4 Steps For Moving From Failure to Success

Many dream, but few dream and fulfill.

The fear of failure hinders us moving from dreaming to doing. We’re afraid of what will happen when our dreams are exposed to the sunlight and don’t look the way they did in our minds. So we keep them locked inside our heads, afraid of failure but also not allowing ourselves to succeed.

  Very few (if any) people succeed at anything on their first attempt. Babies fall the first few times they try to walk. People learning a new language mangle their words the first few times they try to pronounce foreign syllables. Most people don’t end up marrying the person they had their first relationship with. Most small businesses fold leaving the entrepreneur to make the tough choice – try something else or quit entirely.

In the three weeks that have elapsed since this year began, I have already collected several rejections – story ideas that I thought would get picked up, were returned with an “I’m sorry” letter. Suggestions that I thought would be instantly accepted, got turned down with not even a “try again next time.” I’ve even had a Facebook friend request declined. That’s when you know you’ve been rejected.

But you know what, I’m not quitting.

It’s true that inaction cannot fail but it’s also true that it cannot succeed – if you’re not trying, you’re not failing but you’re no closer to achieving your goals either. I’ve decided that I’ll take rejection and failure any day.

Yesterday, a story I pitched to a magazine got rejected. But today, one of my articles was accepted for another online publication. That’s progress in my book.

Things aren’t moving as fast as I want them to but my word this year is progress – even if I’m not moving ahead in leaps and bounds, as long as I am going forward, I’ll get there. So today, I am happy for the small step and the opportunity to move even further tomorrow.

Most people don’t succeed the first time they try something new but every failure is moving you one step closer to a win.

How can you move forward after failure? After a failed book deal, after your business goes belly-up, after a failed relationship or after you lost your job, how do you keep going?

  1. Forgive yourself – Allow yourself time and space to recover from the loss. This doesn’t mean wallowing in self-pity for a year. Maybe you just need a moment to cry so you can put it behind you and get ready to try again.
  2. Analyze the failure – What did you do wrong? Was there something you could have done differently to prevent the failure? Were there warning signs you should have paid attention to?
  3. Embrace the lesson – Take a moment to write down what you learned from the experience.
  4. Try again – Make a detailed plan of action for how to move forward. Work on a plan for a new business. Make a list of all the publishers you will send your manuscript to now. Write down the companies you will send your resume to. And follow the plans up with action.

If I’m being honest, the hardest step for me is the first one. It’s tempting to keep wallowing, to blame everyone but myself, to hide in my room and lick my wounds and sing the “Woe is me” song. But moving on to step 2 is the hardest and most rewarding. The moment you start asking yourself what you could have done differently, you are creating a connection that moves from What could I have done differently? to What will I do differently the next time?  Once you’ve started asking yourself that question, you’re ready to try again.

All the best with your next attempt. Whatever happens, never give up!


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16 Comments Add yours

  1. This is really what I needed to read today. I just heard I didn’t even get shortlisted for a job I’d applied to. Ah well, I’ve asked for feedback, hopefully it will help with the next application. It is good to be reminded that it’s ok to not succeed at absolutely everything the first time 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Run Wright says:

      Ah, sorry to hear it didn’t go like you hoped but of course, there will be another opportunity and this experience will help you prepare for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Julianna says:

    Great post! And if you play a game of “collecting a lot of no’s,” then you win with either a yes or a no! Keep on, and you’ll make it happen for sure. I see great courage and resilience in you!


  3. Great post!!

    As I am about to review my goals and write out my progress there are a few that will have ‘not attempted/no progress’ which will lead me into a whirlwind of negativity!

    Thank you!

    Congrats on your article pick up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks, Meeks. I am working on my month in review too and thinking too many of my goals have that same tag – nothing happening yet. We just have to keep moving forward.
      I hope you have a great weekend

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Steven Dooey says:

    Really great points, thanks for sharing! All the best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks, Steven. I really appreciate the feedback

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so true! Great tips. 🙂 XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Alexandra


  6. Failure is inevitable, and I say that if you don’t fail at things, then you’re really not pushing yourself far enough outside your comfort zone. It’s never easy, but minding the lesson and continuing to push forward are definitely the best approaches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      I heard Steve Harvey on his show say… don’t be afraid to fail. Failure isn’t just part of the process. Failure IS the process to get to success.
      Thanks for the comment, Amanda.


  7. What a great post! It’s so in light of what has been on my mind lately! This year I am aiming to really focus on optimism and taking responsibility for my life. Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect had so many great insights that really resonated with me such as these really great quotes!
    “You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you.”
    He basically says how we have to stop wallowing in our unhappiness of life and end blaming outside sources because in reality we do have the power, ability, and control of how we respond and what affects us!

    Thanks for sharing this post on my link-up ^.^ Feel free to mention it in your Thursday Tryouts Posts I’ll be sure to share!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So much good stuff here! I’m trying to get where you are…. being willing to accept failure as a requirement of progress.

    We are making progress! We are willing to risk! And that’s awesome.

    Ending on the happy- Where did your article get accepted? Excited for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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