What do Anna Wintour and JK Rowling have in common? Apart from being publishing powerhouses, they have both plunged to the deepest, darkest depths of failure and bounced back to achieve success. JK Rowling was fired from her secretarial job for working on Harry Potter during office hours, and subsequently went on to become one of the most successful authors of all time. Anna Wintour was sacked from her job as a Junior Fashion Editor only to eventually become a tour de force in fashion and women’s media. Of her setback, she said: ‘I recommend you all get fired. It’s a great experience.’

Where there are dark clouds, there is always the tiny glimmer of silver lining. It’s time to turn all of your failures into a catalyst for your motivation and renewed focus. We can’t always control every miniscule detail of our lives. We won’t always accomplish anything worthwhile on the very first attempt and sometimes things become a case of trial and error. Each lesson learned is a step closer to your desired result.

Vent Your Frustrations

In a situation where you feel you’ve failed, the first step is to allow yourself to vent your frustrations. Don’t pretend it doesn’t matter to you – of course it does! So before you get back on the road to positivity – shout, cry, stamp your feet or write down that anger. They say it’s better in than out – don’t let your frustration turn into bitterness.

Take a Detour

Instead of thinking about the worst case scenario, banish those ‘what am I going to do now’ thoughts and consider an alternative path which might lead to your desired result. Don’t let the failure beat you – you’re smarter than that, right? And the scenic route is probably going to teach you a lot more about yourself as a person.

A Positive Attitude

After we’ve failed, maintaining a wave of optimism is the key to success – keep reaffirming that you are capable of achieving what you want. Ask your friends or family for their support and you’ll see just how many people are feeling upbeat about your future.


Don’t Be Afraid

If you have never received a job rejection letter, missed out on a place on the sports team or been unsuccessful in getting that coveted university place then how will you ever know what adversity feels like? Learn to ignore the idea that failure is bad — the only thing that is bad is the failure to learn from mistakes.