Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy


The fear of failure can cause us to stop dead in our tracks.


Consider Edison’s 10,000 attempts to create a light bulb or Dyson’s 5,126 attempts to invent a bag-less vacuum cleaner. In her most recent book, Rising Strong, author and researcher Brene’ Brown writes “Failure can become nourishment if we are willing to get curious, show up vulnerable and human and put rising strong into practice”.


Starting a diet, a business, a career change, a book, a coaching relationship, just setting out on a project or a journey may unleash negative voices and fear. Does failure mean we are done or is it an indication to make adjustments and try again?


I offer the following questions to ask to assist in reengagement after failure:

  1. Did I really fail (how true is that) or did I win/solve a different problem? The inventor of the post-it note was working on a stronger faster bonding glue.
  2. Consider asking others for their view, do they concur or do they have a different view of the situation?
  3. What did I learn from the failure? Doing an in-depth analysis of the steps that lead to the failure may bring you closer to the path of success.
  4. What is the risk of trying again? Did the experiment cause an explosion and almost kill you and your team? Do we have the resources to try again? What did you learn to help reduce the risk during your next attempt?
  5. Is there a shift you could make to and get the overall results in different manner? Consider a Certified Professional Coach to help reframe, reset and plan your next steps.

Failure can mark the end for a project but considering the great inventions and innovation in history failure can be the next step to success!!