It’s normal for awkward feelings such as shame and self-doubt to arise when jobs, relationships, or projects fail. Resisting the compulsion to hide from or even deny these inevitable feelings and rather finding the courage to embrace them can help you grow as a person, making you less capricious of yourself and others. And when you acknowledge the legitimate risks appropriate for success and the associated ups and downs you can make sharp choices. Here are five steps to help ready you for that next time.
If at first you don’t succeed …
- Sit with the agony
In the immediate aftermath of failure, you might feel compelled to do something, anything, to ease your perception of shame and discomfort, whether that’s taking quick, drastic steps to right the wrong or seizing up and abandoning from the world. Don’t do either. “We don’t make our best decisions when we are reactive,” says Ashley Good, founder and CEO of Fail Forward, a Canadian company that helps people and organizations learn to “fail up.” Instead, take a few days, a few weeks, or longer to practice yoga and mindfulness and sit with the facts and discomfort until you begin to see what transpired with more rationality than emotion.
- Decouple your ego from your activity
After you reach a calmer state of mind, you will be able to see your action as the failure, not you. This picture helps bring clarity, acceptance, and self-forgiveness, which can start to neutralize the sometimes-crippling shame associated with failure.
- Ask for a recap
Tell your story to the community you trust, and then ask them to repeat it back to you. Simply hearing the circumstances re-framed by another party can shed new light on the facts, helping you identify your blind spots. Try to internalize these different aspects in order to see yourself more generously and regain confidence.
- Keep sharing
“The more you tell your story, the fewer shame you attach to it,” says well. As you recap your experience, highlight the optimism achieved by steps 1, 2, and 3. You should be feeling stronger, and reframing the story with your new intuition will work to crystallize what you’ve learned and help you formulate your next plan of action.
- Take risks
Set new, realistic chances for what you are trying to achieve in your next undertaking, and then go for it! Armed with the intuition, self-forgiveness, and a confidence forged by your last trial and error, you’re ready to withstand new challenges, gain from them, and innovate. Remember, in order to succeed, you must risk failure
Author: Yogi Chetan Mahesh