When you set a goal you want to execute it without a hitch, right? That may be what you want, but you know that almost never happens. You run into unexpected problems and challenges and sometimes you allow those challenges to stop you dead in your tracks. Failing forward keeps you moving toward the desired end result, the desired goal for success.

Failing forward is what you do when you take apparent failures and turn them into opportunities for personal goal planning setting success. When things look bleak, and you’ve hit yet another obstacle you may be tempted to quit because you don’t immediately see a way around the problem. You don’t know how to get yourself unstuck. When you fail forward you look for the non-obvious way to turn what may appear as a deal breaker into a deal maker. Remember the Reese’s peanut butter cup commercials where someone with a chocolate bar accidentally gets their chocolate bar into someone else’s peanut butter? At first both parties are upset, and then they each taste the mistake and to their delight find they like chocolate and peanut butter mixed together. Where’s the Reese’s peanut butter cup in your set-back?

The faster you fail forward the closer you are to actually achieving your personal goal planning setting success. When you fail forward you know what doesn’t or won’t work, and that knowledge alone takes you at least one step closer to what will work. Thomas Edison discovered 10,000 ways that wouldn’t work to make a light bulb before discovering the one way that would work to make a light bulb. So when you’re faced with an apparent failure you need to dissect the failure and find the way to move forward.

What did you learn or how can you make lemonade out of the emotionally charged failure before you? Recognizing that failure is usually very emotional you need to find a way to step yourself away or beyond the emotion to take a neutral look at the situation. What can you learn from this setback? What could you change, adapt, or modify to make turn this into a success? If you were a friend what would you tell yourself to do?

Be glad for opportunities to fail forward. Learn the lesson and apply what you’ve learned immediately to continue moving forward. When you make a mistake once, no harm no foul. When you make the same mistake again because you didn’t learn what you needed to learn, or you didn’t apply what you should have applied don’t be surprised by the consistent results you get that don’t match what you want.

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