5 Steps to Overcoming feeling like a Failure
Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how you process those mistakes that decides what type of person you are. We all know that we’re human, that mistakes are inevitable, especially in running a business where taking risks is a must, but sometimes knowing that failure is a part of life doesn’t ease the sting of the fact that we let ourselves down. The people that care about you most will tell you that you just have to try again, but it isn’t always easy to pick yourself up and go for something you just failed at. That’s why I want to talk about the 5 step process to overcoming the feeling of failure.
STEP 1: YOU GET TO WALLOW IN IT.
I hate when you’ve messed up and everyone wants to tell you that it’ll get better or that you just have to “get back on the horse.” Sure, they mean well, but sometimes you just need a good cry, or maybe to eat an entire tub of Rocky Road ice cream without judgement. I’m here to give you the permission to take the time your body and mind needs to heal, recharge, and get ready to get back out there. Some failures may take a longer wallowing phase than others, and that’s okay. Only you know how long you need and when you’re ready to move on. Just remember that you can’t stay here forever.
STEP 2: DISTRACT YOUR BRAIN.
Now that you’ve let out your emotions and frustrations and had to time to wallow in the fact that life happened and things didn’t turn out as planned, it’s time to distract your brain, because your brain is focused on the mistake you made and where you went wrong. So you’re going to give your brain a little exercise.
On a sheet of paper, make two columns. In the first, write down 5 things that you love about yourself (your hair, the way you sing, your ability to learn new things quickly, etc.), and in the second column, write down 5 things you’re proud that you’ve accomplished (starting your business, raising a baby, making the Dean’s list last semester, etc.). You’re forcing your brain into thinking of all the positive attributes and accolades that you have, instead of the one failure it wants to think about.
STEP 3: GIVE YOURSELF A PEP TALK.
Here’s the part you knew was coming. Now it’s time to really pick yourself up, and tell yourself that you’re only human, and that you’re going to move on because this one mistake isn’t going to define your entire life. See if you can double the list that you made and remind yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. All those celebrities and influencers you follow on Instagram know that they didn’t get to the top quickly, and it takes years of dedication. This is only one stepping stone on your path to success.
STEP 4: TAKE THIS AS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
What can you learn from this failure? It’s time to turn this mistake around and use it to better yourself for the future, or even to better someone else. How can you use your experience to help someone else avoid this pitfall. Some of my biggest mistakes have ended up being my most heartfelt Instagram captions and email newsletters, because people love something they can relate to, and when you’re willing to open yourself up and be willing to be imperfect, you can change the way you look at failures and imperfections.
STEP 5: MAKE A GAME PLAN.
Now it’s time to decide your next step. Are you going to try again? If so, right away? Maybe you’d rather take some time off and do a little more research before going at something a second time, or maybe this failure was telling you that this thing wasn’t meant for you. Whatever you decide, there’s no wrong answer, but you’ve got to make a game plan for where to go from here. It’s time to do a little soul searching and start reaching for success again!
"Failure is a verb, not a noun. It’s something that you do, not something that you are."
Again, everyone makes mistakes, and failure is a part of life (and business!), but it’s how you choose to process that failure that determines whether or not you’ll get where you ultimately want to go. Remember, you’re meant for bigger and better things, but you’re the only person who can convince yourself of that!
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