In this post you’ll find a few ideas on how to come back from failure.
In life and business the one thing none of us can escape from is failure. There certainly are people out there who seem to bend this rule, and somehow find themselves in a perpetual winning streak. The thing about it is that this so called streak always ends, and if we pay attention to the lucky few they either die or retire before it. Failing is inevitable, and it’s due to this inherent belief that we are the only ones who might never have to deal with it that we fail to prepare for, or design strategies to come back from it.
How to bounce back from failure?
Just trying is not enough to get what we want from life whatever that thing is. The reason for this is that rare are the cases in which we make it without “not making” it first, and having to go through the doubts and insecurities that infest our minds. We need also to learn to come back from failure. So, how do you do it? Well…bellow are a few suggestions.
1.Reduce your expectations going in
We are taught to be super positive, to the extent that we have to, and sometimes even do feel as if whatever thing we want to achieve is destined to go the way we expect. And our expectations about anything have been higher and higher as time went by. The big advantage of this feeling of certain victory is that it can often offer us a burst of energy to take more effective action, which would in turn make the desired outcome more likely. The downside is that in case we do fail, which often is the case, the recover, if we’re able to do it in the first place is much harder. The reason for this is in part due to the fact that going in, a part of us knows we can’t know whether we’ll succeed or not. We know that would entail knowing the future, which we can’t, so we have to make an effort to convince the pessimist within that we’ll get what we want. When we succeed in convincing ourselves, and we fail, it’s as if we lose credibility with ourselves, in the same way a person who promises greatness does when their visions fail to materialize.
With this loss of self-credibility also comes a loss of self-confidence, which is more than just saying positive things to yourself, but at the core the sense that we can, by ourselves do anything we put our minds to, and this is an important thing to have if we are to come back from any kind of failure.
By reducing our expectations, in such a way that instead of being sure we’ll get what we want we acknowledge the possibility of both outcomes and we take our actions towards it as nothing more than attempts to succeed instead of destiny, recovering from the blows of life becomes much easier. We know we might fail going in, so when we do, we are not devastated.
One step beyond this is to assume you’ll fail, and still take action any way. This is harder said than done, since we’re wired to act towards the things we deep inside feel are certain to give us some sort of pleasure. One reasonable question would be: “why would I try to succeed if I manage to convince myself that no matter what I do will result in failure?” The point here is to assume failure at a local level of your attempts, and not at a global one. The idea is to make peace with the smallness of the odds of success on your next attempt, and be aware that as the number of failed attempts grows, the greater are the odds of at least one success. This is what Jim Rohn used to call “The law Of averages”.
2.Preset the number of failures you’re willing to endure going in
Still in the same spirit the next idea is to predetermine the number of times you’re willing to/expect to fail. One problem we all tend to have in any goal pursuit is to assume that success will occur almost immediately. This is the root of the cause for why most projects of any nature fail to be met within budged and before the deadline. We tend to underestimate the duration, and effort required to accomplish the things we want.
We do this even when we’re not aware of it, and it’s why we can’t really predict when we’ll get frustrated by/give up on a goal we’ve being going after for a while. We have predefined notions about how hard we have to work before we accomplish what we want, and when that subconscious deadline is met we feel as if we failed. It’s when we take this limit to our own hands that we can have more control over our own frustrations and discouragement.
So, make an effort to pre-set the number of tries you’re willing to endure, and whenever you feel discouraged before you reach the defined number, remind yourself that you’re not allowed to even think about feeling discouraged before the number you defined.
3.Make yourself Immune to it
The next idea is to take the same approach psychologists take with people who have specific phobias. This is in essence to instead of avoiding the cause of the fear to slowly expose yourself to it. Here failing can be thought as the fear, so the solution would be to take actions in which you’re guaranteed to fail. This is not an easy task, but as time goes, just like any kind of pain, the pain that comes from failing, or losing at something becomes less and less, and eventually you find yourself wondering why the people make a big deal about failure.
It might sound counter intuitive but it’s the truth. Whatever you so desperately avoid, tends to desperately seek you, and the fear of failure is no different. The more you try and fail, the less big a deal failing is, and the clearest proof of it is the concept of mastery. Meaning that for any person you can without a shadow of doubt call a master of its craft, there are thousands and thousands of mini, and major failures that brick by brick made the essence of the perfection you see when they do their thing.
4.Have a sense of humour
One reason why failing is so painful is because we tend to attach it to who we are and our sense of self- worth. The ability to laugh at yourself and your imperfections is one of those super powerful, and yet very underrated kinds of mindset to have. In the dating world, the ones who get good at it are the ones who are able to get over this tendency to attach rejection, which happens to be a form of failure to who they are. They try and fail, try and fail, and each failure is as neutral on them as non-action. We think we should always be perfect because others around us think the same, and do their best to hide their insecurities and moments of failure. They talk to us about only positive things, and so we can’t help but to feel as if we are the only ones that go through the ups and downs of success and failure of life.
The easy, and not so easy way to train ourselves to bounce back from failure by training ourselves to have a good sense of humour about ourselves. When something embarrassing happens, first suppress the urge to hide it, tell someone about it, and laugh along with them. As time goes you develop what is known as “thick skin”, where nothing affects you, and that also happens to be at the other side of the coin of persistence. A side which once you embrace it not only makes you more resilient, but also happier.
Coming back from the blows of life just like most things is a habit. When we first embrace it, it feels like the most difficult thing to do, but over time, it becomes deeply engraved into our souls. It becomes a part of who we are at our core. So, more than just resisting the temptation to stay down once or twice, do your best to make it a part of your life.
It is all about knowledge and experience;)
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