Failure is a bearcat to deal with. And repeated failure(s) even moreso. You get into a slump in your life and start “losing” in situations and it’s not too long before you start shutting down and not taking on any challenges that run the risk of failure. The pain of failure and repeated failure is too painful.

I wish I were smart enough to deliver a quick bromide that would overcome failure and put you back on your feet flourshing. I don’t have one. There are a lot of people and platforms that offer such. Quick fixes, long fixes, side fixes, new fixes—if you surf the net you’ll find someone offering a cure for your ill. But I don’t think failure is that easily remedied.

The Chinese have a proverb that speaks of failure as “a great opportunity to show character”. I think they are on to something. How come the Chinese have such great proverbs about life? Some of their traditional sayings are almost Solomonic.

Failure is recoverable, but it takes time and effort. We’ve got to admit that things aren’t working as intended. They may be working marginally, but not as intended. Efforts attempted may have been well meaning but they didn’t work. Repeating old patterns probably won’t produce new results.

So, get back in the game…slowly. If you hurt yourself by running pell mell into life’s situations, start by walking this time. But don’t stand still.

Count your losses as losses and move on. Some situations are recoverable but some aren’t. If you need to apologize then do so. But sometimes you need to simply alter your habits and know why you are doing it. Don’t grovel and try to re-write history. Start with new behaviours.

Celebrate your small wins. Everyone wants a winning life and wants to finish a day by winning. How about we have something by noon today that we realize isn’t a loss, it’s a small win. Celebrate it. Success breeds success.

I sat with a married couple a little while back. Their marriage was really tired. It had a pulse, but a weak one. Too many hurts and failures over the years and now their union was skinny. It was amazing as they listened to each other’s stories of failure. Both had tried to inject life into their marriage but had been rebuffed by each other (wittingly and unwittingly). Failure had been so frequent that they’d stopped trying. It was powerful as they opened up to each other, wept, dumped, listened, and forgave. New patterns began to emerge that were just so much better than old ones.

Failure…and repeated failure…isn’t the end.

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