Failure at something can be a sure-fire way to instil a fear that stops the path of great discovery.
That dreaded "f-word" feeds on said fear and nourishes your ever-present ego that can be responsible for the “mean-girl” quips that play on repeat in your mind.
You know the ones…
“You are not enough.”
“You do not deserve success.”
Or the simple but effective, “you are a failure”.
It is when we allow those awful jabs at our psyche get a hold of us that we allow failure to truly set in. To wreak havoc on a mindset already made fragile by the situation at hand.
So what can we do about it? How can we turn failure into success and move forward emotionally and physically in a positive way?
Here are our top 5 tips to help you put a positive spin on failure and keep on keeping on:
Step 1: Give into the grieving process
Let yourself grieve the loss. Get out your journal and write until your hand aches. Get all that emotion onto the paper and out of your mind. You need to clean house so that you can move forward with a fresh slate and a more positive perspective. Vent to a trusted friend or mentor, scream your frustrations into a pillow if you need to, go for a long walk in nature, hit the gym and get those positive endorphins pumping. However you choose to do it…get it out of your system and relish in the feeling that brings.
Step 2: Don’t fall into the victim trap!
You are not the only person in history to have failed at something. Click here to learn about some of our favourite famous failures.
Step 3: Channel your inner positivity
Write a list of all the positives that have come out of the situation. It may seem difficult to do, but we guarantee you that within every failure there is a learning. Search for it, meditate on it and it will come. It is this step that will help shift your perspective.
It may sound like an old cliche, but we firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. You may not want to admit why, but deep down, you know. Be honest with yourself during this step and examine the reasons why the situation came about.
Example: I didn’t get the promotion I wanted.
Take all the emotion out of the situation and look at the cold hard facts. Did you have all of the training and experience that was required in the role? If not, then perhaps you can look into furthering your skills or putting some more time into the role you currently have.
If you feel you did offer all that was required, speak to the person who interviewed you and garner their feedback ready for the next promotion you go for.
The interview gave you the opportunity to hone your techniques for future roles. You have the answers that you need now to set your eye on the prize and upskill where need be to put you in good stead for that next promotion. You know you were the most suitable for the role and can now comfortably look elsewhere for a company that will appreciate your awesome skillset and experience…and potentially even pay more for them!
STEP 4: Set yourself a small achievable goal.
This is an effective way to reprogram your thinking and remind yourself that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Idea Number 1:
Do you always put exercise on the bottom of your to do list? Set a goal to go for a 15-minute walk every day. This might seem like nothing, but if you don’t exercise at all, then 15 minutes a day is a massive improvement on 0! If you turn that into an hour, then awesome, but set your goal at 15 minutes to help that positive feeling of achievement return and pamper your ego a bit.
Idea Number 2:
Do you want to be that woman who meditates but just can’t seem to get into the rhythm? Download a guided meditation app onto your phone (we recommend Insight Timer or Headspace) and select from the HUGE range of 1 minute meditations. Do this first thing every morning before you get out of bed. If you can allocate some more time, fantastic, but set your goal at 1 minute a day. Totally achievable!
Idea Number 3:
Make your bed first thing in the morning, just like US Navy Admiral, William H. McRaven suggests below. A small task that sets you up feeling accomplished for the remainder of the day.
Step 5: Set Your Sights on Your Next Big Goal
Once you have “cleaned house”, got a handle on the lessons learnt and set yourself some small, achievable goals to pamper your ego a bit, set your sights on a larger goal and turn your focus to that. Remember, set realistic actions accompanied by deadlines to achieve the goal you have set. There’s nothing worse than setting a goal with unrealistic deadlines - you want to give yourself every opportunity to succeed, so don’t be your own worst enemy.
Think of this step like creating an itinerary to your dream holiday. Sure you want to be sunning it up on Waikiki Beach, but you have to do a few things to get there first. Break each goal down into smaller tasks. We recommend returning to paper and a pen for this step and keeping the list easily accessible. Each time you complete a task, cross it off your list. What better feeling of achievement than seeing a to do list with items crossed off it?!