Powerful Ways to Thrive in the Midst of Change, Disappointment, and Failure
By Vicky Therese Davis, William R. Patterson, and D. Marques Patton
There will be many times in our lives when we are forced to deal with change, disappointment, and failure.
These events should not be viewed negatively, but as opportunities to uncover routes to greater success. Life
often presents us with these opportunities, yet they are disguised as obstacles, roadblocks, and detours. If we
exhibit keen insight, these “obstacles” will offer us lessons that could be learned by no other means. It is up
to us to overcome emotional let downs and find ways to thrive in the midst of these temporary setbacks. In
the face of great challenges, here are a few ways to get you back on track.
Assess and Correct
In order to correct our missteps, it is of paramount importance that we understand the root cause of our
failures. Determine if the basis was flawed planning, faulty execution, or competitive pressure. When you
understand the cause, it becomes much easier to design an effective countermeasure.
Look for the Message or Meaning in Failure
Through change, disappointment, and failure, there is a message being communicated; a weakness that is
being brought to your attention. Failure is one of life’s most valuable teachers. It will redirect your course to
more favorable paths.
With your analysis, determine if your failure was based on an improper course. Don’t let your ego blind you
to the fact that you may need a new plan. Failure often reveals subtle details that can lead you to enormous
success on your subsequent attempts. It may be appropriate to change direction. Look for the lessons
revealed in your efforts, whether they are success or failure. Evaluate your method to determine if it is still
the most logical course of action.
Compare Yourself to Successful Organizations and People
Seek to identify and adopt the best practices of the most successful organizations and people. By modeling
their behaviors, strategies, and tactics, you follow a proven roadmap to success. Also presented is the
opportunity to improve upon methods to uncover breakthroughs that can help you dominate in your field.
Consult with Experts
Another surefire way to get back on track is to consult with experts in the field. They can give you insights
into areas you might have overlooked. Seek professionals who can help you identify and improve the areas
that most directly impact your success. The benefits will far outweigh the costs.
Form Strategic Partnerships
A smart way to recover from setbacks and position yourself for future accomplishment is to form strategic
partnerships. The right partnership will create a synergy that will multiply the return for all parties involved.
One of the key factors to look for in a partnership is someone that compliments you and your organization,
whose strengths are your weaknesses, particularly in the areas of your life and business that have the greatest
impact. By forming such partnerships you will see immediate returns because you have aligned yourself with
experts; the development time will be much shorter.
Often times we miss opportunities because our thinking is too narrow. Fortune favors the bold; think large,
be decisive. Thinking big will put you in contact with different types of people that agree with your way of
thinking. The relationships you forge are a direct reflection of your mentality. Thinking on a larger scale will
create a different level of interest in your project. Many times it can be easier to raise ten million dollars in
funding than one million.
Opportunities also exist in a narrow scope. To make advancements, consider the archer’s concentration. By
concentrating on fewer, but key areas, you can thrive in the midst of change, disappointment, or failure.
Evaluate the areas of your life or business that have the greatest impact on your success and direct your
Get More Knowledge/Education/Retrain
There will be times where you realize your skill set or the skill set of your staff is insufficient to meet the
competitive demands of your field. Therefore, it is imperative that you constantly look for opportunities to
keep your skills updated. In your pursuit, determine if your lack of knowledge was a contributing factor to
your lack of success. If you don’t update your skills, you will find failure at your doorstep. Others in the
market place are constantly improving; you must do the same if you expect to effectively compete.
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