You’ve heard your teenage nephew exclaim it in his testosterone-filled loud opinion. You’ve read it on Facebook attached to a cringe-worthy video of an adorable yorkie leaping unsuccessfully on to the sofa. Or maybe you are some overexposed celebrity and have had your “epic fail” moments get broadcast social media style for all the world to judge. Just in case you blinked your eyes and somehow missed this catchy expression, allow me to translate (“slang” definitions):
Epic -spectacular; very impressive; awesome
Fail - an embarrassing or humorous mistake, humiliating situation, etc., that is subject to ridicule and given an exaggerated importance
Whether a life-altering disaster or a minor setback, it may seem that the only way to avoid these pesky little buggers is to stop trying. And even that isn’t a sure-fire method because often when you do nothing, stuff STILL happens. “It is called life” as my Dad always says. So what do you do when life happens? How do successful people bounce back?
Reframe – Take a small step back and analyze the situation as an outsider looking in. Put yourself in the place of your own mentor or biggest cheerleader. How would that person frame the situation? Use this objective (yet kind) view and rewrite it as a lesson. Change “I finally try something adventurous and wind up on crutches with a broken ankle” to “Research and training is a good investment for any new venture.”
Remind – Remember other challenging situations in your past that you have overcome. We all have experiences when something seemed insurmountable at the time, but today it is a non-issue in your life. Learn about Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, and Abraham Lincoln.
Own – Take responsibility and own your epic fail. Not only does the world respect you more but you respect yourself more. Blaming others or outside forces takes up so much energy and results in nothing new and positive.
Rename - Now change the word “fail” to “practice” or “experience” when you tell your story to others and yourself. In the words of Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
Shift Your Approach and Go – Reposition yourself pointed in the direction you want to move-- and go.
As co-owner and founder of Avenue 25 Advertising, Graphic and Web Design studio and numerous other businesses, Kelly Pile is proud to have survived over two decades of bumps, hurdles and cliffs.