NLP presupposition – “There is no such thing as Failure, only Feedback.
As humans, living in a high pressure world where success and failure are pegged as opposites, staying down after a setback often seems like the easiest – and most tempting – option. But if you’re a leader, your behaviour is always a model for others. Other people will use your decisions (including the one to give up) as a guide for their own choices. Being able to bounce back (no matter the failure) is one of the hallmarks of a good leader.
But when you’re at such a low point, how do you get back up? Denial won’t work. Being angry will make the situation worse. As with most things, it’s all about perception and perspective. Which is why the best way to get back up is to reframe the fall.
Here are some ideas for reframing failure:
– As much as it might feel like you’re moving backwards, life only ever really moves forward. Instead of seeing failure as a setback, view it as part of the journey. Because as long as you’re learning, you’re growing. And growth is always an upward – and forward – trajectory.
– Sometimes a fall is an opportunity to change perspective. Looking at something from below changes how you see it. A tree viewed from above is very different to a tree viewed from the ground. One tells a story of height. The other tells a story of scale. Both are true.
– Failure is like weight training for leadership. When you first start lifting weights, you’ll lift lighter and reach muscle failure quicker. But eventually your body will adjust and those light weights will feel weightless. The same is true of all failure.
– Accepting that you are failing is very different to deciding that you are a failure. If you think of it as failing – the verb – it’s an action, not a statement of identity. It’s important to distinguish between the two. You can fail. But you are not a failure.
When you’re at those weak moments where you’re tempted to stay down, it’s difficult to force your mind to reframe your position. And if you can’t stand back up on your own, asking for a hand to support you on your way up is just another step towards success.
That’s where executive coaching comes in: It’s the hand you need when you’re trying to get up.