Failure Hurts: How to get “bouncebackability”

  • Understand your self-worth: If you are conscious of your true self-worth then you will be more likely to respond to others judgments, decisions or actions that go against you in a logical and more rational manner, making overcoming the obstacles easier and quicker. Spending time to know yourself, stepping away from other people’s opinions, and depending only on your own knowledge, realising your strengths and virtues. Write them down, focus on them so you can recall them whenever you start to question your ability and feel like you’re starting to take things to heart. Memorise the top five in various situations, work, home, or play.
  • Practice being genuine: This is the authentic version of yourself, being true to yourself and embracing who you are and what you stand for. Consider what it is that makes you successful and feels good to you, put yourself first, and know what is good for you and your life. When feeling like your back is against the wall, don’t fake it, be yourself and you will come out the other side stronger.
  • Allow yourself the opportunity to make mistakes: Our best learning can come from the mistakes that we make. Forgive yourself quickly, and learn from the error. Take responsibility for your choices, actions and behaviour, but realise that no benefit came from self flagellation. The best thing to come from a mistake is the learning and the next step. There is no such thing as a perfect person, all the most successful people have made countless mistakes but they have learned and grown with each one. Bosses will be a lot more understanding of errors if you go to them with the lesson that has been learned and future planning to avoid tripping over that bit again.
  • Know that people don’t always return kindness and generosity: We’ve been brought up in a culture that says treat people as you wish to be treated and you will get it back, unfortunately this isn’t always true and it’s worth remembering. Behave in ways that best match was is true to you and best for you and the business, not in ways where you believe you will get someone to respond back. It often ends in disappointment. This is not advice not to be kind, or to not help others, but to do it for genuine reasons that either benefit you, the business or them, not so that you have a favour in your pocket.
  • Write it down: Thoughts that are given words provide clarity and a clearer perspective. When you are feeling blame or an emotional reaction to an situation, try to write down the feelings you have and why you are having them. It is often a way to keep those feelings in check and you may just well find yourself laughing at your initial response and finding a more appropriate and positive reaction.
  • Identify and be aware of your Emotional Triggers: We all have certain triggers created and encouraged by past events that fire off emotional reactions. If you can identify these triggers then you can bring your responses into perspective. When you start to feel an emotional response then you can stop and ask “Is this a response to the situation or did it just fire one of my triggers?”. Examples of triggers are: not being listened to, disappointing authority figures, being out of control or helpless, criticism, being misunderstood, to mention just a few. You don’t need to go through trying to find their point of origin, but it is very useful to know what sets you off so you can recognise it, stop and take true stock of the situation.
  • Allow yourself to say “No”: This can be at work, or at home. Pleasing everyone is impossible and spreading yourself too thinly can result in feeling responsible for too many situations and can lead to poor performance. This only adds to the emotional response when others don’t respond or support you in return. Begin by practicing saying “No” in areas that feel safe, then once you are comfortable ad confident take it through into all aspects of your life when a “yes” would be the wrong answer. It is a talent to say No in a way that not only are you comfortable with but also makes the other person feel at ease. It is however something that gets easier with practice and very quickly you will observe the positives of saying No and setting clear boundaries. People like to know where they stand and they like it when people can give them honest and upfront answers. It increases honest and open lines of communication. It makes people more confident of asking you things as they know that if you say “Yes” it is because you are making a commitment and not just to please them or as an auto response.
  • Try a different perspective: Consider that your current response and might be overriding a logical response. We project our thoughts and responses and assume the other person thinks and responds like us. Consider the situation from a third person perspective, if you were a fly on the wall and removed from the personal input then how would you interpret the situation. This again gives you the logical and rational to learn from the situation and remove the emotion. What would you learn, and if it happened again what would you do differently?
When and where you use these strategies is down to you. It will speed up recovery from upset, or perceived failure, it will reduce emotional impact and increase your resilience. Take stock of a situation, gain the learning and move forwards.

People that care, that want to succeed and work hard with passion, whether it be at work, or in our personal life can make us vulnerable to taking things personally. Feeling failure or losing something that you have invested time, energy, money or all of those things in can cut us to the core and it hurts, it really hurts, knocks the stuffing out of ourselves, strike a blow to the stomach, making it more difficult to bounce back. Perhaps you or your team lost a big deal, or your sale fell through, perhaps a friend estranged themselves from you or you fall out with a family member, perhaps your idea wasn’t accepted or implemented. These tips are as useful in work as they are in our personal lives, so business or pleasure, work or play, family, friends, colleagues or bosses, use these tips when emotions run high in reactions to situations.

My advice is not as basic nor as dry as not to care, nor to shake it off but it is still quite simple. Caring and investing your energy and emotions can be a real positive both in business and in our personal lives and it’s critical that you are true to yourself. When something doesn’t go your way, perhaps you feel blame or take personal responsibility for something; holding on to the pain, being hypersensitive can be incredibly detrimental to future performance, self-worth, confidence, motivation and self-efficacy. Follow these tips to bounce back quicker and higher, become more resilient without losing your personality and keep hold of your self-worth. When things go wrong the quicker you can pick yourself up, dust yourself down the faster you can keep moving forwards in your goals, build the life and business you want and enjoy the life you choose.


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