Develop Resilience For Future Setbacks By Writing A ‘Failure Resume’

Develop Resilience For Future Setbacks By Writing A ‘Failure Resume’

Listing out your victories is a great way to build some confidence, but it can also warp your perspective on how you achieved success. Listing out your biggest failures instead will remind you how you got to where you are, and help you learn what you need to succeed.

Photo by Emertz76.

Everyone experiences setbacks in their lives. It’s your ability to learn and push past them that allows for success to eventually happen. If you want to make the most of your failures, William C. Taylor, the co-founder of Fast Company magazine, suggests you forget your accolades for a few minutes and note all the major failures you’ve encountered and survived. Taylor explains at Harvard Business Review:

In a world defined by hypercompetition and intense pressure, where business breakthroughs and career advancement demand a willingness to take risks and defy convention, the notion that any person can achieve meaningful success without experiencing setbacks and disappointments seems hopelessly naïve. A willingness to chronicle your failures helps to create the kind of resilience that allows you to get beyond them…

The idea of a failure resume comes from Melanie Stefan, which was then popularised by Johannes Haushofer, assistant professor of psychology at Princeton. Stefan explains that a traditional narrative of success renders your setbacks invisible to yourself and to others. So, when you do experience failure, you feel alone and dejected. By putting your failures out in the open, like a professional athlete’s stats, you’re forced to cope with your mistakes and make the necessary adjustments. Failure hurts, but a failure resume might help you maintain perspective and develop the mental toughness you need to deal with setbacks in the future.

Write a Failure Résumé to Learn What Makes You Succeed [Harvard Business Review]

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