And Thrive Again!
Failure is such a disheartening experience. You could feel it as an experience that has taken up many areas of your life, or it could more specific to a situation such as failure in a relationship, a marriage, parenting, your job or any other life situation.
The feeling that comes with experiencing failure beats you down emotionally, saps you of strength and strips you of the will to go on. It doesn’t matter if the failure was perceived or real one. Your confidence to go on generally spirals downwards.
Similar to negative human emotions like ‘envy’, failure is what the sufferer often do not want to admit to. Why? Because it means you have cowered your shoulders in a world where appearances mean everything. But it is getting to the state of the ‘cowered shoulders’ where you feel all is lost – that is actually the point where you can begin to thrive again.
Here are 3 steps To Thrive Again From Failure:
a. Allow Yourself to Get to Experience the ‘Cowered Shoulders’: The cowered shoulders is the point where you stop denying, escaping or blanking out the shame and hurt of failure, but instead allow it to run its course. You no longer go all out to ‘save face’ and create appearances to ‘show’ the opposite of what you are going through.
While this step may appear counter-productive, allowing yourself to actually experience the failure instead of distancing yourself from it through denial, distraction or escape is the surer route through getting over the failure. And you know what? You also gain self-compassion, self-acceptance, self-realization and empathy in the process; necessary ingredients for inner strength and health.
‘Pressure creates diamonds and fire refines gold’.
b. Know That You Lacked Complete Control:
“I considered and observed on earth the following: The race doesn’t belong to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor food to the wise, nor wealth to the smart, nor recognition to the skilled. Instead, timing and circumstances meet them all” (International Standard Version).
Trying all there is to be reasonably tried and doing all there is to be done and you still failed? There cannot always be a sure guarantee of success, even where you believed you have tried all your best and followed all the steps. A sudden gush of wind could disorient and displace the well-prepared swift runner; a scorpion bite may defeat the battle-hardened warrior who had defeated lions and venomous snakes; an addiction may deprive the wise of food; the smart may not have the wealth due to wrong timing or location; and the skilled may lack recognition for being a ‘square box in a round hole’.
3. Learn to Walk Again:
“In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don’t know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good” (Holman Christian Standard Bible).
Failure provides you the opportunity to try again and explore. You no longer have to act it up. The failure will provide you the opportunity to think about what really matters to you and what you want to really matter to you. According to the Nigerian Author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, you do not need to twist yourself into shapes to please. If the face you have put up was the version that was liked and accepted about you, that version was a false and twisted shape of you, and holds you back. In her words, “the world is such a gloriously multifaceted, diverse place that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you as you are” (www.goalcoast.com).
Somehow, you may find out that you were not cut out for that high-flying corporate job you lost, but that you are more at ease and discovering joys in watching seeds germinate into plants with your unique attention to nuances.
Somehow you would also have found an inner strength and are gradually gathering your broken pieces to form a new you: an authentic, complex, earthy whole, empathetic and beautiful; and just perhaps a new or revised path to throw the failure you experienced a well-deserved counterpunch!