23 February 2021

“Failure is inevitable when you’re pushing the limits of knowledge,” says Erika Hamden, an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona.

2:00 Min

First, we must reflect and learn from our mistakes. Then, we must continue believing in ourselves and our capabilities, Hamden explains. Here are three tips to bounce back and regain confidence from failure, according to the experts.

Focus on the small steps

The best way to overcome defeat is to gradually re-gain momentum by starting with small victories. “There are many different paths to a destination”, says Tonya Echols, a leadership consultant, “just because one pathway didn't work doesn't mean you are off target”. Go back to the drawing board and explore new ways to achieve your goal. Here are three tips to set a new work mindset.

Rely on support groups and safety nets

It often takes a crisis to occur to know who our friends are. Support groups are our circle of trust, and are there to motivate us when we have self-doubt. Successful organisations have “safety nets” to encourage a culture of experimentation, and leadership can play a supportive role in creating a tolerant environment where teams are encouraged to embrace failure and learn from their mistakes.

Envision the possibility of success

Remind yourself that it is the action that failed, not you. “Ask what kind of actions you could take right now”, says executive coach Silke Glaab. “This helps you to shift from helplessness into resourcefulness”. If we trust the process, time and emotions will heal, bringing to light fresh perspectives and renewed determination.