Failure is an option

Even if your bright idea hits the buffers, all is not lost, writes Nicola Davies

Even if your bright idea hits the buffers, all is not lost, writes Nicola Davies.

Abstract

Sometimes, you just have to accept you were wrong.

Unfortunately there are times when what originally seemed like a great idea just did not work in practice. So how should you deal with failure?

To begin with, the emotional backlash must be overcome, and the situation looked at objectively. You might feel discouraged, but this does not mean you have to lose the passion that motivated you to think creatively and implement your ideas in the first place. Any failure is an opportunity for learning and growth, if it is handled constructively.

With sufficient determination, a failure could become the first step on a longer journey leading to success. The life and work of Florence Nightingale offers excellent examples of this.

When she was in Crimea, she believed wrongly

...

Even if your bright idea hits the buffers, all is not lost, writes Nicola Davies.

Abstract

Sometimes, you just have to accept you were wrong.

Unfortunately there are times when what originally seemed like a great idea just did not work in practice. So how should you deal with failure?

To begin with, the emotional backlash must be overcome, and the situation looked at objectively. You might feel discouraged, but this does not mean you have to lose the passion that motivated you to think creatively and implement your ideas in the first place. Any failure is an opportunity for learning and growth, if it is handled constructively.

With sufficient determination, a failure could become the first step on a longer journey leading to success. The life and work of Florence Nightingale offers excellent examples of this.

When she was in Crimea, she believed wrongly that the high death rate in the field hospitals was a result of malnutrition and fatigue rather than poor sanitation – an idea that cost an unknown number of lives. Ultimately, learning from her error, her work revolutionised nursing – and no one would regard her contribution to nursing as a failure.

Read the article

This article was first published in print in Nursing Standard: volume 30, issue 10

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?