Learning From Failure - How to Cope With the Bad Days
So everyone has seen and heard all the motivational speakers on TV and social media. Some are amazing. They get you all hyped up and excited about your life, but they kinda gloss over the elephant in the room.
The:“What the hell do I do about this failure stuff” stuff. Yes, I said stuff twice - sue me.
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Yes, they say power through it, just be the little engine that could, eventually you will succeed. They would be right - kind of.
Being a failure is like being drug in back of a pick-up truck at full speed through mud by a drunk dude wearing nothing but a trucker hat and a smile. Its as if fate (and the trucker guy) are looking down on you and laughing. Its not a good feeling.
I do have to say, I saw the guy in the trucker hat more times than I can count in my life. I have had my share of successes, too, but I really didn't see those until I was being drug over rocks in the mud.
Failure isn't really something we even like to talk about, even though it is essential for us to learn it. I find our society is so afraid of failure that we don't even teach our kids about it anymore.
In sports, all kids get a trophy versus one kid winning and the other losing and finding out how to do that without throwing a tantrum. In business, we elevate both the hard worker and the lazy person because of “policies” in place to make it a level playing field, instead of giving the person who is killing it a promotion.
The list goes on and on.
Let's call a spade a spade. Failure sucks. Pure and simple. It doesn't feel good and sometimes it lasts for a really long time.
However, there are things you can do that can make being a failure better. Yes, everyone at one time or another is a big fat failure in something-whether it be home, work, school, or their health.
No one dodges the failure bullet.
Sometimes it's all of those things. That's when it truly bites the big one.
So here are some ways to cope with being drug through the mud with the drunk, trucker-hat-wearing guy with the creepy smile.
Learning From Failure
Look at Failure Differently
Think of failure in a different way. Yeah, right... No, I am totally serious - hear me out on this one. It's important.
The way we perceive the world is what is real to us, right? So, If I think of failure as not that big of a deal - then it's not.
“I have not failed, I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Yeah, the biggest failure ever said that. Thomas Edison. That dude knows a thing or two about failure.
Learning From Failure
Learn from failure.
Henry Rollins said, “I have learned more from rejection and failure than from acceptance and success.” This is like a slap in the face when you are down in the mud, but it is true.
Think of the time you failed in an epic way. Now, think of a time you succeeded in an epic way. Obviously, the success felt better, but which one did you learn the most from? I bet it wasn’t from the success; it was likely you failed a lot before you even got to the successful part.
Just Drive On
Power through. OK, here is where the motivational gurus thrive. Maybe because Winston Churchill said these words, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” He should know, he was reportedly a drunk aristocrate that went to the front lines because the posh HQ didn't allow liquor.
He continued on, drinking well into his 70s, failing in his personal life, and yet, was a great success in his career. He is actually the perfect example of someone that succeeded in certain aspects of his life, and in others failed miserably.
Much like you or me.
Failure is a part of life. OK, no cool motivational quotes; just my own life experience. Today I did great in my life-worked on my business, felt like a good person, was a decent wife. Tomorrow, I could let everyone down, screw up something in my business, etc.
It ebbs and flows. Some days are good, some not so much.
No one, not one single person on this planet has it all figured out. If you see a successful person who you are green with envy for, I can absolutely guarantee you they are probably failing at something.
I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer, I am trying to show you that no one is above you, and no one is less than you. Unfortunately, we all experience the human condition - failure and all.
So, when your being drug through the mud, flip the guy in trucker hat off. It can't get much worse anyway, and know that pretty soon you will be back in the drivers seat, all neat and clean, on your way to better times.
Failure is only temporary. Kinda like menopause. At least that's what the liars at WebMD say, anyway.