“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.” – Zig Ziglar
We talk a lot about learning from failure, but how about learning from success? Leaning from is vital, of course, but every outcome should be an opportunity to learn, whether that outcome is positive or negative. Taking new knowledge out of each situation is essential to both your personal professional resilience and the resilience of the company you are working within.
Also, as much as failing is important, success is what we are after. We can’t be waiting around for our next leap of faith to be a false jump for our next professional growth spurt to come barrelling through… look for lessons everywhere.
1. You Can Identify What Worked Well
When you have a big success, don’t just throw it in the ‘win pile’ without giving it a little examination. Overall success through it may have been, what specifically worked really well on this occasion? Did you take a risk and do something differently that paid off? Would you take exactly the same risk again or is there still room for even more improvement? What learned lessons did you implement going into this situation and were they proven to be valuable?
Also, every success tends to be made up of hits and misses (more hits, of course). Even though you came out on top this time, still pay attention to what didn’t work so well, and think about how those things can be improved upon next time.
2. It Drives Us by Proving Success is Possible
Coming out on top makes us feel good. If you have been working against the odds for some time, and this win has come after a string of failures, then absorb the lesson that success is possible. If you keep going, eventually the tide will break. Success after a long slog also teaches us that our patience and resilience are worth investing in, as it will eventually lead to positive outcomes.
3. You Are More Comfortable with Risk
Getting good results also helps our confidence a great deal. It makes us more courageous about risk and bold decisions going forward. If you did something very left field last time and it paid off, you are much more likely to do it again. This, in turn, is a great catalyst for growth (in yourself and for the business you work for) and leads to bolder more innovative ideas.
4. Success Helps us To Admit Failures
Now, back to the smaller components of big victories. If you win, and you feel great, you will likely be in a much better mental place, and therefore more open to accepting and building on the failures within your success. Take this opportunity to really take on those less successful elements and use the confidence and positive energy you have acquired in that moment to work out how to set them right.
5. Other People’s Success
You need not focus solely on your own work. Indeed, if you look to other people’s triumphs, you will have even more information and inspiration going into your next project. Collaboration and communication are always a great way to broaden your thinking. So, when your colleague scores big, show interest. ‘How did you do it?’, ‘What did you learn?’, ‘Do you have any advice for me on my next project?’.
By Chris Thomson
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