5 Ways to Recover Well After You Fail
Failing is a part of life and it can be difficult to handle when it happens. The truth is, failure is in our minds. It is the meaning we create around an experience where we tell ourselves that we failed. Did we really fail or are we just telling ourselves that?
I’ve stepped out into many things that caused me to feel like a failure and I realized that I had a choice on how I moved forward afterward. What would it look like to bounce back after stepping out into greatness and not getting exactly what was hoped for?
Do you find yourself shrinking back, feeling fear around taking a risk again OR are you willing to stand in the fire and embrace the unknown for the challenge it presents and the reward it offers?
I’ve experienced both sides — I’ve stood in the fire, strong and willing to grow, and I’ve shrunk back due to fear.
In doing this so many times over the years, I have discovered a few ideas that I believe will help anyone move past failure into a place where risk-taking seems like a wonderful option worth embracing again:
One: This Could Be Your Last Day on Earth
It sounds morbid, and it’s true. We have no idea how much time we have here and we often focus on the past or future instead of the moment we have right now.
Upon failing, we can often look back and think, “Why did I even bother?” We can also let our minds wander to the future and ask, “Will things actually work out for me the way I want them to?”
What has helped me, and may help you, is to remember that this could be your last day on earth. Why worry when it could be your very last day here?
In my experience, living, learning and moving forward are the best paths to follow. Time is wasted worrying about the past or the future when we don’t know how much time we have.
Most of what we stress about will never actually happen so why waste mental energy on things that may never occur?
Live life as if it’s your last day and you will be more at peace….and very likely have no regrets.
Two: Gather Information from Overcomers
When we fail, we would serve ourselves well by creating a new mindset that serves us. We can easily be held back by limiting beliefs about ourselves, which do not help us in moving forward.
What we get to do is reflect on all the people who have overcome far worse than we could ever imagine. Take for instance Viktor Frankl, who survived the Holocaust. He was an overcomer who used his attitude to embrace circumstances that were extremely tough. If he can overcome such horrifying circumstances, so can we.
There are many more examples of people who have overcome far more than we could ever imagine. Hearing these inspiring stories can help us move through things better, knowing that we can overcome as well.
In my experience, reading books about overcomers — people who have come before me and fought the good fight — is integral in pushing me forward when I feel stuck.
In every story, there’s a lesson to be learned…if we look for it. The experiences of others have the ability to inspire us to go further than we ever thought we could.
Three: Focus on Quality vs Circumstance
We are faced with circumstances we don’t like on a daily basis. Whether it’s someone driving slowly in front of us when we are in a hurry, a child talking back or a personal rejection, we all have circumstances we would prefer not to have.
So, what do we do when we go out on a limb and circumstances show up for us that we see as unfavorable?
We can’t control the circumstance, but we can control our thoughts around it. If we think in a way that serves us, we will create feelings that coincide. In doing this, we can positively shift into a place that moves us into our future both stronger and more experienced.
Choose the quality you want to be (for example grateful, confident or trusting) and focus on that. If you do, the sadness or frustration will fade away and you will not be chained to what happens, but be free because you chose to be a certain way that served you.
Four: Believe There is a Bigger Picture
We can get so stuck in our current dilemma or circumstance that we become very narrow minded and don’t think clearly about how this may fit into the bigger picture. Personally, I believe there is a greater plan at work and that everything happens for a reason.
I feel that if something is happening in my life, I get an opportunity to learn, grow and stretch through that experience. Having this attitude has helped me view circumstances I don’t particularly like in a more positive light.
Some of my biggest failures have led to the greatest gifts I have ever received. This was only available to me because I took a chance and failed forward, seeing the amazing results of getting stronger and more resilient.
Our life picture is huge and we are standing so close to the large canvas that we can’t see how everything is working together. Even when you feel like you’ve failed royally, there is always something great on the horizon…if you choose to see it.
Five: Avoid Comparison to Others’ Highlight Reels
When we are down, our default can be to look at everyone else’s perfect lives and think “I’m the only one who’s feeling this way.” The truth is that everyone, and I mean everyone, is struggling with something.
Actually, the bigger the risk you decide to take, the bigger the struggle can be. Large risks can create large problems so be prepared for some adversity. It’s the nature of stepping out into your greatness — there will often be pushback in some way, whether it comes from others or resides in your own mind.
Resist the urge to look up and think, “Wow they have it all together”. The truth is, they probably don’t. We all have areas in our life that aren’t ideal. This journey called growth and development never ends, unless we choose to shrink back.
Disappointment in life is inevitable. Personally, I have found peace and understanding in asking, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
So you failed? So what? What is the worst thing that came out of it? Was it really THAT bad? Whatever the outcome, I believe it will eventually smooth over and work out for the greater good.
We are all over-comers, and having the opportunity to work through adversity strengthens our character.
My encouragement to you, and me, is to keep stepping out into the unknown and it will continue to become easier to move forward. After so many opportunities to grow, I’ve found that things roll off my back much easier than they used to.
Stepping out into risk builds stamina and I know that working out those muscles builds strength and endurance.
Choose to see your ‘failure’ as an opportunity for growth and you will move through life with a more positive mindset and an ongoing willingness to learn and grow. Take the risk and fail forward!