Resilience: On dealing with failure
Let it make you, not break you
Like grief, rejection is hard to come to terms with. You’re often aghast that it is even happening to you. This is true for people who are faced with failure for the first time. They are suddenly crippled and reeling from the ‘loss’ they imagine they have just incurred.
It’s human to try and salvage whatever you can to ensure the blow isn’t so hard. But, you have to face it. Acknowledge and really, sometimes, embrace failure.
The minute you do that, you’ll notice that the negativity won’t be your only plaguing thought, but it actually accompanies your other feelings. Quite telling of our lives honestly. You won’t always have great days and there will be dark days to accompany them, but you’ve got to learn to live with both. Once you make this effort, you’ll soon realize that those negative thoughts you had when you failed, often act as markers for the next time something drastic happens in your life. Except next time, you’ll know exactly how to deal with it!
No one cares, work harder!
You’re looking at it all wrong. Failure isn’t the end of anything, but really, the start of something new. Pretty much everyone awesome never got something right on the first go. Hell, even this article needed a re-edit.
We often put so much pressure on achievement and what ‘other people think’ that it completely warps our perspective. We become so fixated on the goal and how fastest to achieve it that we often don’t trust the process. This, not only sets you up for failure, but can crack you the minute things don’t go your way. Sure, tell yourself you’ve got to make it. But, if you fail, understand that you can give it another shot, maybe a better one. Only, if you’d look at it differently.
Wake up and smell the flowers, or the coffee, or both.
Often when something goes wrong, we like to imagine EVERYTHING is falling apart. Relax guys, Uncle murphy isn’t in town. It can often appear like when it rains it pours, but here’s how to feel a little better about stuff that’s going out of control, but wasn’t in your hands in the first place.
Try this. Write down five things you are grateful for everyday. People usually start with the deep stuff so that they sound intense to themselves. But once you’re done with the first week or so, you’ll notice how grateful you are for everything. It may start out with the lack of writing the usual deep stuff and you will probably laughingly be grateful for a really great meal you had that day. But get this, because you’re going around being thankful for pretty much everything, it will make that momentary dark moment of failure seem silly in comparison.
Maslow would be proud!
Kathleen M. Sutcliffe and Timothy J. Vogus said in Organizing for Resilience, “As a sense of competence increases, individuals are better able to respond effectively in unfamiliar or challenging situations and persevere in the face of failures and challenges.”
By allowing your lessons from failure to accompany you and not brush under some dark crevice of your mind, OR not let it consume you, you’re essentially strengthening yourself for failure in the future. Not only does this make you extremely open minded, but gives you the coping mechanisms to deal with the nonsense life throws your way.