“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 have failed by default” – J.K. Rowling
When I was young, I used to beat myself so hard anytime I failed at something. Especially if that thing occurred in public. The shame and fear of facing the same people again….. Then came middle age….maturity, or maybe because I read wide now……’can’t really put my fingers on it but for some reason, I have come to realize that in life failure is inevitable if I want to continue to climb the ladder of growth and success. As a result, I had to devise means to help me cope with it.
About 7-8 years ago, I was told to make a presentation in church for the ministry I head. I put it together and I was ready to give it all. Little did I know what awaited me. On the day of the presentation, I walked up the stage. I even added a little drama on my way to the stage (shay you know me now 🙂 ). On getting there, my presentation would not come up on the projected screen and to make it worse, I did not have a hard copy backup for my slides. There I was in front of a large crowd, helpless and unable to do anything about the situation at hand. Quickly I apologized and the presentation was postponed. I was so embarrassed. OMGoodness! Now if you are the judgmental type, you are saying I should have known better…right? Or if you are the compassionate type you’re saying….aaawwww 🙁 . Taking a hard copy of my presentation with me would have saved me a lot of hassles but what has happened has happened dwelling on it wouldn’t have changed it. Did I learn a lesson….you bet I did. Now I deliver presentation flawlessly….It wasn’t really that occasion that made me a good presenter now but I can tell you, it sure enriched my experience.
My ways of Managing Failures, Moving on and Still Excel Despite All……
#1- I give life my best shot- In everything I embark on, I do my home work very well. In fact to the best of my ability. I think it through…in and out. I am not impulsive. Then I try my best so that if the situation/project fails, I know I tried and that it wasn’t meant to be. Then, I let go. I learn from it and I don’t look back. This takes me to the next REGRETS…..
#2- I removed the word “REGRET” from my vocabulary- I actually learned this in my late twenties when I realized that every time I experience any negative situation, it would get to me sooo bad. So I thought, how long will I continue like this. I decided that regret is such a negative emotion for me and I will do better without it. So out of the window I threw it. Besides, what is the point of crying over spilled milk.
#3- I have released myself from the burden of “what people think about me”. Maybe it’s maturity that got me to this level…..honestly I really have gotten to a place in life where I don’t really think about what people think about my failures and accomplishments anymore. Both negative and positive comments……… I don’t allow either to define me. Please don’t get me wrong….I try to be at peace with all that come my way. I sometimes take constructive criticism but outside this……Nope! Why do I do this?…..I have noticed that the fear of someone failing at a task is sometimes rooted in the fear of losing their self-esteem and respect. People get too bothered about what others think of them and as a result are not willing to take up challenges for fear of losing self-respect and if you don’t take up challenges, how will you break barriers, how will you make it in life? Remember….it’s your life….when push comes to shove…you are on your own so do what is best for you…”if you give too much power to others’ opinions, it could douse your passion and confidence, undermining your ability to ultimately succeed.” (Forbes).
#4- I learned to analyze my failures- I just added this in the last couple of years. It was a little difficult for me because this will require being truthful to oneself. It requires looking at your faults and what you did wrong and accepting it. For an objective failure analysis, you have to remove yourself from the situation, critique your own work without sentiments. You have to act like a third party.
#5- I changed my failure mentality- It’s quite unfortunate that the world labels anyone who failed at a task as being weak, stupid or incapable. This is quite unfair. Just because one did not succeed at something does not make that person a failure….it just means that particular method did not work. Try another way. Period! I had to deal with this myself.
#6- I apply failure to process, methods applied, guidelines, etc. I don’t say I have failed rather I say the guidelines, methods etc. I applied failed. I did not fail. I just need to try another method.
Failure is ineluctable. The danger is not in tripping/falling…..we all do that at some point in life….The danger lies in the “staying down”. Don’t allow failure or the fear of it keep you down. Learn how to manage it until you master it so you can claim your destiny.
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again”. Nelson Mandela
Question of the day- I’m sure you’ve gone through situations in life that did not go as you planned. How did you move past it? Share your experience….you might just touch a life positively.
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