Overcoming Failure: Expectations vs. Reality #5

No one wants to fail. Everyone wants to win!
But with winning comes a fail … (or a 100).
Whether you fail in business or your personal life, it sucks! I know!
But here’s a secret, it’s okay to fail, fall on our faces in disappointment, embarrassed at some point in our lives.

Remember that Comfort Zone that we talked about before? Well, if you never fail, I assume you are living directly in the center of it, on a comfortable little couch. Pretty relaxed huh? I’d say, pretty boring!

Learning how to overcome failure is an important part of life and business. I’m going to share with you how I have learned to accept and overcome failure.
Let me be blunt. I didn’t just wake up one day and say…
 “hey, I’ve got all the answers and I’m never failing again”!   (I WISH)

I have failed, made rash decisions lead by emotions, made wrong choices, said the wrong thing, failed a test (or 10), didn’t place where I wanted in a body building show, got a DUI, and much more. It took me a lot of fails to finally find tools that work for me.
So, maybe they will work for you too.

Rash Decisions Lead by Emotions Lead to Failure

Something happens. A relationship ends, you get in an argument, you fail a test, you don’t get the promotion, a friend dies, someone else hurts you, or you battle your own anxiety and/or depression. Emotions are triggered to become your main source of decision-making and put your rational brainwaves on pause.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and feed you motivational scripts. Such as, “if plan A doesn’t work, there’s more letters in the alphabet”, or I like this one, “You didn’t fail. You just found a way that didn’t work”.

Look… these are all just words unless you know how to DEAL WITH YOUR FAILURE.
There is no order to this. You must find which order fits you best. We are all different.

Typically, the first thing we tend to do when we fail at something is to FREAK OUT!
We get upset or even angry. It is human nature to react this way. There’s nothing wrong with you. However, the number one thing you must remember is: YOU HAVE TO FACE THOSE FEELINGS.
You cannot bottle them up, shove them down, ignore them, or lash out at other people. It’s just not fair to others or yourself.

What steps have I taken to deal with my emotions when I fail, You Ask?

First of all, I cannot repeat this enough, stay off social media when your emotions are in control of your actions!! You will thank yourself later for doing this.

Don’t face it alone.
Nowhere does it say that you must internalize your failure. I used to become embarrassed and try to find the answers why I failed, all alone.

I grew up in a home where we didn’t speak about feelings or when we did, we were called a “crybaby”. So, I became a Pro at stuffing my emotions deep down, in the balls of my feet, until all I was doing was Stomping Around in Anger. I would hide my failure or even tell white lies because I was so disappointed in myself.
What is the positive response I should have had, You Ask? Admit my failure.
So, go ahead!
Say it out loud.
Scream if you must!!

While you are going through your emotional turmoil and want to lash out at every person that looks at you wrong, remember tomorrow will come. So, make sure you don’t say or do anything that could have a negative consequence for your or someone else’s life tomorrow.

Share your feelings with someone else who won’t judge you (it may take some time to find someone, but they are out there.) Even if they are unable to understand what you’re talking about, at least you are talking. By doing so, you are putting your failure and concern in a real perspective.
Then at this point I can guarantee your brain starts to scramble for other solutions.
And then BAM! Failure, Bye-Bye. 😊 Answers, Hello.

Transparency: Yes, it’s a tool I use to Overcome Failure

When we fail, we tend to become ashamed and it’s natural to hide or minimize our failures. So, when you speak with your friend or therapist, be transparent. Don’t hold back. If you don’t come absolutely clean, you could ultimately just make things worse. Owning up to your mistake and taking responsibility can help right any wrongs. I have done this several times and even though it may feel uncomfortable at the time, it will only benefit your future.

Separating Your Character from the Failure

Some would define Character as a distinctive mark, reputation, or even abilities (or there lack of).
So, to be understood as a valuable human being, we must constantly rely on what others think of us and look “good” in front of other people. This phony behavior is unrealistic.  

There are going to be moments that you fail, other people will frown, and their perception of you may decrease. Let me enlighten you, whether you win or lose, there will always be someone who has something negative to say. (That is their insecurity, not yours).

As an alternative, think about your self-worth and what you have confidence in. For me, I have faith in myself and this universe. For you, it may be something different and that’s okay.
Just because you failed at something you tried, doesn’t change your character.

When Opportunity Fails, I Look and Listen

I trust when one prospect fails, we should take the time to look and listen, five other opportunities may be arising. I believe when we become angry it clouds our vision and the negative thoughts become the voices we unconsciously hear.

Others ask me how I constantly appear positive, even when things are not going my way. I’ll let you in on a secret…in the center of a huge failure or when something doesn’t turn out the way I expected, I believe there is always a glimpse of something positive in the making, that whispers, “it’s okay, keep going”.

It may take a lot of practice and time for you to hear and see the positive, but when you do focus on it. You may discover a part of yourself you did not know before, find a new passion, or hobby.
I have not always had this mentality. It took a lot of personal training to change my negative thoughts and reactions into positive ones.

Knowing the Difference Between Learning from Failure and a Problem

When we fail, we tend to feel bad about ourselves, but failing, making mistakes, even falling flat on our faces is NOT a bad thing! Take a step back. Breath for just a minute. Take a real look at what went wrong. Don’t feel bad about yourself and don’t unmeaningly apologize.

I have learned to slow down and ask myself why did I fail?
What could I have done differently? (In this case, do not think “what if”).
What should I learn from this to improve my future and myself?

The difference between failure and a Problem:

I like to use something I made up called my “I’m Sorry Bucket”. I use this bucket for myself and for others. It’s okay to fail, yes, but it is not okay to keep making the same mistakes over and over. That is not learning from the failure. That is an issue or problem that needs to be addressed. And guess what? …That’s okay to. Just address it.

Keep Stepping Forward but Break When You Need to

Not only in our personal lives do we need to take a break but in our business life as well. I have learned that resting is essential after a failure or in the middle of the biggest and most exciting moment of our lives. We don’t ever want to move too fast or too slow. When we are in the midst of one of biggest moments in our life, it is easy to jump ahead and make mistakes. I urge you to take your time.

Pick up all your pieces and leave the ones you no longer need, including relationships. It is okay to outgrow the people you once knew to be on the same level. It is necessary that you continue stepping forward.
Your life purpose could be waiting for you on the other side of the door.

I am Katrina.

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