If you learn from a defeat, you haven’t really lost.
– Zig Ziglar
I haven’t lived much on planet earth. I will be twenty-three by November this year but the truth is, it doesn’t matter whether you a toddler, teen, young adult, middle-aged or a senior citizen, we all must experience our fair share of failures. I think perhaps that’s how this thing called life works.
Although, some failures may be more epic than others the aftermath of how we react is probably the same. First, a deep sadness washes, then anger, regret, self-hate and of course, shame. The acceptance part usually comes much later on, and for some people, they tend to result to negative coping mechanisms such as drinking, over-eating, under-eating and in extreme cases suicide.
I have failed life-changing examinations and messed up big time when people were counting on me and all of these came with heart-wrenching sadness, so much anger and the part we all don’t want to talk about, the shame.
It took a while for me to accept my failures and move on. So in my little way, I can identify to what it feels like to fail and I am not going to write ten magic things that will make it go away because it really doesn’t work like that.
What I am about to put down, are things that helped me personally and I am positive it may help you too.
1. Support systems:
You need good people around you, amazing friends and concerned family members. You will need a lot of reassurance that you may find difficult to give yourself so you need others to give it to you.
2. Be Optimistic:
I know it’s crazy, like after an epic failure all your optimism freaking flies out the window but you really must try to think like a proton and be positive. Believe this will also pass and you will get back on your feet again.
This isn’t a ladies thing, trust me. Bottling up emotion doesn’t help in any way so let it out, it’s okay to cry, wail or scream if you want. Let it all out.
4. No Pointing of Fingers:
Now isn’t the time to throw blames, take full responsibility for your own decisions, whether or not it was influenced.
5. Forgive Yourself:
Don’t be too hard on yourself for failing. You may probably feel some sort of self-hate but you need to forgive yourself.
6. Celebrate your failure:
Well, that’s the only way to get rid of the shame that comes with failing. So have a toast to your epic failure. 🍻
7. There is still time:
You are not running out of time, there is still time ahead of you to try and try again. Your life isn’t over, in fact it actually just started.
Go back to the drawing board to re-evaluate and reflect about the things you got wrong, then proceed to re-strategize because giving up is not an option. This could take weeks or months which is perfectly okay because no. 7 you still have a lot of time.
Most times, you may still have or feel some negative energy which is okay because like I said earlier it won’t go away easily.
Unfortunately, energy cannot be destroyed but guess what? It can be converted from one form to another. So re-channel all that negative energy into determination and “momentum” which we refer to in Nigeria as ginger.
10. Execute the new plan:
What better way to overcome an epic failure than to turn it into a success story.
Feel free to talk about any form of failure you have experienced and how you overcame it, I want to hear from you in the comment section.
Have a great weekend ahead. #TGIF
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
– Henry Ford