1. Meditate on the Meaning of the Failure
Perhaps you knew it was coming, and were waiting for the blast through squinty eyes. Why? Dig deep and ask yourself why you were expecting the worst. Because you feel unworthy? Because you self-sabotaged with a half-baked attempt?
Gain insight into what this failure means for you – you may be surprised. It could be that your heart really isn’t in this and you need to move to a totally new venture. Or maybe your self confidence has been trashed by past experiences that you need to work through.
This failure was designed specifically for you. Use it as a guide to find out who you are, what you want, and how to get there.
2. Choose to Be Grateful for Your Failure
Get serious and write it down. Your brain is screaming I’m not thankful for a single thing in life right now, but get that pen out and push it anyway. Not only are there infinite blessings in every failure, but you have and endless stream of gratitude pent up inside you. Free it.
Start with the easy stuff. Fresh air, clean water, plenty of food. As you break past the grumbling barriers of your brain, the positive energy will flow and you’ll realize with so much beautiful clarity that you have every reason to be grateful, even in this time of so-called disaster. Even the disaster is worth being grateful for. It has purpose and meaning beyond your understanding and you have every reason to be pleased of it.
3. Make Friends with Failure
The point is not to give in, give up, or try and banish failure altogether; instead, strive to manage your experience, reactions, and coping strategies to ensure quick return to form if you run into it.
She’s the cruelest friend, but an enduring one. You can always count on a bit of failure to show up to the party. Face it: failure is waiting for you at every juncture. Even if you nail the interview or launch a successful business, sneaky old failure will be lurking in the background, industriously picking at the paint, writing customer complaints, and brewing up gossip.
So, if Mrs. F is always hanging around, you may as well befriend her. Ask her all the questions and learn all the secrets. Banish the fear and stigma surrounding failure, never allowing it to prevent you from pursuing your goals. Get comfortable, familiar, and friendly with failure, and she will be your most loyal companion. Keeping her on your turf means you’ll be ready for her tricks at all times.
4. Learn All You can from Your Failure.
You can be beat or you can be better. Your choice. It’s easy to retract from defeat, but this is a ripe and ready opportunity to gain insight into yourself, your situation, and your goals. Your greatest learning experience has arrived – free of charge.
Sniff out your weaknesses and either crush or make peace with them. All your insecurities are laid out, fresh and bare. Look at them! See them for what they truly are. Get real with the facts and emotions and jumble of it all, because your guard is down and this is when you grow and change.
Shit happens. But what if we re-framed that idea by saying shift happens, instead? This is the most fertile ground for a shift in consciousness. Make failure your mentor (not your master!) and not only will you become a smarter, more capable entity, but you’ll be miles ahead of the competition next time.
5. Recognize Your Patterns
You’ve been here before. You’ve already done this. Eight times. How and why could this be happening – again?! The best thing about repeat failures is that it’s an opportunity to look your demons square in the eye, recognize them, and move full steam ahead. It may feel like you’ve learned your lesson, but look again. If you’re stuck in familiar cycles, it’s likely you haven’t learned your lessons as well as you thought.
Discover the patterns that may be playing out over and over. By doing so, you may even lift the veil on other areas of your life. Is anxiety sabotaging your career? Look closely and you’ll see that tackling this obstacle won’t only improve your salary, but allow you to attract a beautiful partner, more happiness, and success in other areas of your life.
There’s time to sort this. Throw out any self-pittying thoughts that say, “why does this always happen to me.” Be grateful for the message that’s being sent to you. What a great opportunity! You’ve been given a patient reminder that you are capable of upping your game. Now do it.
6. Assume You Are the Prize
You should be laughing right now, honey, because the joke’s on them! Did the editor of your dream magazine tell you that your work was incomprehensible drivel? Did you blow the interview and get dumped, all on a Friday afternoon? Not to worry, because here’s the secret: it’s their loss. Truly.
There’s no one who can bake a vegetarian lasagna like you. Your writing is ahead of its time and the stuff of future genius. You are the best listener and never complain.
Reframe the situation. You are the prize. You are the thing to be coveted, chased, and won over. No need to wonder whether they kind-of-sort-of want you. You are the ultimate prize. If someone doesn’t see that, then they could never have enjoyed you to your greatest potential anyway. This failure may seem like you’ve been let go or let down, but believe me – someone’s going to strike gold and figure out what a spectacular asset you are.
A Final Thought on Failure
Failure is simply a concept. A seven letter word with two syllables. A thought monster that haunts us, night and day, despite the facts.
Success is a choice. Deciding and doing and being, in spite of the circumstances. It’s a state of mind that insists on victory in every outcome.
Which will you choose?
I’m just going to leave that one with you…but I implore you to choose wisely.