Everyone has experienced failure at one point or another. Most people forget that ‘failure’ is not merely limited to the professional cloister of our existence. It can come in unexpected forms from the mundane to the extreme. It is to be noted that regardless of its form or facade, failure and its effects can be felt keenly hours and days and even years from the moment it has happened.
This is why many of us fall into a rut that they have much difficulty recovering from. Reeling from failure can be frightening but it certainly isn’t a truly hopeless situation. Let me share with you some ideas to keep in mind about failure.
Failure is normal. It is a naturally occurring existing in our lives. It should be regarded with guarded welcome and not outright disdain. Hear me out—think of someone you really admire. Now, consider for a moment if they’ve never experienced any sort of failure in their lives, would they have attained your respect or admiration? When you come across anyone who seemingly has never made a mistake, it is they who you should be wary of. There’s a large probability that person is either a phony or someone who never risked anything and stuck within the areas of safe, mild, and tepid.
In my stint as a speaker, I’ve met so many people who have seemingly struck gold, burst into proverbial flames, and came out bigger and better than before. It is adversity that let people truly understand that which they are fully capable of. It is those very people that met with failure that were able to forge themselves into something stronger and more resilient.
If you’re currently in dealing with the aftermath of a failure, the first thing to do is to calm yourself. It certainly isn’t the end of the world, even if it truly feels like it is. The last thing you need, when you’re facing the aftermath of failure, is to be by yourself and indulge in unhelpful thoughts. Contact your support system—this refers to closest friends or even your family who encourage and cheer you on. Positive reinforcement helps sweep away any counterproductive ideas that you may currently be entertaining. Review the events with your support system. Often, they’ll be able to point out ideas that you may not have thought of at the time. They can also provide an eagle eye view of the situation which is helpful in pointing out details you may have overlooked.
Set a clear goal. Are you planning on trying again? Are you aiming to redirect your attentions to another project? Understanding and clarifying what you want to do next will give you direction and you’ll have a better idea on what you need to do. Focus your energies on the “next”—getting stuck in the past is never conducive to a productive life. At that moment, it would be a much better use of your energies to focus on what you want to do next. The ‘next’ is just as crucial a step as keeping yourself calm or contacting your support system. Keeping your eyes on the prize will help defeat the feeling of failure and will refresh you anew.