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Failure Does Not Define You

by Fitima Miller, MBA

We tend to take failure personally. We take it as a personal evaluation not just of our skills or the market, but of us as people. Business is a risk. That risk is summed up by the fact that we might fail. We might fall short. We might not make it this time around. That does not define us only if we are willing to pick ourselves back up and try again. It is not the fall that defines you; it is how you stand back up after you land.

The key is not to internalize a failure. If a business fails or an idea doesn’t work out, that does not mean your next idea is doomed to fail. There is so much that is outside our control and that is especially true in business. We must focus on what we can control. What is always in your control is how you react to a setback. The market may have been bad. The business plan may not have been right for the conditions. It might not have been your turn or your time this time around. You need to learn from those experiences and look ahead to what is next. Prepare your next idea. Use what you can from the previous experience to make your next path to success more likely. There will still be risk and you might fail again. You are not doomed to do so though because that previous failure is not who you are. It is something that happened to you. It is an experience that can set you on a path to greater success in the future.

We make our failures into an invisible opponent. We will find ourselves always fighting against them mentally – shadow boxing something that isn’t really there. It is an obstacle of our own making. That failure is over and it is time to move on, but we will use it as an excuse to hesitate. Our invisible opponent will hold us down and hold us back only because we allow it to. We allow the shadow of our previous failures to overshadow our future progress. Do not be defined by your failure any longer. Be refined by it into a better and braver version of yourself. Your ideas are valuable and they will take you from here to success.

If you want to know more on this subject, my book Entrepreneurship: The Path to Prosperity; 10 secrets to becoming a successful entrepreneur can help you learn how to start again. It can help you face the risks in business and find your own success. I believe in your ability to do it and you need to believe it too.

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