All too often, adults feel disappointed in the wake of failure. The fear of not meeting your own expectations leads to a lot of stress and struggle. Failure need not break the momentum toward your desires, though.
Read on if you want to turn let-downs into a new direction. You'll never lose your way if you're the one making the map, after all.
A Fact with Wow Factor
Acknowledging and talking about failure lead to happiness and future successes. [Source]
Stress Less Tip
At one time, I subscribed to these common beliefs about failure. How many do you hold over yourself?
Now for a dose of reality. None of these statements contain an inkling of truth. Not a single one of them. In fact, making mistakes makes you MORE likable! Statistically speaking, success follows failure as long as you learn from those failures.
Your response to failure is a learned behavior. The first time you felt disappointed in a less-than-desirable outcome, a destructive belief took root. Parents often try to teach their children to "lose gracefully." Yet many adults need to re-learn this lesson themselves.
Treat failure as an opportunity to gain new insights and abilities. Start by asking yourself these questions:
Don't just analyze the failure, act on the information you uncovered. Bridge the gap, whether that means developing a new plan or skillset. Over time, this reflect-and-adapt response reshapes your associations with failure.
Modern society enjoys countless conveniences born from mistakes. Check out some of these glorious, unintended failures below:
Not impressed yet? Plenty of history's most brilliant trailblazers didn't get it right on the first try either.
Winston Churchill failed the entrance exam to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst twice before passing.
Photo Credit: www.canstockphoto.com
Jack London received 600 rejections before a publisher finally purchased one of his stories.
Photo Credit: www.canstockphoto.com
With patience, personalities prone to self-imposed, high expectations benefit from practicing gated failure. In short, you create situations of an anticipated or planned degree of imperfection. This strategy works particularly well with regularly performed tasks or responsibilities.
For example, you might set a limit on how much time you dedicate to a task. As another option, you might complete an specific set of steps, ensuring a reasonable amount of attention to the task. I use the latter, a detailed writing process, when I work on articles for the Love it. Live it. Music. website. Otherwise, I would look for (and find) corrections and additions until no one's left to read them.
Gated failure builds tolerance, and eventually acceptance, of imperfection. As a result, you save yourself the enormous energy drain that accompanies perfectionism. Embracing this concept prevents overworking, too.
Designating a process or precise finish line for the "work" invites other advantages. Reduced uncertainty or indecisiveness fends off procrastination. You also assume a more objective perspective of the work you do. Stress and anxiety levels drop dramatically. All the while, confidence climbs.
On the flip side, you must hold yourself accountable to the preset cut-off point. Then, you move on. The gated failure process falls apart without this restraint.
The next time that disappointment dares to rise in the pit of your stomach, stop for a mindful moment.
Remind yourself that you determine what failure means. Then, pick your path: expanding your wealth of experience and knowledge or surrendering your time and confidence.
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