How do you recover your confidence after you fail?

951 views2 Upvotes18 Comments

Senior Information Security Manager in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
Focus on this quote by Michael Jordan: I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
7 2 Replies
GVP in Software, 10,001+ employees

Love it. So true. It's all about shots on goal!

Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees

As the wise Wayne Gretzky said, you lose 100% of the shots you never take.

CEO in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
Look at fail as

F - first
A - attempt
I - in
L - learning

The question is not why you failed ? The question is what you learnt ? And how do you change to avoid that mistake again ?
9 1 Reply
GVP in Software, 10,001+ employees

That's such a great acronym. Thanks Manish!

Director of Technology Strategy in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
By seeing it for what it really is - an opportunity to learn.

Success requires failure.
Failure is not terminal.

And anyone who tells you they've never made a mistake just did.
CIO in Education, 201 - 500 employees
Mistaking should build confidence - for your own learning and for others to learn it’s survivable. You can’t do great things without trying - and trying brings risk - and if you never fail, you’re not challenging yourself enough.

Long story short - you should never lose your confidence when you fail.
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
Great comments here already, I will just add that your leadership can and should play a big part in creating an atmosphere that allows for failure by supporting the spirit of innovation.
CTO in Healthcare and Biotech, 11 - 50 employees
A strong recovery is to find the resilience within you. To know more about it, you must read

As well as to find about Boris Cyrulnik’s work, since he is an expert in resilience. His insights will inspire you deeply as I did.
Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I try to capture everything I learned through the experience. I’ve learned more and matured more as a leader through failure, near failure and difficult problems. Ironically I’ve typically been rewarded professionally more for easy projects because leaders above me thought the problem was hard but they didn’t have the experience

As long as you learn, and nobody was injured it’s a success
VP, Director of Cyber Incident Response in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
Honestly, I think you should have confidence in failing, first of all.  There is risk in everything we do every day.  Yesterday, I wrecked my brand new drone that I've been wanting for years.  Despite knowing my capabilities as a drone pilot, I still made a mistake.  It is a costly one, as I had two events coming up in the next 10 days that I won't be able to use it for now.  I'll still have confidence in my ability to fly it after it gets repaired, and I'll be more cognizant of the scenario that doomed it.

So that's not so much a professional thing as it is a personal one.  I've had my share of spectacular failures in the work environment.  You have to take your lumps and move on.  

I love the MJ quote.  He is as inspirational as they come.

There's also the comment "it's not how many times you get knocked down, but how many you get back up."

Be brutally honest with yourself.  Take your after-action assessment.  What was your role in the failure?  Were you over your head?  Will you make the same mistake again?  How do you make sure you don't?  Once you do these things, that should inspire the confidence to succeed next time.
Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees
Realize that failure means that you at least tried which means that you overcame so many other organizations that refused to act in case they failed.

Also, failure of one team is validated learning for the entire organization. So, use that failure to gain a market advantage on your competitors

Embrace failure. That is what separates successful organizations from the rest.
Community Manager in Software, 11 - 50 employees
Thank you everyone for such inspiring responses. This question was inspired by a fantastic conversation I had with  last week!

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