“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou
In 2013, a friend of mine from back in college called me. She wanted to talk to me about her new business and wanted to get the chance to present it in front of me.
Both our schedules were hectic back then so it took weeks before we finally got to agree on a meet up. She went to our house with her husband and a common friend. We had lunch and after that, she proceeded with her presentation.
I’ve never joined any network marketing groups before so it was all new to me but I will be lying if I told you that I wasn’t blown away. Clearly, the earning potential and the car she was able to buy, more than convinced me to invest in the said business.
I purchased three accounts through my credit card and I joined right there and then.
If I can do it all over again, I would have thought about it first and just got back to her but I was impulsive. The thought of earning big money and buying my dream car clouded my judgment.
I tried doing the business for a couple of months, inviting several of my friends, relatives, and colleagues to join us but I didn’t get anyone of them to buy in.
I was 0 out of 8!
Two years have passed and I am still paying the credit card company for the three accounts I purchased.
Nothing against my friend or the company though because they were legit and they really wanted to help. The problem lies with me in that I made an instant decision without realizing that I can’t sustain my interest in this kind of business. I never thought that my schedule at work will somehow limit me from doing it.
I consider this chapter of my life as one of my biggest failure. Clearly, I made the wrong decision and I found it hard to pick up the pieces because I was still blaming myself for it.
We all make bad decisions. We all experience massive failure and as difficult as they may be, recovery is not impossible.
Below are some of the steps you need to take to pick yourself up and keep moving forward:
You guys may hate me for saying this but sadly, our most common response to failure is to blame it on others.
I know. OUCH! right?
But it’s true.
How many times have you owned up to your mistakes compared to the times you tried blaming it on others?
- When you’re late you blame the traffic (another OUCH!)
- When you’re sick you blame the weather.
- When you cheat on your partner you blame it on the third-party involved (well partly but remember that it takes two to tango).
Sometimes, you even blame God when you don’t get the results you were expecting.
In all of those examples, only one thing is common and that’s YOU and as long as you continue to refuse to take accountability for your actions, you will never move forward. As long as you don’t see yourself as the culprit, you will always find an excuse every time you screw up.
2. Ask yourself what you could have done differently
Once you’ve learned to own up to your mistakes, the next step is to be able to assess what you could have done differently.
- You would have made it on time if you woke up two hours earlier.
- You may not be in debt today if you were smart with your purchases.
- You won’t be hating your job today if you just followed your passion.
You will only begin to get clear on the possibilities as soon as you’ve learned to take responsibility.
3. Forgive yourself
As long as you have bitterness and resentment inside you, it will be difficult for you to move forward so you must do everything you can to drop those negative feelings through forgiveness.
You will never achieve peace and happiness if you continue to harbor ill feelings toward a friend you had a falling out with or an ex you divorced a year ago.
In the same way, you will never get past a failure if you continue to blame yourself. You have to let go and shift your focus on how you can move on from this mess.
You can make better use of your time formulating a solution than using it to wallow in regret.
As the law of attraction states, the kind of things we bring into our lives depend on the kind of things we focus on. If you focus on the positive, you can expect positive things to happen to you and vice versa.
The idea is to focus on a solution and not the problem. Think of what you want instead of pining on what you don’t want or have.
4. Learn from the experience
I’m not sure if you noticed this but every time I hear a successful person describe how they came out of the shadows, they would always say this:
“If not for (failure they experienced), I wouldn’t be where I am today.” or “If I didn’t (failure they experienced), I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today.”
Failure shouldn’t be used as a shovel to bury you deeper. Instead, it should be used as a shovel to help you come out of the hole you made for yourself.
It is through failure that we learn about our potential and ability to defy the odds and become better people.
Over to You
While it’s true that failure is painful and depressing, we must also not forget that failure is great teacher. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get. The better you get, the closer you are to your dreams.
How do you pick yourself up after a failure? What are the struggles you go through before you can move forward?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or share your stories below. Let your experience help others who may be going through a similar situation.
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