Are you the kind of person that sets your sights HIGH and then feels defeated, hopeless, and lost if things don’t work out? Sometimes, it seems downright impossible to get what you want. Failure hurts on many levels and we can all agree that it doesn’t feel good.
Welcome to the club! The good news is that failure is a natural extension of growing, changing, and expanding. It’s you, stretching and recoiling. You put yourself out there, took a risk, believed in an idea or project, and when it got tough and fearsome, you longed for your safe zone.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most influential people in history. Did you know Abraham Lincoln was defeated 8 times for elected positions in politics, lost a job, failed in business, and had a nervous breakdown prior to becoming President of the USA? What about Thomas Edison? You know, the inventor of the light bulb. His teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from two jobs for being “non-productive”, and he failed 1000 times before successfully inventing the light bulb. As for women changing history, Marie Curie was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize. Despite growing up in poverty, difficult political times, and a culture where women were mostly condemned to zero education, she didn’t give up. She went on to win a second Nobel Prize in another category and helped invent the x-ray machine. What if any of them decided it was too hard?
They were unstoppable, and so are you. Take a moment to focus. Get your footing right. Discover what you need to fully embody all of your creativity, balance, and momentum. Here are 3 ways to rebound from the devastating blow failure…
1. Do the research. Write two lists – One list names what you know about the challenge at hand, and the other names what you don’t know. This will help clarify the fuzzy, ambiguous nature of uncertainty. It gets the questions out of your head and onto an objective physical platform that you can explore. Discover answers to the unknowns. Cross them off as the mysteries are solved. Feel the power and lightness of knowledge.
2.Take stock of your strengths and talents. What do you do well? Build on those natural abilities and preferences. If you’re not sure what they are then, ask your friends and family what they love about you, take a personality inventory like the MBTI, or just count your accomplishments over the past year. You’ll be surprised by the qualities you take for granted that when properly honed, can get you to the next level.
3.Practice flexibility with yourself. So you made a few mistakes, it only means you’re still trying. This is a good thing. Face up to it and complete this sentence, “this failure experience is good because….”. There is a valuable lesson within it. When you take the time to reflect (not obsess!) on the causes of your situation, you’ll find the golden nugget of wisdom that empowers you to work smarter next time.
Connect to the lessons learned, use that to inform your next move. Even though the success of others’ looks easy, it’s not. Find an inspirational figure. Who motivates you? Take a moment, but don’t give up. Share your gifts with the world. You’re not in this alone.