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Just Failed? Lift Yourself Up With These 5 Encouraging Thoughts

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Have you had a failure that made you not want to get out of bed? I’ve just come back from a public speaking contest where I was unable to make the next round. I practiced hard but was unable to come up with a satisfying message. I worked hard but it felt like my efforts were wasted.

I wanted to redeem myself immediately but knew I couldn’t. I would have to wait and live with the negative feelings for a year until the next contest. Big failures crush your self-esteem, your confidence and your drive. Your morale is depleted and you question your goals and your self-worth. Getting out of bed hurts and you don’t want to try again.

While staying in bed sounds nice, you have to get up. Even with failure stinging your heart, you have to keep moving towards the future.

Motivating yourself again is tough but here are a few things you can tell yourself to feel positive again:

1. Failure Was Bound To Happen

Everyone wants to avoid failure, but you cannot be successful without it. The road to success has a few failures, it’s unavoidable. Success is not the smooth journey people make it out to be.

Before my loss, I had been winning at other public speaking contests. I did get the feeling of invincibility, but unfortunately I knew this would not last. As much as I hate failure, it is part of life. You can’t keep succeeding without encountering failure. You were going to fail eventually. It doesn’t mean that you deliberately tried to fail, but it had to happen at some point.

“Success is measured by how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – George S. Patton

2. There Will Be A Second Chance

Unless you quit chasing your dreams entirely, there will always be another chance to try again. It is difficult to accept after a big failure, but deep down you know it is true. Even though I lost the contest, I knew there would be another one next year. It’s a long wait but I would be able to compete and hopefully succeed where I previously failed. Life is long enough that there are multiple opportunities to reach your goal. Things can change and you may not be facing the same landscape that you faced before, but that doesn’t mean success is gone forever.

3. There Might Be Something To Learn

As much as we like learning from our successes, our failures still have lessons they can teach us. Revisiting your failure might give you insight into why things went the way they did, and how you can stop it from happening the next time. Failed to prepare as much as you believed? Attention divided due to other issues? Underestimated the obstacles you had to overcome?

I’ve done all of these and more, which has resulted in failures that I’m not proud of. I still take a look to see what I can change next time. Looking at these mistakes and being honest with myself hurts, but it helps me learn what I can do differently. Don’t let the opportunity to learn pass you by because it’s painful to reflect. If you know there is something you can do to improve, take it as a learning experience.

4. Stop Thinking “That Should Be Me”

I should have landed that sale. I should be the one holding the trophy. I should be experiencing success instead of that person. It’s easy to fall into that line of thinking, especially if you were extremely close to succeeding. You can’t help but think you deserve success instead of failure, but this traps you in the past. It makes you reimagine your failure into success, and it feels wonderful. You want to live in that world.

It’s not a good thought to have. By believing that you should have succeeded, you’re not moving forward. Your mind will be replaying that moment, convincing you that everyone else was wrong and you were right. It’s hard to resist and you will inevitably have that thought, but success is not about thinking about what should have been. It’s about working on what could be.

5. You Are More Than Your Failures

After failing at something you put all your effort in, you can feel pathetic. You would not have failed if you were competent, if you were the person you said you were. But since you didn’t succeed, you must not be as great as you thought. Public speaking is my specialty, and I am upset when I fail. I feel that if I’m not good at my specialty, I’m a failure. If I can’t be the best speaker in the room, my entire worth as a human is non-existent.

But failing doesn’t mean you’re incompetent. Everyone fails, even the successful people you idolize. Failing doesn’t mean you’re doomed to mediocrity, it just means that you have more work to do. You have succeeded before, which means you’re not as bad as you believe. Failure is not representative of your ability. You may have to change, but you never lost your potential.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

I’ve had to live with my failures for a long time, but every time I licked my wounds and prepared myself for the next opportunity to succeed. Failure always hurts, especially if it’s big. You question your ability and your chances to succeed in the future.

The good news is, there will always be another time to succeed. Failing is part of life, it happens, but you don’t have to fail the same way twice. Learn from your failures, know that it doesn’t define your ability and get your head out of the past. You didn’t succeed today, but there’s always tomorrow.

How do you recover from failure? Comment below!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Derek

    Apr 2, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Great article. It was full of information and it has lot of interesting thoughts & facts. Keep sharing!

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Life

6 Reasons Why You Should Never Glorify Failure After You’ve Failed

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Many people are ashamed of failure. If they so much as smell a whiff of failure, they quit instantly because the public notices it quickly. But you shouldn’t be ashamed of failure. A lot of people have failed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career, business, relationships and more. Yet, I keep trying because failure isn’t the final verdict. (more…)

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How to Move Forward When All Seems Lost

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A few weeks ago, the relationship of my venture with a long-term client turned rocky. Losing them would mean a huge loss for my business, but it appeared like that’s where we were headed. My mind raced with unpleasant thoughts. Maybe the client had figured out that I couldn’t lead my team well. Maybe I was not good enough to be an entrepreneur. Maybe I was not good enough to do anything.

Why was the world so unfair?! Within moments, my anxiety had shot through the roof and my heart was racing faster than an F1 car engine. But I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.

Why Problems Overwhelm Us

As human beings, we’re good at solving problems, so they shouldn’t stress us out. Yet, they do just that. Why?

Consider some of these situations in life. When a relationship is headed for troubled waters, we wonder whether our partner loves us anymore. Our mind unearths memories of when we got dumped or rejected. We blame ourselves for falling for the wrong people and tell ourselves that we’re not worth receiving love.

How do you think the relationship will steer after that? If we cannot stick to a diet, we think of other times when we gave up. We remember what people said about things that we couldn’t do and ask ourselves, “were they right?” We tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to succeed at anything.

Do you think we’ll find the grit to stick to the diet after this? So here we are… thinking we’re not good enough to be entrepreneurs, to be loved, to get promoted, or to achieve our personal goals. Notice a pattern yet? We move in the wrong direction. The destination is to achieve the goal. And unless we stop giving into emotions and start addressing situations, we’ll keep failing to get there.

Negative emotions (and even extremely positive ones) blur our vision. The more we focus on them, the deeper we go into how we feel. We either get angry because things aren’t the way we want them to be, or get paralyzed by the fear of the worst possible outcome. This means we pull away from the one thing we must do to set things right — take action.

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie

How to Take Action in the Face of Problems

Most human beings are good at solving problems. Where we get blindsided is at diagnosing the right problem. To diagnose the right problem, we must address the situation instead of emotions. We must see things for what they are, collect facts on what we’re worrying about, and then ask ourselves, “What should I do next?”

In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, Dale Carnegie wrote: “Neither you nor I nor Einstein nor the Supreme Court of the United States is brilliant enough to reach an intelligent decision on any problem without first getting the facts.”

To address the tricky situation with my client, I took the following three steps:

1. First, I acknowledged the feeling

Solving a problem doesn’t mean ignoring emotions. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel because it reveals the path, but domesticating your emotions is more important. I acknowledged how I felt by saying, “I feel anxious because the client might not want to work with us anymore and this will be a financial loss for us.”

Note how I said “I feel anxious” and not “I’m a loser.” If I had given into negative chatter, I wouldn’t have uncovered the direction to move in (the part after “because”). This is why domesticating emotions is crucial.

2. Next, I prepared for the worst

We often run from our worst fears rather than facing them despite knowing that the worst outcome rarely comes true. The result is that we stay stuck in fear instead of pushing beyond it. And we never discover what we’re really capable of, which sucks.

In my case, the worst meant losing the client. It would hurt but it was the truth. However, we could get more clients. Plus we already had other clients who helped us pay the bills. In other words, I wouldn’t have to live on the street.

The moment I accepted this, a huge weight got lifted off my chest. This prepared me for the third and final step.

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Lastly, I examined the situation

Examining a situation means setting aside your emotional baggage and focusing on facts. When you trust that you’ll be okay, you become better at diagnosing the real problem. Once I felt lighter, I could see things clearly.

I used the 5 Whys Technique (asking “why” five times) to figure out the real reason for the client’s dissatisfaction. Then I collected data on the issue and on what we had previously delivered.

Finally, I reached out to the CEO of the client and held a detailed and constructive discussion based on my findings. Within four days, the CEO and I were back to the way things were before.

The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to give today your best. I’m not sure whether the issue with the client got resolved for good or whether the client won’t pack up and leave one day. However, I am sure that I’m prepared to handle such cases better today than I was yesterday.

Control your emotions instead of letting them run amok. Accept things for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Be realistic instead of delusional. Address the situation instead of succumbing to emotions.

Don’t preempt what lies ten miles ahead and get paralyzed by fear. Address what lies clearly in front of you and keep moving. One day you’ll be surprised about how close to your destination you are.

How do you move forward when all hope seems to be lost? Share your advice below!

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8 Effective Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing

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You know what they say, “Health Is Wealth”. But, more often than not, we only mean it in the context of physical health. There’s no question that being fit is the world’s greatest treasure. Unfortunately, not a lot of us take time out to look after our emotional health and wellbeing.

Let’s not forget – it’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. So, if you are able to take control of your emotions, thoughts, how you feel through the day and how you respond to myriad situations; there’s nothing quite like it. When you become the master of your emotions; health, prosperity, and basically all good things are bound to follow you.

With that said, here are 8 surefire ways that will improve your emotional wellbeing:

1. Practice Mindfulness

Half the time, we don’t even know what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. That’s because we let our minds operate on autopilot. It’s time to take control of your mind. Be aware of what and how you feel throughout the day. The upside to this practice is that you can detect negative emotions right on the onset and quickly change them and their corresponding feeling.

Feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred; they are not good for the mind, soul, or the body. Paying close attention to the spectrum of emotions you experience throughout the day, will help you detect the negative ones and kick them away before they fester deep enough to take away your happiness and emotional health.

2. Stay Physically Active

As you engage in physical activities, your brain produces a whole bunch of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. These hormones are what causes the ‘elated’ or ‘euphoric’ feeling. Being physically active uplifts your mood and your outlook towards life. It readies you to take the challenges more head-on instead of becoming overwhelmed by the littlest of inconvenience.

You are better able to analyze tough situations and take a more proactive rather than a reactive approach. It’s no question physical health is in direct proportion with emotional health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and vice versa.

“Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.” – Sid Garza-Hillman

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Ever noticed how you feel depressed and cranky, and just out of focus the day you fail to get a good night’s sleep? Well, if you fail to get sufficient sleep for a couple of days, you are bound to feel more depressed, cranky and eventually more prone to a host of negative emotions. Research shows that sleep deprivation sends amygdala – our brain’s emotional response center into overdrive.

Amygdala controls our immediate emotional responses. When it becomes overactive, we become more reactive rather than active. We become more irritable, angry and anxious. A good night’s sleep is vital to improving your emotional wellbeing.

4. Develop a New Hobby

Learn to swim. Try arts and crafts. How about painting? Swimming is a ‘happy’ activity. You get to make new friends and stay fit. Arts and crafts, as we all know, tends to have a relaxing effect on the mind and the nerves.

Just the process of creating something from scratch makes you confident and gets those creative juices flowing. Similarly, painting helps you express yourself. All these factors together create a ‘happy you’. The one who likes to engage in new things instead of resisting change or difficult situations.

5. Eat Healthy

Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Well, it’s true to the last syllable. When you eat foods rich in salt, sodium, fat – you are bound to feel lethargic. It takes longer for the body to digest such foods. That means the body is forced to deprive organs of blood and use it for the digestion purpose.

Result? You become lazy, moody, not ready to take any responsibility which leads to feeling cranky and irritable. On the other hand, eating fibrous vegetables, fruits, salads, and complex sugars keeps you upbeat and healthy.

6. Laugh Your Heart Out

Laughter is the best medicine. That is why they have a dedicated ‘laughter session’ in yoga studios. You don’t even have to mean it. The simple act of spreading your cheeks and pretending to laugh sends a signal to your body that you are happy.

And what happens when you are happy? Your brain releases happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin and what not. In fact, many studies have gone so far as to stipulate that laughter alone is capable of treating all kinds of physical ailments. Why should emotional ailments be any different?

7. Try Relaxation Techniques

‘’Visualization technique’’ where you imagine yourself in a happy place is a surefire way to calm your nerves if you find yourself distressed. You may also try praying to elate yourself. Praying is good for the mind and the soul.

Controlled breathing or ‘biofeedback technique’ are some other relaxation techniques that can tame how you feel and even your bodily functions. Try surrounding yourself with aromatherapy or scented candles because the smell is a big factor in governing how we feel.

“Positive emotional energy is the key to health, happiness and wellbeing. The more positive you are, the better your life will be in every area.” – Brian Tracy

8. Count Your Blessings

We all have so much to be thankful for. It could be a friend who stands by you or a happy family. Good health. Financial freedom. Make a list of all the things that you feel grateful for in your life. If it’s a person, be sure to communicate your feelings and express your gratitude.

You will feel so much happier. Happiness is the diet of a healthy mind and an intelligent emotional response mechanism. You could also try writing a poem or simply expressing your gratitude through the power of prayers.

There are so many ways to become emotionally intelligent and not one of them requires any investment or special skills. Practically anyone and everyone can do it. All you need is the will and the desire.

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How You Can Use the Power of Gratitude to Your Advantage

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The word gratitude has been tossed around, but do you know exactly what it means or how to implement it into your life? Someone has probably told you in your life, “Express more gratitude.” Well, that sounds like a great idea, but if you don’t know what gratitude is, how can you fully express it in your life? It’s a concept that once you grasp, it will change your life. (more…)

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