Confident Leader

Stop using the word failure


In recent times, business books and keynote speeches have more and more focused on failure −− on how it is healthy to fail and to admit to failing. And it’s good to understand it is okay if something doesn’t work out.  What’s bad is the word used to describe it.

Unfortunately, in the life of an ambitious professional woman, there will be many, many times that things “technically” don’t work out. But we should be using that word to describe it. In fact, we should eliminate that word from our vocabulary altogether.

Life and business both bring us opportunities, some good and some not so good. Should we be branding each opportunity that didn’t go the way we planned as a FAILURE? No.

If we did, we would be constantly putting ourselves down instead of picking ourselves up.  Imagine saying “Oh I failed at that”. Every day? No. This is wrong.

Having something not work out is not something to be ashamed of ⎯ or to brand with a perjorative word like ‘fail’. After all, if you never face a situation where something you tried didn’t work out, you’re probably not trying ideas that are different enough.

I personally don’t believe in failure at all.

I believe in strategic decision making. That is, if something isn’t working, we make the strategic decision to cut it off and move on. This can be applied to both our personal lives and our careers

If you get divorced, imagine spending your time labeling yourself as a failure? How will others think of you if this is how you see yourself? This isn’t the way to motivate, inspire, and get you moving forward.

Likewise, if a job turns out to be not the right fit for you, do you go around telling people and yourself “I failed at that job” or would it add value to your brand ⎯ and frame of mind ⎯ if you took the approach that “it was time for me to make the strategic decision to move on”.

When a business woman decides to let go of a business venture or an opportunity (which I have done many times) does this make her a failure? No. This means they are savvy and strategic enough to know when something is not working and it is time to redirect their path.

So let’s stop encouraging people to use the word Failure ⎯ pushing the notion that it is “good to fail” in order to succeed.

Instead, let us see every decision we make as positive which adds value to (not detracting from) our ultimate goal of serious success.


Reframe your thinking

Instead of saying “I failed at my relationship”, say “It was time for us both to focus on different priorities separately”.

Instead of saying “I failed at running a business so I closed it down”, say “I have decided to change focus in my career and will revisit running a business in the future”.

Instead of saying “That idea totally failed”, say “It wasn’t working out the way I had planned so I let it go”.

Remember to always think…







About Amanda Rose

Founder and CEO of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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