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5 Ways to Make FAILURE Work for You

2. Assume Full Responsibility.

Sure, other people or factors had a role in your mistake. The traffic lights all turned red on you. Your colleague didn’t get you the information on time. The judge was in a bad mood.

Big deal. Grow up.

What did you mess up? Stop blaming. (Blame only ever looks attractive to the blamer.) Take all the responsibility you can. Talk about how you fell short. Talk about the part of the problem you own.

Taking responsibility is a sign of maturity.

3. Learn Big.

Use your mistakes as a chance to grow. Get curious about your failure.

What did you learn? What could you have done differently? Who’s overcoming these problems? What can you learn from them? Who can you talk to about this? How can you grow? How will this make you better?

4. Report Your Findings.

Once you’ve started learning and changing, sometimes it can be a good idea to talk about it. In an employment setting, at your next meeting tell your boss what you learned from the failure and how you’re handling things now.

At home, tell your spouse (or your kids). Talk about it with a friend or mentor. People love to see progress in other people. In fact, at work, that might just earn you a promotion. People who are honest about their shortcomings and sincerely want to grow are a rare find.

5. Celebrate Progress.

You will always be working on problems, but hopefully they will be different ones each year. Celebrate your progress. Give thanks for the change you see.

Interestingly enough, all of this is related to the Christian disciplines of confession and repentance. Assuming responsibility for your mistakes is actually a part of your spiritual growth.

What are you learning about failure? What’s helping you?  

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.