Any worthwhile endeavor inevitably includes failure in our pursuit of success. No one likes to fail, and we certainly shy away from discussing our failures. The thought of broadcasting them to the world can cause an outbreak of hives.
Yet, those who enjoy the greatest success, don’t fear failure and are even willing to talk about it. Some of the most powerful words about failure hang on a poster in our son’s bedroom. Spoken by the greatest and most decorated basketball player of all time, they serve as reminder to the power and necessity of failure.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot, and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
I have stood before this poster often, reciting these words to myself – after a tough day as an entrepreneur, a gut wrenching relationship fiasco, or a devastating business failure. These words highlight the importance of failure and how we handle it, as crucial components in our achieving success.
Failure can knock us off our game, kill our dreams, and wreak havoc with our psyche. Or, failure can clarify our direction, refine our goals, and hone our mental toughness. While we can’t always control the circumstances surrounding failure, we do control how we navigate failure.
Coming back from a failure is not easy, but continuing on in the midst of failure is essential in our pursuit of success in life, business, personal growth, and relationships. Here are 5 ways to stay motivated after a failure.
1. Work from your commitment not your emotions,
Activity precedes motivation. Rarely do we actually feel like doing something – working, running, writing, sticking to a diet, investing in a relationships – until we are already in motion. Somehow, taking action supercharges our motivation. Suddenly mid run we are ready to go an extra mile. Writing becomes exhilarating after the first arduous sentences, and a diet is always easier when our jeans are a bit looser.
Refuse to ride the roller coaster of emotions and choose constructive activity based on your commitments made long before failure hijacked your mood.
Physical activity releases mood boosting endorphins and alleviates stress. Exercising in any form, from aerobics to yoga, increases the feel-good chemicals in your brain and elevates your mood. Physical activity can act as a form of meditation, focusing your mind on a single task, clearing out the cobwebs of doubt, and lowering your stress level. These elements combine to produce feelings of motivation, possibility and accomplishment to carry you forward.
3. Play the odds
Remember the more times you hear “No”, the more times you will ultimately hear “Yes!” If you offer your product or services to 10 people, the odds are 8 will say “No” and 2 will say “Yes.”
Thus, if you ask 50 people, you will definitely hear more “No’s, but you will accrue 10 “Yes” answers, when you play these odds. And 10 yeses can change the course of your business, life, or relationships catapulting you success.
4. Rehearse Past Successes.
Failure accompanies success. Risk taking has rewards as well as negative results. Recall a few of your past successes and rehearse them aloud. Remember your actions and choices which led to success. Give yourself some verbal praise and affirmation as the architect of those successes.
We listen to and believe what we say to ourselves, more than anyone else. Speak positive, affirming, and congratulatory words to yourself. Post visual reminders of past successes on a vision board. Visual reminders are powerful and verbally rehearsing past successes can inspire and embolden you to keep moving forward.
5. Shift your focus.
Have you ever gone car shopping and suddenly it seems the car of your dream is overtaking the roadways? You never noticed before, but now your attention is focused on that car and you see it everywhere. Thank your Reticular Activating System(RAS), a bundle of nerves at the base of your brain which acts as a filter between your conscious and subconscious mind. Simply put, it regulates your attention. Whatever you focus on consciously ignites your RAS. Shifting your focus from failure to your next endeavor, can move your mind in the direction of finding the necessary resources, actions, and idea to achieve the success you crave.
Success often comes as a result of failure. According to Albert Einstein, “Failure is success in progress.” Everyone gets derailed. Not everyone continues on.
Embracing failure as an inevitable byproduct of achieving success will shifts your perspective, help you bounce back, and get on track for your next success.
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