3 ways to recover from an “epic fail”

Have you ever made a mistake?  Have you ever felt like you have failed?  Have you ever thought that you could not come back after this epic fail?  I am sure that I am not alone in experiencing set backs and failures.  Hindsight will tell us that those “epic fail” moments are when we learned the most about ourselves and how to get back up and start again.  It is in those moments that will either grow or break us.

There is only ONE critical mindset to have and that is to be able to separate the person from the act or mistake.  The “person” is who you are vs. the action that a person takes or makes.  Therefore the act or actions may have been a fail, the person is not a fail.  Once we are able to distinguish the two different categories, we can move on the to the ways of recovering from the act that was an “epic fail” in your mind.

I have observed with my coaching clients that there are 3 critical attitudes that exist in order to transform after an “epic fail”.

  1. Acknowledgement.  Acknowledgement and taking ownership of the mistake.  Taking responsibility for it is the first step in figuring out how to ensure that it does not happen again.
  2. Facing the consequences.  Facing the consequences of the mistake is the next step.  We all know that with every action there are consequences that follow whether good or bad.  Having the courage to face the consequences and responding to it demonstrates your maturity and professionalism.  Most of us, if we could, would like to avoid consequences especially if its negative.  However, it is important as part of taking ownership of the mistake is to manage the situation.
  3. Be alert to the warning signs.  As with all learning experiences, once we have learned from a mistake, we are more aware of the signs of an “epic fail” before it happens.  The key is to always be alert for these warning signs and know how to manage the situation accordingly.   Just like we know that touching fire will be painful, we will certainly be aware of just how close we can be to fire before it becomes painful or dangerous.  We need to be aware of situations where we might be tempted to make the same mistake.  Take precautions.

Once we are able to acknowledge , face the set back and take steps to prevent it, the next important thing to note is to never be afraid to take risk and try.  Being afraid of another set back can potentially be a bigger obstacle to your success and growth than the set back itself.  I think that the most important thought to remember is this:  We all learn through mistakes and grow from set backs.  Do not be afraid of mistakes and failures.  Failure does not define who you are but just an action that you have taken and learn from .

Coming back stronger after an “epic fail” requires:

  • Self awareness:  Being self-aware is critical in acknowledging your strengths along with weaknesses.  Know where you are vulnerable and need help and ask for help.  Know where your strengths are and how to build upon it.  As they say, play to your strength.
  • Remember past accomplishments.   List down all your strengths and past accomplishment to remind yourself just how far you have come and achieved.  This simple exercise can remind you of your capabilities and restore your self-confidence.
  • Courage:  It does take courage to get back up and give it another go.  Part of courage is about being humble to acknowledge and owned the epic fail and then to take the step out to try again.  Take courage that you are able and capable of performing the task ahead.  You are not where you are today without coming back after a fail.

I have noticed how some client’s body language and disposition changes once listing down their strengths and accomplishments reminds them of their self-confidence and abilities.  Each of us need a little reminding sometimes just to restore our own self-esteem.

Remember than a “fail” in your actions does not make you a failure.  Each of us learn from our fail and are better from it.


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