Forget Failure

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonLooking for a new opportunity? FORGET IT! Open to new challenges or looking for your next challenge? FORGET IT! Willing to relocate? FORGET IT! Looking to expand the business? FORGET IT! Hoping 2016 will be a better year for you? FORGET IT! FORGET IT!, FORGET IT, FORGET IT, FORGET IT! JUST FORGET IT ALREADY! IT’S NOT HAPPENING! THERE IS NO CHANCE ANYTHING GOOD WILL HAPPEN NOW OR IN THE FUTURE! When I say FORGET IT I mean just FORGET IT! There is no room for further discussion on this subject!

Wow! Talk about a negative outlook in the above paragraph is it. If anything, if you have these types of beliefs floating around in your end, then in fact you have created a so-called self-fulfilling prophecy.

I am not going to suggest that all you have to do is “tiptoe through the tulips” as Tiny Tim happily strummed on his ukulele and all will be fine, but the reality is that your mindset is as important (sometimes even more) than your skill set, business , or just about anything else.

Some of us have failed repeatedly. It’s not a matter of “only the strong survive.” It’s more a case of those who are persistent, take failure as a sign of a need to refocus, retool, and maybe redirect. A key component is aligning yourself with those who knew failure and turned it into success. Take that methodology that worked for them while adding a few dashes of creativity based on your own uniqueness you create new avenues for self-success.

While wallowing in your few moments of allowed despair, analyze what went wrong and where it went wrong. Infusions of the types of people I alluded to above can make for an amazing transformation. There is no such thing as the “overnight success!” If you take this in the literal sense then I would agree. If you mean an eventual groundswell with a dream developed blue print I would have to emphatically DISAGREE!

Some years back singer/songwriter Carole King (some of you may know who she is while others not) wrote a terrific song entitled “Speeding Time” that deals, to a great degree, with defeat along with the recovery from defeat.

During some of my personal battles, while feeling defeated by failure, this song meant a lot to me. It brought me to the point that I realized that I am not alone, nor was it necessarily something I did or did not do. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.

While I purposely started this article with heavy emphasis on the negative I would like to give you some suggestions about turning things around. First of all – FORGET IT! Dwelling on failure or your weaknesses (reevaluating, retooling, refocusing are considered dwelling in the negative) will not help you long-term, but may help propel you forward. And, what will help you is taking strength from the inner strength we all have. You know, even if they are deeply buried in the rear of your mind, what your strengths are. Be greedy and use all of your strengths.

Take the outcome of your refocusing and refine it into an obtainable goal.

Are you hesitant to go after your goal due to the fear of failing again? One of the realities of life is that nothing is guaranteed. You know this as well as I do. So what do you do if you should fail again? The first thing is to tell yourself failure is not an option, but if it should occur, reach yet again for your strength and start anew. Even if it is with a different goal, and hard as it may seem, start anew. Don’t look back at the past as it is gone and needs to for the most part be forgotten. Look with eager eyes towards the future you aim to create.

In case you are wondering what makes me an expert on the subject of failure, it is because I have experienced it. I have experienced it in my career as well as my personal life. I have felt the pain of the crashes, the seemingly never ending moments of self-doubt to the point I thought I would never see, smell, taste or dare to dream about success again. With the help of some very special people who believed in me and supported me (not financially) I managed to rise above my ashes of failures difficult and painfully slow and frustrating at times was this process.

Each experience, each incident is unique in its own way. But, the feelings they bring are not. Feel what you are feeling for the moment, but only for the moment. Certain moments are by design meant to be fleeting.The biggest failure, as I alluded to before, is allowing yourself to be defeated by failure. FORGET IT? That’s right, forget it! Forget what it was (never easy) but forget it you must!

Life has a way of dealing a series of seemingly crushing final blows that appear in the mirror to be too much to overcome. Once again take it from somebody who has “looked at life from both sides now (Judy Collins) and listen to what I am telling you which is take each step to recovery from these defeats while working at your own pace to defeat the defeats.

If you start working in this manner you will soon to begin to notice little “victories” that become more frequent as time elapses.

Let me wish you much luck on your road back to solvency in whatever form you need it to evolve into. Hopefully you will experience no more pain while suffering only minor setbacks if any. Come back stronger than you were before the calamities overcame you wreaking undeserved havoc on your life.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. True, Joel, we all experience failures in both our personal and professional lives.

    I think the two big mistakes many people make after a misfire is: 1) Placing blame on someone or something else. Seldom though is failure 100% caused by someone else or some event. 2) Not being able to let it go. Too many people simply can’t move past it, put it in the past, learn from it, and go on with life.

  2. It’s not just failure, but the cost of the failure that affects us. If the cost is small, we don’t really change, we don’t feel really any trauma. But, if the cost is big like losing your financial security, we relive that experiences for most if not all of our remaining life.

    I’ve seen executives fail. If it did not result in their dismissal, the executive doesn’t really change after failing. For instance, the executive may just jump to another corporation and repeat the same mistakes there without consequence. But, if an executive was harshly terminated and thrown under the bus, well that make either make this executive the best they’ll ever be or become the most broken they could ever be.

    It’s hard to recover from such trauma.

    • Chris,
      It is obvious you put a lot of thought into your comments. The first paragraph you wrote concerning the cost of the failure is an angle not many people would think of. You also show tremendous insight into the world of executives along with their pluses and minuses when it comes to termination. Thank you for being a part of my reading audience in addition to your regular comments that I really enjoy reading. All my best.

  3. Carol,
    Thank you for reading my article in addition to your much appreciated comments and complement both of which are very much appreciated as is your readership.Everybody experiences failure of one kind or another throughout the course of their lives. Each of us handles failure differently. We all have some built in resilience that we call upon to help us get back on our feet. How hard you try will determine if you succeed or set yourself up for future fallue. Thank you again for your participation.

  4. Great piece, Joel! I have had many of the same experiences you describe. I’ve learned over years and years that when in the pit of failure, I have to wait, hold on, and with time, I’ll get the energy to climb back out and start over. Thanks for your encouragement!