Whether it's the entrepreneur community, technology community, or mothering community, everyone agrees it's okay to fail because failure is normal. What gets a little bit more complicated is how to deal with failure when it occurs.
Everyone deals with failures, setbacks, and mistakes. Recently, a devastating event happened to me, which completely ruined my mood and my train of thought, and left me in a place of uncertainty. Eventually, I held myself accountable for it--I had known the event was coming up, but procrastinated rather than prepare. At first, I placed blame on other people, but after acknowledging my faults, I was able to move forward.
Here are some things I've learned about failure in my time as a mom & entrepreneur.
carry your umbrella
There's a difference between acknowledging that failure is possible and allowing failure to happen. For example, you're given a speaking engagement with too little notice to prepare a speech. Why not turn this opportunity into a Q&A session where the audience can ask your thoughts and experiences on a particular topic? Sure, something might go wrong, but your attitude can focus on the possibility for success. Instead of focusing on "What will I do if I fail?", think "How can I make this a successful event?" We can't prepare for everything, but there's nothing wrong with having a plan to begin with.
check your foundation
Is your foundation cracked or stable? My foundation consists of the people who truly care about me that I can turn to when I feel like my life is falling apart. A foundation can be any form of support--marriage, other relationships, a savings account, or your side business. For example, I know that I can go back to braiding hair no matter what, even if all else in my life falls apart. Without a foundation to help you stay on track, you can feel alone and isolated, and may not be able to focus on your next right step. Find your foundation, make sure it's stable, and rely on it when you need to.
practice your conversations
One day I went into work and there was a very large duck sitting on the table. This awkward accessory turned out to be something for us to talk to when challenges came about. Important conversations--whether a presentation, a speech, or a one-on-one conversation--can be difficult, and we sometimes avoid them. For practice, you can talk to the large rubber duck! (or another inanimate object) Being accountable, having difficult conversations, and managing perceptions when talking to other people is crucial for success; the goal is to get the words out, hear what others have to say, and listen to how you come across.
take care of yourself
When we are in a place of anger or disappointment, making rational and reasonable decisions can be very difficult. A mental reset can allow you to release your feelings in a healthy way. Though a day of putting yourself first can be difficult for busy woman who are used to nurturing others, self-care is a need we can't ignore. Maybe you don't have a full day to take off, but even taking an hour away from your routine to do something "just for you" can allow you the mental space to recover from a failure and remember that you did your best.
Not all let downs can be avoided. If something didn't turn out the way you planned, take a moment to asses other ways for you to get the results you want. With your foundation in place and a healthy mindset, you can brainstorm new ideas that align your overall mission and the specific outcome you want to achieve. If you need one, take a mental reset day to recognize and recover from your failure. Remind yourself that you did your best with the knowledge that you had at the time. Then, start planning for your next success.