As risks are taken, successes come, and failures happen. Let us be honest, failure sucks! That rabbit hole can lead right to destruction and beyond. Emotions run high, depression, and guilt can run heavy. To “embrace failure” sounds like a far reach. Not being self-aware along with self-limiting beliefs can put us in a messy state if the weight is too much. Any situation can possibly lead to a person feeling like a failure.
After going through this in my personal and professional life, I noticed over time that I often feel like a failure. A lot of it was me failing myself, meeting goals, morally, spiritually, financially, etc. which literally made me sick to my stomach.
In a time of reasoning, I couldn’t stop thinking “there has got to be a way to embrace failure without feeling like one”. It is such a hard road to navigate all while trying to maintain a sense of self-worth. So how do we embrace failure without feeling like one? Let’s explore!
What I’ve found in feeling like a failure is that I believe I am limited in an area which cannot contain the capacity for whatever failure I am faced with. If I do a business deal and I didn’t have enough capital to cover my part, my limits can’t handle the capacity of the failure and I break. I play a song that I didn’t practice and it tanks. My limits can’t handle the capacity of the facial expressions, my trying to recover, audibles that take place, and I break. Not being truthful to my spouse/significant other, or child, my feelings and emotions can’t handle the capacity of their emotional state with my own, and I break.
I must come up with a way to embrace these failures and not be so hard on myself. I understand that failure comes with the territory of life. I get that. The success comes in knowing I can begin the process of overcoming and turn the feeling into something useful. This means I have to stay open (not close-minded) and own the “today”. There is no silver bullet to this because each emotion and situation is different.
In business and in life, know what you are good at and what you’re not. Know that the things you ARE good at have some level of failure big or small. The key is to know your capacity and how to manage it. Example, I know that I can code software with the best of them. I am a creative and if any of my ideas are stolen and I was removed from the situation (which has happened), I have a large capacity for handling that because I’ve got more. My creativity is not limited. I can handle that like a champ.
Now on the other hand, if I let my wife down or betray her trust in some way (which has happened), I don’t have the capacity to handle all the emotion, guilt, disappointment, etc. that comes with that. So I have to be self-aware and know that I am limited in this space and work out a way to increase my capacity to deal with it. The goal is to keep from feeling like a failure.
Some Failure Are Not Actually Failures
When something fails, that generally means it didn’t go the way you anticipated it to go. There have been plenty of times where I have taken risks on stock or a piece of real estate and it went in a different direction. It doesn’t mean I failed even though I felt like a failure. It simply means I didn’t have the capacity to deal with the outcome due to my limited experience. Catch my drift?
One example is my very first real estate investing deal. I decided to pass on these duplexes because they were ugly on the eyes, filled with bugs, 2 were vacant and no one was going to want to live there. I thought I was dodging a bullet when I was actually letting an opportunity pass.
My agent called me some weeks later and I asked about the properties. She told me they were all rented out and I felt like I complete failure because I failed on seeing that opportunity when it was available…so I thought. Long story short, the seller still wanted to sell to me, and I was able to complete the deal.
To a more experienced investor, this might seem like no big thing, but to me, it was HUGE. I was taking a risk in an area I knew nothing about, I had limited real estate experience, less at finding good deals, and even less being a landlord. For that short period of time, I felt like a failure.
Shame kicked in because of my attitude. Guilt showed up because I felt I missed out on this opportunity. Embarrassment was strong because my agent was there to witness it all. I did NOT have the capacity to handle all of that. However, I embraced it, went after it again, and found out I was still able to gain what I thought was lost. This was a success!
Be Patient, Honest, and Truthful With Yourself
In all of this, the best thing I found you can do for your business and life partners is to be true to yourself. This process can be long and hard. You must figure out a way to expand your capacity to handle failure. That can be through experience, education, risk management, etc. Stop with the self-sabotage and own the day, one day at a time.
Eventually, you will find yourself with a larger capacity to handle failures and not feel like one. Like I said earlier, there is no silver bullet to this so you will need to let the process run its course. It will make you a better business owner, negotiator, friend, father, mother, child, and most of all, a better person.
Own It, Embrace It, and Empower It
Own your situation, self-limiting beliefs, and self-awareness. The act of owning something is to have complete control. It is yours to do whatever you want with it. Embrace the failures and scenarios. Keep what has worked well, discard the rest and move on. Empower your new beliefs by being patient, honest, and truthful with yourself. Then make it count.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right – Henry Ford
Remember, Forget Plan B, Failure Is Not An Option. You’ve Got This!
For more information about the phycology around failure, check out PsychCentrals Post on Failure.
Now, go buy your time back.