As empire-builders, we want to focus on our success. After all, we’ve taken risks, built a loyal client base, and established a powerful brand. Go us! While it’s important to acknowledge our wins, we also need to address the elephant in the room: our failures.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say that failing sucks. Few entrepreneurs like to admit it, but when it comes to our business, making mistakes is inevitable. We’ve all experienced shortcomings and tried strategies that didn’t work out. And not only can this be frustrating, but easy to internalize.
Failures can plant seeds of self-doubt and make you believe you’re not good enough. With each slip-up, you may question your self-worth or wonder if you’re on track with your goals. Before your mind starts to spiral, I have something to tell you:
What do I mean by this? It’s true that failing can make us feel unsuccessful and unfulfilled. But fortunately, it’s also an opportunity to learn and grow. The truth is, failure is simply a part of entrepreneurship. Even some of the most successful people—Jeff Bezos, Oprah, Richard Branson—have all failed numerous times.
If you asked them, they would tell you that their failures have led them to where they are today. But I get it: Knowing this doesn’t take away that icky feeling of messing up. However, it does give us a glimpse of hope and prove to us that we can rise above our mistakes.
Accepting failures can be challenging, especially for perfectionists who want to get it right the first time. But here’s the thing: We can’t expect ourselves to be perfect all of the time. That’s a lot of pressure. So accept that you’ll make mistakes throughout your business journey and be gentle with yourself when they inevitably pop up.
The best way to move through your failures is to practice mindfulness and intentions. When we allow room to grow, that’s when we thrive in our business.
If you’re struggling to overcome your failures, here are four techniques to move forward and realign your energy with your goals.
As an entrepreneur, you didn’t start your business for the sole purpose of making money. You wanted to make a difference in your clients’ lives. Unfortunately, experiencing failure can make you lose sight of why you started in the first place.
Your mistakes do not define you or your business. So before you turn inward, let go of any self-doubt. Forgive yourself so you can clear your mind and focus on your purpose. You can practice this self-forgiveness through journaling and mantras.
Start by writing about instances when you made mistakes and were hard on yourself. Try describing how those experiences made you feel. Then, complete the entry with the following statement: “I forgive myself, and I’m letting go of this burden.”
Mantras and affirmations are also great tools for releasing past burdens. You can begin your affirmations by accepting your mistakes and recognizing that they’re making you stronger. For example, you can say, “I messed up, but I’m becoming a better entrepreneur.”
From there, think about what motivated you to start your business. Was it to help people with a specific problem or make their lives easier? Don’t be afraid to dig deep and draw out your purpose. When you reflect on your “why,” your failures shrink, and you can start busting through your energy blockages.
Simon Sinek says it best in his book, Start with Why. He asks why some people are more innovative and profitable than others. Even though many inventors and geniuses had all the right tools for success, only a few achieved their goals. Why is that?
Forget comparing yourself to other entrepreneurs. Instead, find the melody to your song, the reason why you get up and do the work you do each day. I highly recommend you check out Simon’s TED Talk, in which he discusses the inner workings of the golden circle.
Remember what I said earlier about having the right tools for success? You can have money, connections, and the right people on your team. But if you don’t understand your intentions, you may not ever achieve your goals.
Rather than focusing on what you do and how you do it, direct your attention to why you do it. Think about your beliefs. Are you driven by a cause or a purpose? If so, what is your aspiration?
If you can’t determine your “why,” take a moment to write down the top three things that are important to you. It could be serving your customers, creating a community, or developing an effective product. Then, take a step back and see if those three concepts are reflected in your business. If not, it’s time to incorporate them.
Journaling is a powerful way to gain insight from your inner wisdom. It’s also an opportunity to transform how you view surface-level mistakes. Although failure feels like the end of the world, it’s much smaller in the grand scheme of things.
Journaling will allow you to change your self-doubt tunnel vision, and instead look at the bigger picture. What have you accomplished? What has worked and what hasn’t? This visual will empower you and help you gain a new perspective on your failures.
After completing the prompts, review your answers. Each prompt showcases how your business is a journey. There will be successes and failures. But it’s how you navigate these ups and downs that makes a difference.
Allow yourself to gain some perspective and stay on course.
One of the best ways to balance your perception of failures is by acknowledging your achievements. You’ve come a long way, and that should be celebrated! Of course, speed bumps are inevitable, but they don’t have to derail you or your business.
Take time to write down your business accomplishments. It doesn’t matter if they’re big or small. Every win counts! As your list grows, accept all of the hard work you’ve put in. You are an empire-builder who is 100% capable of meeting her goals. It doesn’t matter if you’ve taken a few steps back. You are still fully capable of greatness.
Now, as a CEO, it’s not easy to make time for yourself – but it’s always worth it. I recommend devoting an hour each week to reflect on your progress, goals, and wins.
I like to call this CEO time. This is your opportunity to soak in your achievements and acknowledge that you’re taking steps in the right direction. It also allows you to review what didn’t work and how you can improve moving forward.
I want you to think about how many times you messed up when you were young. As children, we were constantly making mistakes. But, every time we messed up or fell, we got back up. We took those learning opportunities and grew from them. And those growing pains created the foundation of who we are today.
As adults, we make mistakes in our business every day. But it’s not the shortcomings that help us grow. Instead, it’s what we learn from those mistakes that allows us to make the changes needed to evolve.
Take a look at your journal entry where you detailed the times you failed and how this made you feel. Now, look at each instance and create a plan to avoid making these same mistakes. Think about what led up to each failure. Was it poor project delegation? Communication issues? Organization problems?
When you determine the catalyst for the issue, you can finally work on a solution. For instance, if you didn’t delegate tasks equally to your team, create a new strategy, pick specific team members to be in charge, and get your projects rolling.
Moving past initial mistakes and finding ways to fix them will make you feel productive and help hold you accountable. Let go of the negative vibes and instead direct your attention to how you can improve. Viewing your failures as lessons will change your outlook as an entrepreneur.
You can leverage each challenge to supercharge your business and become a better leader. It’s all about changing your mindset!
When it comes to empire-building, there’s no such thing as perfection. Failure is a part of each entrepreneur’s journey. Although we may doubt our self-worth and capabilities, the truth is, we are more than our faults.
These failures are opportunities for us to improve our business practices. They teach us how to navigate situations and establish productive solutions. The one thing no one can take away from you is knowledge. So take your experiences and use them to implement new strategies.
When you handle your failures with mindfulness, you can finally make the necessary changes for a healthy and thriving business. If you’re struggling to overcome your failures and realign with your goals, I encourage you to take the “Unblock Your Energy & Unlease Abundance” quiz.
One failure today is a success for tomorrow!