Failure is a hard pill to swallow. Often we internalize the negative messages we receive about our failures. But it is possible to overcome failure with out taking a hit to your confidence and self-worth.
Step 1: Acknowledge the pain.
Failure can hurt like hell, and bring on a ton of different emotions. You’re entitled to feel all the emotions that emerge as the result of your failure, relief, hurt, anger, sadness, disappointment, and embarrassment. Your do not need to justify your emotions. It is what it is.
Step 2: Process the emotions.
Emotions are meant to be expressed. There is a different kind of energy associated with each emotion. If you are sad, cry. If you are angry hit something, work out. Do not suppress them. But allow yourself to feel them. Each emotion is triggered for a reason. Pay attention to the thoughts surrounding the emotion. For example if you are feeling embarrassed, consider the thoughts that are triggering the embarrassment. “I’m embarrassed because I failed, I knew I wasn’t good enough. What is my mother going to think when word gets out about my failure?”
Step 3: Evaluate your emotions and thoughts.
There is a reason you are feeling emotional. Evaluate the thoughts surrounding your emotions. The way we think directly influences the way we experience emotions. Negative thinking patterns can intensify the emotional experience. Evaluate the thoughts for validity. For example “I’m not good enough, and my mother will be embarrassed by me” Is not the true reality. You may have failed, but you are still valuable and your mother will still love you. Are you really the biggest failure in the world, or are you exaggerating.
Step 4: Reject negative thinking.
Once you evaluated the thoughts triggering your emotions for their validity, then reject all the negative thoughts that are not true. Your marriage may have failed but you are still loveable. Reject the negative thought that you are unlovable. Your business may have failed, but you are not a failure, you have learned valuable lessons from the experience. Reject the negative thought that you are stupid and should have known better. This is not an easy step it takes practice. You can use affirmations to combat negative thinking patterns. Eventually you will train yourself to think more positively. During period of failure, be more conscious about your thinking.
Step 5: Engage in self-care and fun activities!
Fun maybe the last thing on your mind when you have been knee deep in your emotions. However processing emotions does take energy. You have to recharge through self-care. Find way to experience joy, happiness, and laughter. Like other emotions joy and happiness are meant to be expressed. Do things that will increase joy and happiness. If you have been bawling your eyes out all night, go get a facial in the morning. Been in the house all week, call a friend to go out for drinks. You need balance. Incorporate fun and laughter its good for the soul. Failure doesn’t mean you’re on punishment. Don’t give up on yourself.
Step 6: Consider your role in your failure.
Now that you have processed your emotions and have balance it out with fun, you are in a better place to begin to think logically. It is difficult to think logically when you are in the height of an emotional crisis. At this stage, you can consider and begin to accept your role in the failure. Where you too trusting of others? Did your move too quickly? Where your stubborn and did not listen to sound advice? Where acting selfishly? Were you intentions goods? Did you fail because of lack of communication? Was it due to lack of knowledge or resources? No matter what your role was in your failure you have the power to learn and grow from the experience.
Step 7: Forgive yourself.
Your failure and mistakes do not define you. Your actions may have played a part in your failure. But you have the power to choose differently with every breath you take. Accept your role, forgive yourself. Your must have self-compassion. You’re not perfect. Your will mess up. Forgive yourself, be kind to yourself, learn from mistakes and move on. Steps 6 and 7 can be difficult, even with a clear head. You could regress back into an emotional crisis. That’s ok! start the steps over again. Each time it will get easier and easier to get through.
Step 8: Plan for change and growth.
Envision yourself succeeding and overcoming this set back. What does your vision, dream, goal, or picture of wholeness look like? What will it take for you to get there? What are your needs? How can you communicate those need? Are your current skills sets adequate to achieve your goals? What do you need to improve? What resources can you use to develop weak areas? Develop an actionable plan, with measurable goals.
Step 9: Measure Change and Growth.
Build rewards and incentive into action plan. Treat yourself after you achieve set goals. With each goal achieved, plan a bigger reward. It may start with treating yourself to a coffee and build up to a week-long cruise. Measuring your growth allows you the opportunity to celebrate your success, while motivating you to continue to pursue the next goals. You can adjust your goals, and evaluate your commitment to your goals if you not achieving the success your hope to see.
Step 10: Share your goals with others.
Find a person that you trust and share your plan with them. Be sure this person is a positive and reliable person. Ask them to keep you accountable to your plan. It is good to get feedback and support with your plan. Others can help give you perspective and encouragement. If you cannot think of someone you’re willing to share your plan with then seek the support from other resources such as a counselor, life coach, support groups, online support group. It is important to connect with others. Isolation and loneliness is the breeding ground for negative thinking. Reach out, don’t isolate.
Congrats you have survived failure without it negatively affecting the beautiful person you are. You are valuable despite your failure. Your Failure has strengthen who you. It has developed your character. It has tested your will. It has taught you more about yourself, and your resilience. It has taught you valuable lessons about your connection to others and the world. You have grown in skill, and wisdom.
Arise Beautiful you are not a Failure!