Failure is inevitable if you’re doing something with your life. So why do we choose to live in fear and hope that it never happens?
We dread failure for many reasons. It might be because you are anxious of how others are going to perceive you, especially if you’ve dubbed yourself as a “smart” person. Confidence takes a nosedive, and you might even experience an identity crisis depending on how closely you’ve linked a specific accomplishment to who you define yourself to be.
Fear of disappointing those who believe in us is another factor that makes a setback hard to deal with.
For example, how do you tell your parents that you are not graduating after they have been talking about it the whole year?
If you’re the kind of person who sets timelines, not achieving a goal can put you in panic mode. It’s anunwanted disturbance from the solid plan in your mind.
I’ve experienced the above first hand. It’s going to take me two years to get my honors degree, instead of one as set by my university. Having never failed in my academics before, it took a while for me to wrap my mind around it. After much thought and deliberation, I have concluded that there is no shame. It’s just going to be a fraction of my epic story of how I made it.
Here is my take on how to bounce back from a setback:
It’s not personal
We all go through it, just at different times and in different aspects of our lives.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might
as well not have lived at all- in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K Rowling.
Quit the self-criticism
How is it that you are so encouraging and understanding towards others, yet you don’t even attempt to extend yourself the same courtesy? You can have an amazing support system that lets you know that it’s okay to fail. However, your mental state will be shambles if you beat yourself down for not being perfect and getting things right the first time. There’s a difference between “real talk” and negative talk. Reflection on failure, though painful, is not meant to be disempowering. Check yourself.
Be honest with yourself and acknowledge where you went wrong
Don’t refuse to acknowledge a failure in name of positive thinking. When you have no one else to blame but yourself it is so tempting to stay in denial. However, such beating around the bush, down playing your emotions and feigning nonchalance only delays the recovery and the amount of time it takes to start moving in an upward trajectory. Take responsibility and own up to your actions and the role you played leading up to a failure. The point is not to berate yourself but to learn from your mistakes. To get constructive feedback ask yourself; what can I learn from this situation? What would I do differently, given the chance?
Strategize, plan and start preparing for your next step. Check out my article on how to set goals that stick, here.
It’s ok to begin again, as many times as you need to. Failure is a temporary setback, not a definition of how your life is going to be. Do not be discouraged! The struggle builds strength and character. We admire well known people for making it big despite the adversaries that they faced yet when it’s time for us develop that same perseverance we shrink from the challenge. I dare you to change that. Keep showing up for yourself. You’re a masterpiece in the making. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
Failure is part and parcel of the journey to achieving your dreams.
And to my ladies;
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” – OprahWinfrey
Thank you for visiting. May your bounce-back game be infallible.