Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Moving On From Failure

Remember when I talked about the fear of failure and how we shouldn't let it stop up from our dreams? (If you don't, where have you been?!) However, letting go of the fear of it, does not make failure impossible. The thing about failure is that it's inevitable, no matter what you do. So when we put ourselves out there, feeling vulnerable, and we end up failing, how do we move on from that? 

Moving on from Failure | Sunny Rebecca

When we fail, it feels like it's the end of the world. It feels like you're worthless and untalented and that you will never be able to accomplish anything. There are so many times that I have failed and it felt like I would never be able to succeed. I let it discourage me. In that moment, I felt like I wasn't good enough and I never would be.  It's so easy to fall into that fixed mindset. I get it, those feelings are valid, you're allowed to think that, but you can't let it affect you.

I just recently went through a failure when I applied for something and I didn't get accepted. Honestly, I think that the worst part about it was having to tell other people that I didn't get in, because that made it real. I avoid the topic and I still feel like I'm not good enough, but it's a process. Getting over your failures isn't something that you can just brush off easily, it's like a wound, it heals with time and care. This is why I believe that the first step is mourning.

Step One: Mourning.

I think that the most common misconception about dealing with failure is that you have to not let it affect you and instantly jump back on your feet. However, I believe that you need to let out your emotions. You need to channel your energy into something (or in my case, doing literally nothing and lying in my bed all day) that will make you feel better. I recommend binge-watching Netflix and eating chocolate all day, but do whatever makes you feel better. In my opinion, I think that it's perfectly valid to feel sad. Instead of pushing that sadness away, you need to embrace it before you can let it go. 

Step Two: Acceptance.

After the mourning process, you need to accept it. This is the point that you stop being sad and you start realizing that this is reality. You cannot change the past, so it is best to make peace with it. Back to my example of not getting into the thing that I applied for, I didn't want to talk about it because it reminded me that this was actually happening. In the moment, it feels like a stab of pain, but sometimes your mind doesn't necessarily register the failure right away. You need to accept that this is real. Some things are uncontrollable and as difficult as it is, you need to understand that your failures are not something that you can change. You cannot control your past failures. 

Step Three: The Future.

What does this failure mean for you in the future? While you cannot control your past failures, you can control your future to prevent failure. What steps are you going to take to make that failure a success? This might start with planning a checklist to get the things done that will get you closer to your end goal. It might also mean trying something new and a little different in order to change things up a bit. Take action towards prevention. Think of it as a gameplan. Plan out some plays that will lead you closer to winning the game. On the plus side, you've already eliminated one tactic towards potential success, which means that you're one step closer. 

Step Four: Prove your fixed mindset wrong.

You know that little voice in the back of your head that's saying to you, "You'll never be able to succeed" and "You'll never be good enough," that's your fixed mindset. It's the negativity that will do nothing but pull you down. Prove your fixed mindset wrong. If you let it affect you, eventually the fixed mindset will rule your life. Think on the bright side and get into that growth mindset. Think positively. Once your gameplan is set, put it into action and prove everyone wrong. Show you and everyone else that yes, you can do it. As cheesy as this sounds, Nelson Mandela once said that "It always seems impossible until it's done." No matter what you do, if you're stuck in your growth mindset, everything will seem impossible. Success will seem unreachable. However, it won't be impossible forever. If you give up, then it will always be impossible. With your growth mindset, you can succeed. The thing about failure is that you can either let it discourage you or you can let it fuel you for greatness. 

While the truth is that failure can be a good thing, the reality is that it doesn't always feel like a good thing. However, you're not alone. We all go through failure and the truth is that it hurts. While I would like to believe that it will immediately empower me and propel me to success, coping with failure is a process. Honestly, today I'm still not really over my recent failure, but I know that I will be, someday. There are no magic solutions for coping with failure, but these are some things that will hopefully make it a little better. I think that the only thing that you can do when you're dealing with failure is wait it out. Rome wasn't built in a day. 

Failure can pull you into the darkness, making you feel unworthy and pathetic, but it can also do the opposite, motivate you to try again and again and again until one day, you do succeed. Which will you choose? 

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