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Articles to Inspire Your Personal Growth and Success

Hi I'm Emily Maguire

I'm a UK career coach and business coach for individuals in the creative and entertainment industries and passionate about helping people achieve their career goals. I'm also a top voice on LinkedIn for the Film Industry and a podcast producer and host.

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Emily Maguire UK Career Coach and Business Coach for the arts, creative and entertainment industry

Fail Fast, Fail Often: Build Resilience and Achieve Success

Discover practical tips and insights for building resilience and achieving success. Embrace failure, practice mindfulness, and prioritise self-care and networks.

Fail Fast, Fail Often: Build Resilience and Achieve Success

Table of Contents


Why Resilience is Important

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from life's setbacks. People with strong resilience tend to be better equipped to make sound decisions and cultivate healthy relationships. Strong resilience will help you navigate your challenges, adapt to changes, cope better with stress, maintain positivity and recover quickly from negative life and career events.

Part of resilience is having a growth mindset, keen self-awareness and the ability to learn valuable lessons and gain new perspectives. Doing so helps you pivot and adapt more quickly in the face of adversity, fostering a sense of empowerment and growth. In turn, this enhances your overall mental well-being.

The Concept of Happenstance

Happenstance is like serendipity in referring to those times when seemingly random events happen that we could not have predicted or planned for, but yet become a positive force that opens up doors once closed and leads us to new opportunities that impact our life in the most amazing ways.

In career development, John Krumboltz uses Happenstance Theory to explain how it can significantly shape a person's career path. Krumboltz emphasizes the importance of being open to unplanned events and serendipitous opportunities. These can only occur, however, if the individual is adaptable, flexible, curious and actively seeking out new experiences with a range of diverse individuals, networking and remaining open to new opportunities and experiences that open them up to planned and unplanned career opportunities. Doing this builds our resilience by stepping outside of our comfort zone, embracing the unknown and overcoming new hurdles.

Fail Fast, Fail Often

While speaking with a recent podcast guest about Happenstance, I was happily reminded of a brilliant book I read by John Krumboltz and Ryan Babineaux called Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win, which I highly recommend reading

Although the book is predominantly aimed at careers, the philosophy can suit anyone. It’s about living your life, trying new things, being creative, and taking chances—not waiting for life to happen to you but instead going out, creating opportunities, and making it happen.

Sometimes, people's fear of failure stems from the negative connotation the word 'failure' has in society when, in fact, failure is the very stepping stone that can lead us to success.

Thomas A. Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Motivation: Goal Setting

Follow your hopes and dreams; if it doesn't work out, learn from them, take those lessons with you, and grow. But never, ever, stop trying. You might not always end up where you had hoped to, but you’ll always end up where you were meant to be.

Be SMART with your goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound.

List all the things you would like to achieve this year. Then, choose one of them, but instead of going big, start small. Sometimes, we lose momentum and interest when we go all in and set big, unachievable goals. Keep that big goal in mind, but break it down into smaller, achievable milestone stepping stones. With each step you complete, you increase your sense of self-worth and keep motivated to achieve your goals.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” Confucious

Be Happy: Find Balance

It’s thought that you should have three pleasant experiences to offset each unhappy one. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a positivity researcher, found that applying the 3-to-1 ratio builds a collaborative relationship between your survival mind and your thrive mind.

So why not carry out a random act of kindness one day a week? Keep it simple; it doesn't have to be anything big to benefit others. Expressing gratitude or being compassionate for others can enhance your overall well-being.

Action: What could you do today to help someone?

Look After Your Wellbeing

It's also important to look after your well-being to enable you to deal more effectively with stress.

  • Prioritise Self-Care: Set time aside each day for the activities that help you relax and bring you joy. For some, this is yoga; for others, it's going for a walk in the park; and for some, it is gardening.

  • Physical Health: Maintaining good physical health involves getting enough sleep, staying physically active, and eating a balanced diet, which can help your mind and body bounce back from stressful events.

  • Practice Mindfulness: Practice techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to focus on the present and let go of worries about the past or future. Try taking 10-20 minutes a day of time just for you. Find a quiet space to take those 10- 20 minutes and breathe. Perhaps sit or lie relaxed and try a simple breathing routine like the one below.

Breathe in and out from one up to 10 and then 10 down to one.So, breathe in, to the count of one and then out to the count of one. Breathe into the count of two and out to the count of two. And repeat up to 10 counts.
Then repeat the same but work backwards. So, breathe in, to the count of 10 and then out to the count of 10. Breathe in, to the count of 9 and out to the count of 9 and keep going back down to one.

Challenge Your Negativity Bias

The brain is hard-wired to use negative bias as a defence mechanism, but doing so prevents you from taking chances and putting your best self forward. One way to retrain your brain to focus on the positive and build your self-confidence is through the use of positive affirmations.

Affirmations are a form of NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Broken down, NLP means:

Neuro: A person's thought process,

Linguistics: A person's language structure,

Programming: looking at patterns in a person's actions so they may learn to control

them more.

So, NLP focuses on a person's thoughts, words, and actions, and it's about learning the

language of the brain. Thoughts affect who we are and how we feel, which in turn controls

how we react to a situation. Through NLP, you can relearn new ways to communicate and

process your thoughts to become active and positive with your actions instead of reactive and negative.

By saying positive daily affirmations, you can help your brain focus on what you can do instead of approaching life with I can not.

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” Henry Ford

Build Your Support Networks

Having a good support network is also important in building resilience and managing stress. A support network isn't just a friend network; it is also people who can help support you at times when you need to pivot careers or launch a new business.

Humans have a basic need for social connection and support to achieve overall well-being. Cutrona and Suhr (1992) defined a social support category system, which involves five general categories of social support:

Types of Social Support:

Informational: This is advice and feedback on our actions.

Emotional: Individuals need those who show them care, concern, empathy and sympathy.

Esteem: Messages that help to promote one's skills, abilities, and intrinsic value.

Social network support: Messages that help to enhance a person's sense of belonging to a specific group with similar interests or situations.

Tangible support: Physically providing needed goods and services to recipients.

Embrace the Unknown

Life is filled with ups and downs, so while failure can be challenging, it's crucial to approach it with a growth mindset. Focus on the opportunities, remain constantly curious, always be a beginner and not an expert, celebrate the small wins, and embrace the lessons life offers. Use them to propel yourself forward towards success!

Remember: Start small, stay positive, take those first steps and create beautiful memories along the way.

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