I have never been the one to deal gracefully with failure. I sulk, whine and complain and usually it takes me a long time to reflect and take some corrective action (and learn from my failures). Even then I spend a lot of time dodging questions about things leading to it and mostly remain stupefied into inaction for quiet some time after any failure.
The MOOC I participated in asked us in the final task to look at our failures in a new light as oportunities for improvement. Here is the brief of the assignment:
Mastering a mindset of innovation requires you to learn from unexpected outcomes – or failures. Your assignment is to create your own Failure Resume, capturing your biggest mistakes, personal, professional, and academic. For each item on your Failure Resume, include what you learned from that mistake and what you will do differently in the future.
For someone who is in a habit of being a sore looser, revisiting my failures was not an easy task. More so because I take my failures personally. I am not much of a perfectionist and I in no way think that my work is the best that there could be but I often fail to separate emotions from logical or practical aspects of things. Unknowingly this task was asking me to not only revisit my failures but also was calling for a bit of (much needed) attitude adjustment. A few days before this assignment, the plug had been pulled on an illustration project that I had started working on and honestly, the pain was fresh.
But then, a challenge would not be a challenge if it did not ask you to go beyond your comfort zone. Interesting part of this assignment was that we were required to share our failure with the rest of the course participants and we could choose how we did it.
I chose to go back to my drawing board. Working with an illustration that I did for Women’s day, I decided to put a positive spin on my failures and the lessons I learnt from them. Here is an example:
I must say it was a cathartic process to observe how I have reacted and responded to failure in past and the growth that has happened as a result.