How To Deal With The Feeling Of Failure At Work


We’ve all been there. Whether you’ve made a mistake, lost a client or didn’t get that promotion you wanted. Maybe you’ve tried to start your own business and it hasn’t gone to plan. Then it sets in, that feeling deep in your chest, almost breathlessness. It’s that stress induced pain of upset and failure. However deep the feeling, here’s how to pick yourself back up and deal with the feeling of failure at work.

The reason I say feeling of failure, is because really unless you pick yourself up and try again, you haven’t actually failed. There’s always a solution.

As a young business owner of nearly three years, I’ve had plenty of lows, but I’ve had more highs which have stemmed from the lows. When I have a low, yes understandably I have a panic and stress for a few hours, but here’s the question that will change everything:

“What can I do to turn this around, make it better and succeed?”

And this goes for anything - whether you’ve made a mistake at work, lost a client or even missed out on that promotion.

If you follow these steps in this order, you can turn that feeling of failure into an action plan to succeed.

1. Talk to someone

The best thing you can do first is talk to someone. Whether it’s your business partner, your colleague or if you don’t have either speak to a good friend or your family. Admitting you’ve had a set back is the first step to fixing it.

If you’re stressed about it, speaking it through with someone else is the best thing you can do. A negative mindset might have you feeling like there’s no possible solution. Speaking to someone who is in a more rational mindset will be able to suggest ways to fix the problem, and cheer you on.

2. Make a plan

How are you going to fix this? How do you move forward from here. We’re only human, and everything happens for a reason.

If you’ve made a mistake at work - think of ways to fix it, then speak to your manager and admit the mistake, but tell them you’ve thought of a few ways it can be rectified. Admitting the mistake as soon as it’s made is the mature way to deal with it, it will relieve stress, and shows that you can take accountability for your mistakes.

If you’ve lost a client - it happens. What’s the easy way to fix it? Go and find more business. Maybe you’ve lost a client but there are plenty of people out there who need what you’re offering. You just need to find them. Who is your ideal client? Where are they? Make a spreadsheet and a plan to contact them.

If you didn’t get that promotion or new job - I hate to say it, but from my experience you will always end up where you’re meant to be. Ask for feedback. Why did the other candidate succeed, what do they have that you don’t? Maybe go on a training course to learn a new skill, or offer to take on something else at work to broaden your knowledge. If you didn’t get a promotion, maybe it’s time to move on? There are plenty of jobs out there, you just need to spend time working on your CV, Cover letter and actually applying. For tips of applying for jobs, read this post.

3. Put the plan into place

The most important step of dealing with the feeling of failure is putting a success plan in place. Arguably by this point you will have accepted the feeling of failure and you’ll hopefully feel fired up and ready to find new business, get a new job, or fix the problem you were having.

Make it your priority. Maybe it means missing out on social events, or you have to put other things on hold for a moment but make it a priority to get your plan sorted. Have a clear goal each week and stick to it.

How do you deal with the feeling of failure? Comment below! I’d love to hear how you get on…follow me on Instagram @lucyhitchcock_