No one likes losing. Fact. I refuse to believe anyone enjoys hearing the word no when they put themselves out there! Many will have felt the sinking feeling of receiving a rejection email for a job or endured the breakdown of a relationship with the person you were once sure you would marry. Whatever it is, whatever the cause of that helplessness of having to start over, how you deal with your next step is far more important than the event itself. I’ve felt that feeling of failure and I’ve seen it the eyes of many people in my life over the years, but I’ve also seen them rise. It’s all about the comeback right?
So, you’ve had some unwelcome news and you’re struggling to cope with disappointment, what do you do? I’m not going to pretend to be an expert, I’m simply a work in progress but here is what I like to tell myself when something doesn’t go as planned:
- Just because this failed, doesn’t mean the next attempt will.
- You’re allowed to be upset, in fact it’s important to feel your feelings… but use it to motivate you.
- Every failure comes with lessons. Look at what went wrong (and what was right!) and make a plan.
- Don’t let it overwhelm you. Distract yourself from the early disappointment by doing something you love.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. This will just cause bitterness and resentment, plus, it’s of no use to you how others live their life. You do you.
- Don’t dwell, make peace and remind yourself why the trying is worth it.
It’s also worth noting that if you feel more upset at telling people you failed rather than what went wrong, ask yourself if you’re making the right choices. Being successful requires passion and consistency, if you’re not passionate enough about it to be consistent, it’s not for you. As a perfect segue, here are some examples of how some of the most influential people in the world fell short before their passions triumphed:
- Walt Disney was once fired from a newspaper because they said he “lacked creativity”.
- The Beatles were rejected by numerous record labels including Decca Records, which said, “guitar groups are on the way out” and “the Beatles have no future in show business.”
- Oprah Winfrey was fired from one of her first jobs as a TV Co-host.
- A dozen publishers rejected Harry Potter, with one telling JK Rowling “There is no money in children’s books”
- Lady Gaga was dropped by her record label after only 3 months – we all know how that turned out.
Ask a wildly successful person to tell you their story and my bet is that they would spend just as much time telling you about their failures as they would the successes. How would we ever appreciate the feeling of accomplishment if we didn’t experience the losses too? Let’s just call it life’s way of keeping us humble.
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.Michael Jordan
Sometimes our fear of failing stems from a need to avoid not meeting the expectations we assume others have of us. How much money to earn, whether to have children or own your own home, society is full of expectations from the minute you arrive into the world. Just make sure that whatever you are striving for is coming from your heart because you may even find the journey to success is a smoother ride.
We tend to overcomplicate what makes us a special person in others eyes but forget that the answer is often quite simple. People won’t remember how busy you seemed, how successful you were or how nice your car was. They will remember the things that you said, the kindness you displayed and how you made them feel. So, whilst you may unfairly label yourself as a failure because you know somebody, that knows somebody that’s a CEO at 22, what does it matter anyway? There’s always someone who has it worse than you and always someone who has it better, focus on your own lane.We’re all just trying our best, navigating through life’s normal (and abnormal!) ups and downs and that in itself deserves credit.
Let me know in the comments below how you deal with failure or if it’s something you also struggle with. You can follow me on Instagram @staceyblogs for more and I’ve linked some similar blog posts below:
Thanks for reading,