How to overcome failure in career, or in life for that matter? Definitely, not a one size fits all approach and here’s what you need to understand about failure and how to handle these setbacks that come your way.

Failure is a label, a label of our own making. Failure is something that we avoid. But once we create the label, we can’t help but seek it and find it again and prove to ourselves that we were right to avoid it in the first place.

Is it something that you avoid at all costs? Do you make sure you’ve anticipated every possible outcome before you take a step? Maybe you vacillate between talking yourself into action, and then right back out of it again with an exhausting cycle of “what if’s?”

The problem is that whether BIG or small, frequent occurrences or few, failure can HOLD you back. It can define you and keep you stuck. It can become an “identity” that you pick up and try on, and worst of all, it can become your comfort zone.

Failure is defined as a “lack of success,” but that is only a moment in time. From there, you can find success and success on YOUR terms.

How do you approach failure? As an entrepreneur, a career professional, or business owner, here is what successful people know about how to handle failure.

Here are 5 steps to overcome failure in your career… and life! 

Click HERE if you’d like to watch the video.

#1 Reframe how you look at the situation.

Failure that you have experienced may look like a career setback for you, but if you are willing to challenge yourself to look at the situation in a different way, it can be a setup for something better. If your position was eliminated, was it because of company constraints? Was a reduction in workforce needed, and you got caught up in it? If so, it’s not yours to carry.

Even if you were terminated from your job or you made a BIG mistake, how can you look at the situation in a way that benefits you?

I came across a definition of the word “mistake” that I love! It was this.

A mistake is merely a decision that didn’t serve you well. 

This means that you have an opportunity to make another different decision. Maybe the job wasn’t a good fit for you. Perhaps you were being held back and not having a chance to contribute and utilize your skills or reach for your potential. If that’s the case, if this door closed, what different door will you choose to open in your professional life?

#2 Find a way to deal with the emotions surrounding the situation. 

When we perceive that we have failed, we take it personally. We internalize it, and suddenly our biggest inner cheerleader becomes our worst critic. The things that we say to ourselves, we would never say to another human being! It’s awful! That internal dialogue, and our outward shrinking as a result of the failure are because of our emotions.

Emotions are good for you, even if they make you feel awful. The “feelings” you have surrounding professional failure are an indication that this is not where you want to be, and you need to take a different action. You are meant to experience emotions as you process a situation, but at some point, they have done their job, and you need to let them go. Then, you can move forward from a place of more logic and calm and take intentional action toward what you want, instead of reacting with even more emotion.

Negative emotions like Anger, Sadness, Fear, Guilt, and Self-Doubt take a lot of energy to carry. If you remember the last time, you had something awful happen where you were crying or experiencing a lot of anger. It makes you tired. It wipes you out. If you get too comfortable feeling that way, it can become a way of “being” that masks opportunities to move you forward. So, whether it’s talking to someone, journaling your experiences, exercising, or meditating, find your way to deal with what’s bothering you.

#3 Employ Forgiveness.

In my Huna studies, I learned Ho’oponopono, a Hawaiian forgiveness process. It is a process where forgiveness is given both ways so that you can move forward. Because, here’s the deal, if you are withholding forgiveness from someone, then you are the only one to suffer, they hold all the cards. Forgiveness is about you being able to move on instead of being anchored to a situation, and the person or persons involved in it. This process allows you to empower yourself once again, take your effort, focus, and energy back, and use it to benefit YOU. It might be Ho’oponopono or another process that allows you to forgive, but you must get to forgiveness with the people who have wronged you so you can get by this and move on.

One other aspect of forgiveness that is critically important, you need to forgive yourself. Whether the failure you are experiencing was brought about by something you did (or didn’t do) or it was beyond your control, you have to forgive yourself too.

#4 Uncover your Limiting Beliefs.

Unlike negative emotions that run part-time, meaning you’re not angry with someone every moment of the day. I mean at some point you think about lunch, right? Limiting beliefs are different, and they are a full-time occupation. Limiting beliefs are unconscious beliefs you have about yourself and your abilities. They are thoughts you don’t even know you’re having, but that keeps you stuck, hold you back, don’t allow you to rise to your full potential. They limit you. Limiting beliefs thrive in failure, just like mold in a damp basement.

Here’s what you can do instead. Catch yourself when you find yourself saying that you can’t do something or that you’re not good at something. Anytime you have a thought that denies you forward movement or potential, become aware of it. Challenge this thinking and ask yourself if it’s factual (or is it perceived). Deal only with the facts of the situation, not what you’re imaging or creating. Finally, change the thinking to move you toward what you want instead.

#5 Embrace the Feedback.

Feedback is what allows you to stretch as a person. It’s a golden kernel of information that leads you toward your true potential. It is only with this constructive information that you can discover the steps that allow you to get to where you want to be. It’s a gift, not punishment, and without it, you don’t have critical information to proceed. You can’t know everything to rebound from failure, especially if you’ve not experienced something like this in the past. Feedback is your instructions on how to keep going to create success on your terms!

These five elements are for your career development AND your personal development because what happens in one area of your life, impacts the other. You ARE one person. So whether it’s a career failure or personal, embrace these techniques and move on.

Until next time, here’s wishing you the clarity, and the perseverance you deserve!

P.S. I’ve just created a mastery program where you will create a path for your career success AND on your terms. If you are a person who wants to be proactive with their advancement opportunities and feel that this kind of support is what you need, then let’s talk. Grab some time on my calendar so we can strategize what this path looks like for you. Just head to and book your Career Clarity Strategy Session.