What to do when you fail: 10 steps to transform failure into success

Written by Dr Lynda Shaw Wednesday 27 October 2021
Take these steps to make sure both you and your team thrive in the face of adversity and cope healthily with failure
An image of a man sitting alone on some stairs with his head hanging down

Failure. A word we all dread. Failure can make us feel less competent, confident or intelligent, yet it’s inevitable. We have all experienced failure in our lives, and while in the short term it can be debilitating, it can also be a springboard to a new learning experience and can sometimes be life changing for the better.

Success and failure are considered opposites, but in fact they work hand in hand. Starting from infancy, we have all encountered failure and success. In order to learn to walk, we have to fall over a couple of times and through persistence, trial and error, we take our first steps and the rest is history. Throughout life we make plenty of mistakes at school, in relationships and throughout our careers, regardless of our experience or intelligence.

Failure is part of being human and is impossible to avoid, but how we deal with failure will determine our success and how we grow and prosper. The Beatles, JK Rowling and Thomas Edison are all known to have faced repeated rejection or failure before their extraordinary success.

Want to learn more about steps to transform failure into success?


If you are already registered as a CMI Friend, Subscriber or Member, just login to view this article.

Confirm your registration

Login below to confirm your details and access this article.


Please confirm that you want to switch off the "Sign in with email" remember me feature.

Register for Free Access

Not yet a Member, Subscriber or Friend? Register as a CMI Friend for free, and get access to this and many other exclusive resources, as well as weekly updates straight to your inbox.

You have successfully registered

As a CMI Friend, you now have access to whole range of CMI Friendship benefits.

Please login to the left to confirm your registration and access the article.

Don’t miss out - get notified of new content

Sign-up to become a Friend of CMI to recieve our free newsletter for a regular round-up of our latest insight and guidance.

CMI members always see more. For the widest selection of content, including CPD tools and multimedia resources, check out how to get involved with CMI membership.