren’t able to devote enough time to make sure the meeting went smoothly. 

But here, all that you resonate with is a giant fluffy excuse. Once you pile up excuses, nobody takes you seriously anymore. Instead of making excuses for your failures, try focusing on the solution of the problem you created.

Take Stock, Learn And Adapt

Look at the failure analytically, suspending all your feelings of anger, frustration, blame or regret. Why did you fail? What might have produced a better outcome? Was the failure completely beyond your control?

After gathering the thoughts, step back and ask yourself, what did you learn from this? Think about how you will apply this newfound insight going forward.

Stop Dwelling On It

Obsessing over your failure will not change the outcome. It will only intensify your failure, trapping you into an emotional doop-loop that handicaps you from moving on. You cannot change your past, but you can change your future.

Be positive. The faster you take a positive step, the quicker you can leave these disabilities and negative thoughts behind. If you keep both your failures and victories as perspectives, you will do better in the long run.

Figure Out A Way To Fix It

Sometimes the solution might be obvious. So you might just need to tap others on the team and your boss to come up with something that works well. Once it’s been determined, hit the ground running on making things right.

Once a problem is rectified, make sure you circle back to your boss with a proactive plan. Include steps you are going to take to avoid similar scenarios in the future.

None of us want to make mistakes in our careers. But it is impractical to think we will never make them along the way. By knowing how to successfully bounce back from a failure at work, we can all become the best and most mindful employees we can be. All while avoiding the “down and out” feeling of messing up on the job.

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