We are often told from a young age that failure should be avoided. At school, top grades are rewarded and low grades are penalised. When we fail at something, it can feel embarrassing, painful, and can even damage our sense of self-confidence.


But what if I were to tell you that in fact, you can re-frame how you see failure and use it to make you more resilient and propel you towards success?


If you start to look around you, you can find many examples of well known figures who have embraced failure and pushed on through to achieve great things:


  • JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 different publishers before Bloomsbury accepted it
  • Michael Jordan was actually cut from his basketball team in high school
  • Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the lightbulb before eventually finding a model which worked
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job as a news anchor and told she “wasn’t fit for television”


What we can learn from these examples is that you can change the way you see failure. Or even what you call it. Why not call it an opportunity? An opportunity to refresh, to refocus and become more resilient.


This alternative way of seeing failure is also called having a ‘growth mindset’.


When you operate with a growth mindset, you don’t allow yourself to be held back by your perceived limitations and abilities (also called having a ‘fixed mindset’). Instead, you allow yourself to see failure as an opportunity for growth and development.


It’s a much more empowering and confidence-building perspective to go through life with.


So if you do one new thing this week, allow yourself to do it badly! Be brave and have a go at something you’ve never tried before, and be ready to fail, learn and grow your resilience muscles. You’ll soon start to see that this process is all part of your path to career success.


This article was written by Juliette Dyke. Juliette has gone through her own experience of burnout and career change, and now helps other women recognise their gifts and strengths, release the mental blocks which are holding them back, and create a fulfilling life and career they love. You can get in touch with Juliette via her coach page or at www.juliettedykecoaching.com.