We all experience failure! It is part of life. What will shape our future is how we react to it. So let’s talk about how to pick yourself up after failure.
So let me start by saying that I have failed… a lot. Sometimes it was easy for me to pick myself back up and other time sit seemed like I had the hardest time getting back to normal. When I think back, there are some specific steps that I have taken that always seem to speed up what I would call the failure recovery process.
Step 1: Acknowledge Your Feelings
The first step is to acknowledge your feelings. I have noticed that when I tried to ignore my feelings about the failure I have experiences, it just took longer to get back up. And that’s because those feelings would just resurface at a later time.
So don’t ignore those feelings. Don’t put them on the back burner and pretend that everything is fine. Believe me, I have tried that approach many times. And it never works. So let yourself feel sad, angry, frustrated, or disappointed. Your feelings are valid!
Step 2: Address Your Emotions
Now that you let yourself experience those emotions, it’s time to address them. You need to find a way to deal with those feelings in a positive way. Different types of emotions will require a different kind of approach. And we are all different. So there is no one size fits all. Each of us has to find what works best for them.
But I will give you some examples. If you feel angry, maybe you can go for a run or take a kickboxing class. If you feel sad maybe crying will help you address those emotions. You might find meditation healing if you are feeling frustrated and need to refocus and clear your head. You can also journal to help yourself walk through all emotions and figuring out a way to move forward. Or maybe you are the kind of person who needs to talk things out with a spouse, friend, or a mentor.
Pick a method that will help you address those emotions.
Step 3: Change Your Mindset
And now we can move into the third step, which is changing our mindset. We need to take all the negative energy and turn it into something positive and productive.
There are two ways that I have found for me to change my perspective.
The first one is to think back to examples of how I picked myself up after failure in the past.Think about some of your past fails and successes that came after that. This will help you gain self confidence to accept the failure and move forward. I talked about it in more detail in one of my previous videos on how to gain self-confidence, so I will link it up here and in the description box if you want to check it out.
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The second way is for me to think about failures of very successful people. I think of people like Dave Ramsey who went bankrupt before launching his extremely successful personal finance business.
I think about the legendary basketball player Michael Jordan. He said:
“I missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and lost. I have failed over, and over, and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
I think of Walt Disney, who was fired from Kansas City Star because his editor thought he did not have imagination!
Those people did not let failure define them. They allowed the failure to motivate them to keep working harder on their goals and dreams.
Step 4: Learn from Your Failure
The next step is to write down all you have learned from your failure. Both about the situation you have failed at and yourself.
For the situation itself, write down what would you differently in a similar situation. If the failure was about a business opportunity, write down why you think it failed. Did you miss some warning signs? Did you not dedicate enough time?
And for the lessons you have learned about yourself, write down things like did I let my emotions take over rational thinking? Did I have a bias going into the situation? Was I ignoring warning signs on purpose because I did not want to deal with them?
The point of this step is that we don’t want the failure to go to waste, so to speak. We want to learn from it! We want to make sure that we don’t repeat the same mistakes over again.
Going through this step also prevents me from constantly going back to this failure down the line and analyzing and re-analyzing what went wrong and why. Because I’m doing that right away. I am dedicating time to really think about it and analyze what went wrong, why it went wrong, and what can I do differently the next time.
Step 5: Affirmations
The last step is something that will inspire and motivate you to keep moving forward. Sometimes we just need a few extra nudges before we can take on another opportunity or start taking another direction in our life journey.
And that is repeating affirmations.
If you have never done affirmations, you might think it’s a silly step. I thought the exact thing in the past. But repeating those affirmations on a regular basis has helped me with a positive mindset on many different occasions. So go on Google or Pinterest and find affirmations that speak to you.
Here are three that I really like:
“Failure is a detour. Not a dead end street” – Zig Ziglar
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly” – Robert Kennedy
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison.
So these are the ones that work for me, but there are plenty of others that you can find online.
Those are all the steps. Now you are ready to take on another challenge or opportunity and start moving forward.
I have collaborated on this topic with Sam, who posted a video on this topic on her YouTube Channel called Unafraid and Undefeated. Her channel is about intentional living and conquering fear to live a victorious life. She is a part of John Maxwell Team, who as you know is one of my favorite personal growth authors. And that team has certified coaches, trainers and speakers who offer an array of speaking events on personal growth worldwide. Make sure you check out her channel to see her tips on how to pick yourself up after failure.
If you have any additional steps that you take to help you with failure, make sure you leave a comment below. I would love to see what has worked for you in the past. And make sure you go and check out Sam’s video to see her point of view on how to pick yourself up after failure.
What helps you recover from failure?