When we experience failure, we are sometimes left feeling alone and secluded. But failure isn’t an individual experience – it is, in fact, timeless and universal. Holding on to the belief that you are the only person who has ever messed up and/or who has let other people down can be stifling and sabotaging to your rebound. You fell down, you messed up and in time you will get back up. I would venture to guess that right about now you are thinking that life isn’t as easy as just turning off a switch and declaring that everything is okay. And you know what? You are right! It takes more than a declaration…it takes hard work. But the hard work does start with a declaration. Instead of declaring that you have fallen, and you can’t/will never get back up…what about declaring the truth?! Try calling it what it really is, ‘I tried, I did not succeed, things did not go the way I planned or expected them to go. But with prayer and hard work, I am going to get back up.’
Doesn’t it feel better to tell the truth? Doesn’t it feel better to get that weight off of your chest? You have to be willing to congratulate yourself for small wins, even when they feel and appear to be losses. You have to be willing to look at the reality of the situation. There is no doubt that there are many people willing to criticize your process, but very few of them can face your obstacles and walk through your journey. So, pat yourself on your back. You may think that you have fallen, but with fresh eyes, you will see that you already have the courage to get back up.
Fact: self-inflicted falsehoods can keep us weighed down and on the ground longer than we need to be
Take a moment to reflect on this question: Is the voice in your head louder than any opposition that you have ever faced? I have a strong belief that it isn’t. This is not a theory. I know it to be a fact that sometimes the voices of doubt and fear resonate far above anything else. The things that people tell us pale in comparison to what we tell ourselves. We create these goliath-sized reasons for why things will never change and why we will never be enough.
It is not my intent to trivialize your battles to miniscule challenges. I know that life throws a lot at us and juggling everything can be overwhelming. What I am suggesting is the need for you to get out of your own head and not add your deluded narrative to the list of things you must overcome each day. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we can readily admit that in most instances we judge ourselves much harder than other people do. With that self-judging comes our unrealistic need for perfection. This is where your drive to be the best that you can be is morphed into an obsession, where you refuse to do anything unless it meets this absurd expectation. Trust me I know this battle personally, as I have often let my internal voice run in circles overthinking and overanalyzing to the point that it just stands in my own way. Fortunately for me, my inner circle is very small, and they wrap me tight with positive energy when my own energy isn’t strong enough to push me (and others).
But before we go making empty resolutions to ourselves in the moment, what are the three things “We” have to remember to get out of our own way and get up from a fall?
- We are not going to become members or victims of the movement where people’s failures and falls are celebrated or monetized! Even though it would be so easy to blame social media, I won’t. Social media simply places a magnifying glass on who we [the human race] really are. And sad as it may be to admit, people actually enjoy, and feed, on watching others fail. If you don’t believe me, then put the theory to the test. Spend some time reviewing social media [especially Facebook], friendly gossip and your day-to-day conversations with others. How much effort, comments and time is being spent discussing the topics of ‘other’ people’s mistakes, affairs, problems, issues, and failures compared to their achievements and growth?
- We are going to come to terms with the fact that we may have to crawl before we can walk, and after we have mastered walking, then we will run. Before your business, relationship, education, self-development, and overall growth can ‘appear successful’ to you, you are going to have to take baby steps and put in the work. Instead of looking at others and comparing their accomplishments to our setbacks, look at them as inspiration and motivation. Nothing happens before it’s time, but with perseverance, you will get back up.
- We will accept that even though we fell at this moment we are not alone. There are many great people who fell at one point or another and being a member of the fallen ones isn’t such a bad thing. For example, Walt Disney in 1919 was fired from a Kansas City newspaper by his editor and accused of lacking good ideas and imagination. Anna Wintour was fired from her first job as a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar for being too edgy. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her evening news reporter gig with Baltimore’s WJZ-TV because her producer thought that she was unfit for television news. Bernie Marcus & Arthur Blank were working for a new closed Southern Californian home-center chain, Handy Dan, when they were both fired by corporate raiders¾they then went on and formed Home Depot. The list is endless where individuals who have experienced a fall/failure have bounced back, was redirected, changed paths and found their true purpose/business/relationship. I don’t know about you, but I am quite comfortable becoming a member of this group.
Getting up after a fall isn’t easy, but just because it isn’t easy does not dictate that it cannot happen. Instead of focusing on the reasons why you will stay down, take a look at the reasons why you must and will get up.
The podcast is available on Soundcloud and will be added to everywhere podcasts reside in the upcoming days.