178: History Notes: 5 Ways to Face Failure
We talk a lot about success on The First-Gen Lounge. And it’s okay to talk about success because how else can we motivate ourselves and others if not through success stories. However, today we are going to do things a little differently– we’re going to talk about failure. Things aren’t always going to work out exactly as planned, and not everybody succeeds on their first attempt. That’s why we have to make sure we don’t get stuck in failure.
Embracing Failures – 01:26
Of all the things you know about me, everything you’ve ever read about me or heard me speak about, know this, I have failed numerous times in my life. And I know that I’ll probably fail several times more in the future. But do I let that define me? No! Do I let that prevent me from showing up? Absolutely not! Although I’ve embraced my failures and mistakes, I’ve realized one thing; many people don’t like talking about failure. And it’s not like some people are failure-proof; it’s just that failing at something is embarrassing. Nobody wants to talk about that. We all want to tell tales of our conquests and wins and boast on social media how we managed to overcome all the odds and succeed. That’s why, in today’s session, I want to talk about failure and how best to deal with it.
What Happened was Supposed to Happen – 04:21
This is one of the oldest cliches out there, but it actually makes sense. Everything that happens to you was meant to happen. People tend to look back on difficult situations that have happened in their lives and instinctively assume that, “Well, if that hadn’t happened, then this other good thing wouldn’t have happened.” The people who do this find it easy to move on and handle failures. If you’re not this type of person, then try and view failures as lessons meant to be part of the journey.
It’s Okay to Feel How You Feel – 05:07
Failing sucks. There’s no doubt about that. But do you know why failing sucks? It’s because failure goes hand in hand with various emotions such as embarrassment, anger, shame, sadness, or anxiety. Those feelings are uncomfortable, and many people will do anything to avoid emotional discomfort.
Further, most people fall back to self-criticism every time they fall short of achieving their goals. Then it becomes almost impossible to let go of all that draining negativity. But it would help if you cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. It’s okay to be disappointed. This proves that whatever it was that you were pursuing is important. However, don’t get too stuck on your feelings. Dust yourself up and move on.
Be Honest With Yourself – 06:39
We all tell stories of ourselves that explain our emotions and give meaning to our lives. The question is: are you telling yourself the full story, and are you truly honest with yourself? Understandably, being honest with yourself is challenging. Most people live under a series of illusions about their capabilities and who they are, which often keeps them in a cycle. So, whenever you’re faced with failure, be honest with yourself about what you did wrong. If it’s a weight loss issue, what did you do wrong, or what could you have done better? Maybe you should have changed your diet or stuck to a more realistic weight loss plan.
Learn From Your Mistakes – 09:30
Although some mistakes might seem like the end of the world, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll realize that sometimes mistakes present the perfect opportunity to learn, grow, and improve yourself. So, after figuring out what went wrong, take action and develop a strategy that minimizes the chances of mistakes reoccurring. For example, if you failed a particular semester, what are the reasons that contributed to that failure, and what will you do about it.
Try Again – 12:06
I know this will hit some people the wrong way but if you fail, try again. Here’s the thing, everyone experiences failures, but not everyone dusts themselves off and tries again. In fact, the people who persevere have a better chance of success the next time than those who don’t. So, if your business failed the first time, try another business and don’t make the same mistakes. If it was a failed relationship, go out and meet new people. It’s only when we risk failing that we increase our chances of success. And once you grasp this concept, you become free to experiment and discover, rather than give up.