The Anatomy of A Failure

The Anatomy of A Failure

There is tremendous power in “unpacking” your failures.

I was embarrassed! I had just sat through an entire meeting, grossly misunderstanding its agenda and purpose. It finally dawned on me - I wasn't on the same page as everyone else. I had even made a few ignorant comments. Much to my dismay, I hadn't thoroughly read the memo. Luckily, there were only a handful of people at the meeting.

As I walked away from the meeting I felt about two inches tall - know what I mean? As I sat down at my desk, I felt the Lord nudge me, encouraging me to make this a learning experience. So I grabbed my pen and began to jot down the specific lessons I needed to learn from this real-life blunder.

What did I learn? Basically, I learned the tremendous power found in "unpacking a failure." So what is the anatomy of a failure? Here are a few tips on how to unpack failure:

1. Always take time to review the situation
All emotional experiences contain information. They contain powerful clues so take time to jot down what you saw, how you felt. Pull aside for a few minutes and capture the feeling of the moment - then record it.

Always take time to review what just happened, while it's fresh.

2. What did I learn from my failure?
I learned that you and I have to make a choice to ignore the nagging voice of failure and instead, must make it a learning experience. Accept it for what it is - then move on. Ask yourself, what are the lessons I learned?

Believe me; I jotted down many lessons as I dissected the above mentioned failure. Valuable lessons are waiting to be learned from your failures too.

3. Given a similar situation, how will I respond next time?
I’ve learned that it’s good to also make a list of things you won't do next time, or maybe things you will do! I did that several years ago, after a lengthy building program during my pastoral days. I still have the list! Today, it would be timely advice for those in building programs.

You haven’t learned anything until you can say “that won’t happen again!”

4. What is God saying to me in the midst of this?
It is important to ask yourself, “Did I recognize God in the situation?” Remember, I made the statement; God nudged me and admonished me to move on - to make this a learning experience?

Write down what you feel God is saying - even if you're not sure. The pen helps clarify what the mind conceives.

The anatomy of a failure can be painful; however, many distilling principles can be learned from failure. By the way, I've never attended another meeting haphazardly! I have been well prepared and fully cognizant.

Think about Jesus' experience; Hebrews 5:8 says "though He was perfect, yet He learned obedience through the things He suffered." What are you learning? Never fail to learn from failure.

Coach John

Works sited
: Transformational Leadership Coaching Notes

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