Broadly speaking, there are two schools of thought when it comes to dealing with adversity.

Once says that you should simply pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. There’s no point dwelling on unfortunate events (or even failures) and endlessly reliving them is just like picking at a scab so the wound never heals. So you put a smile on your face, ‘fake it till you make it’ and the world will soon be a better place. 

The other school holds the opposite view – 

discuss/ process/ understand / move on/ shift blame if necessary / realise that it’s not your fault / try to see it in context / tell yourself that it’s not the end of the world / reframe the story. 

That’s not to say that you wallow in misery. The point is to attain some kind of closure. 

The trouble is that it can end up holding you back.  / I’ll be OK if only  I can get over X, Y or Z / It actually gives you a convenient excuse not to move on. / Once I’ve processed this, I’ll be able to move forward / and just like somebody who says they’ll lead a whole new life when they’ve learned a language/lost weight/got a better job, the target becomes an ever-receding one. 


I think there’s a happy medium – where you look at the past and see it as a springboard for the future. Not in some Polyanna-ish way where you see everything through rose-tinted glasses, but in constructive way. 


Learn from your mistakes

Identify what you would and wouldn’t do again

What worked and what didn’t

Nobody sets out to make a mistake

Everybody does their best

Some things don’t work

Nothing in business is personal (and yet everything is / can be taken personally)

What are your biggest failures

  • Accepting a job without a proper brief
  • Ploughing ahead when I knew I didn’t understand
  • Taking on a project in an area I didn’t feel comfortable with
  • Writing in a style that wasn’t me – long copy/hard sell