There’s a huge obsession with failure right now. As I scour Pinterest + Fast Company, articles + quotes promise me that above anything else, *failure* is the most important step to reaching success. When we hear or read the *cliche success story*, it normally begins with this monstrous moment of failure, + when someone overcomes a failure like this + shares it with the world, our society respects + admires them more. People are now bragging about failures now — yes, really! ++ while this shift is great [priding perfection is so unrealistic], what happens when we actually fail? How are we supposed to quickly bounce back + somehow celebrate this failure?
So, first: YES, failure is inevitable. Accept this, embrace this, + own this. Bookmark this page + the next time it happens to you, take yourself through this transformative process.
#1] FEEL IT [within the first 24 hours] //
Be upset. Do not deny yourself the feelings that come with failure — disappointment, sadness, anger, frustration, etc. Say this to yourself: *I am allowed to feel this way. It is okay that I feel this way*. The last thing we should ever do, especially after experiencing failure, is to beat ourselves up for moving through the motions.
+ with that said, make sure to give a set amount of time to wallow. Depending on your situation, it could be an hour, an afternoon, or a few days. Be honest with yourself, choose + set an appropriate deadline, + then, move. on. Really — do it.
#2] RELAX //
After you’ve given yourself time to experience failure’s emotions, relax. This is an extremely important part of the process + one that can easily be overlooked. In order to bounce back from this failure, we need to find a refreshed state of mind.
Explore dynamic relaxation. While it might be easy to *find peace* through a Netflix or Internet binge, the mind + body both need to reset. Take a long walk with a scenic view. Practice yoga +// meditation [#TeamCHAARG loves Yoga with Adriene!], grab coffee or a bite to eat with a friend — possibly someone you can confide in + talk through your failure with. Whichever way you decide to relax, bring your full focus to it. Our intention is to begin again, so that this [or any] failure doesn’t start to affect other aspects of our lives.
#3] ACKNOWLEDGE //
Now, that we’ve focused on relaxing + bringing a new attitude to the table, let’s understand what happened. In order to improve, we must go through some serious, honest reflection. In addition to what went wrong, also ask yourself: *What went right?* Treat this failure [+ each one after] objectively, especially now that you’ve cried it out + spent some time to relax. It’s also really important to understand that with life comes variability. Sometimes, you can truly do every. single. little. thing right + still not be successful. Fighting through failure can also mean being okay with what is + deciding that getting up + trying again is ultimately worth it.
#4] RESHIFT //
+ finally, it’s time to reshift our energy. Like many of these trending articles suggest, failure is honestly our best opportunity for growth. When we are not successful, we are forced to learn new + different ways to solving the problem. Immediate success, while exciting + encouraging, does not always give us the opportunity to think critically, seek mindfulness, or appreciate the moment.
Break failure down. See *failure* as just a concept. Deconstructed, failure teaches us that a specific route to our desired end goal is not the most ideal, + that there are better routes that will yield greater, preferred results. We just have leave this route + find another. Mistakes, *less ideal routes*, are totally okay [we promise!] — as long as we learn from them. Remember: failure is something that happens — *it is not who we are*. We are how we bounce back — how we push through the emotions + acknowledgement of failure + choose to see everything differently.
Throw yourself into your next project or goal. Now that you’ve dominated this failure, there’s no time to waste! The next failure, success, life… they’re all calling. : )
+ Jessica [@jessicasmith_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG NYC