In life, we’re bound to experience failure from time to time. Some events are minuscule like losing a friendly game of kickball, and some are catastrophic like losing your job. For some, the lows in life seem to hit us like a tsunami, knocking us down and drowning our spirit.
This past year was one of the most difficult years for me both personally and professionally. One devastating event rolled in one after another. Within a blink, I was jobless and forced to move back home, in addition to having family issues and a fading relationship. My world was being reshaped without my consent and I felt lost. There were things I was not ready to let go of, yet change and loss were happening whether I liked it or not.
With change comes decisions and responsibility. I could either let my failures define me or learn from them. I chose to adapt, taking control of my life. It’s not easy but it’s necessary for your wellbeing and happiness. Next time you find yourself in a tough situation, I encourage you to rise above the negative feelings. Here are 4 steps to overcome failure.
When your world is turned upside down, take a moment for yourself to reflect. Reflection helps us connect to what is happening, possibly gaining a clearer understanding. Evaluate if this is a controllable or uncontrollable event. For my particular work situation, there was absolutely nothing I could do to change the outcome or the circumstances. The company was running out of money and I was put into an unfair situation of having my contract broken. There were red flags from the beginning but I was too naïve to see it. For me, this was a failure and a blow to my self-esteem. However, there was nothing I could do except learn from it. The same goes for relationships or committing to a healthy lifestyle. There will be bumps and occasional failures, but we must look internally to see why it happens and if it’s a recurring issue. If it is a recurring pattern, it is important to find the root of the issue. Is it behavioral, habitual, or mindset? Identify the source and begin to make small positive changes.
2. Demonstrate Resilience
When bad things happen to us, it’s easy to play the blame game, dwelling on every aspect of the incident. Rehashing the event will only bring resentment and suffering, stalling happiness and growth. When failure occurs, it is critical to move on, accepting the new reality. It will be different and even scary. It will certainly take time to re-adjust, but you are stronger than you realize. When I was suddenly jobless and homeless, I began to focus on the next step. I was not going to let this failure defeat me. You have the ability to overcome anything you just have to believe that you can. Don’t give up.
3. Be Proactive
Now that you have accepted your new reality, it’s time to move forward. Make a plan, set new goals, and get back out there. You are the only person that can make this happen and how you react to it will determine everything. Don’t let your circumstances have power over you. Perhaps you have had a few failed relationships but that doesn’t mean you are undeserving of love. Open your mind to the possibilities and accept that there is someone out there even better for you. Maybe you ended up not getting your dream job. Have a good cry, then continue to be proactive in your pursuit to achieving your goals. Let the failure be your driving force in creating a life that is extraordinary.
4. Find the Silver Lining
Believe it or not, there are hidden opportunities in every failure. There is a reason something didn’t work out. Personally, leaving my job behind was a blessing in disguise. From the beginning, the job felt off, bringing lasting distress and unhappiness. Having the job end was the universes way of telling me that something better was on the way. In fact, something better was on the way. I discovered my passion for wellness and writing. Sometimes we have to experience challenges and defeat in order to put us back on the right path. We might not see it at first but we have to try to find the good. Open your mind, stay positive, and find the silver lining. There is always a new beginning with a painful ending.
How have you bounced back from a bad experience?
Related: Should I Quit Blogging? On Calling it Quits
How a Balinese Spiritual Healer Brought Me Back to Life
How to Overcome a Quarter Life Crisis
Get more like this–sign up for our newsletter for exclusive inspirational content!
Photo: Anna Aden via Flicker