So things didn’t go as planned. In fact, you may be looking at what seems like a colossal failure. It can be so challenging to pick ourselves up after falling down (repeatedly) and being someone known to “run enthusiastically in the wrong direction” I feel your frustration. Sure it’s easy to give up and give in but here are 7 steps I’ve found really helpful to get back up again.
- Acknowledge it: Trying to pretend like it didn’t happen may seem like a worthy goal but it’s a recipe for prolonged pain. Here’s where the saying “what we resist, persists” comes in really handy. By facing it, acknowledging it and looking at it squarely, you’re able to see it clearly. Only when we can see things clearly are we able to learn and grow from what we’ve seen.
- Ruminate don’t marinate: The process of rumination is when we go over an experience in order to make sense out of the situation. This can be really helpful to a degree. Once we’ve made sense out of it, it’s important to move to the next step before we start marinating in it. Ruminate for too long and it becomes a very comfortable and familiar space and that’s not where you want to stay. Use the information to see why something happened, possibly see what areas need to change for next time, but get out of that space before it’s too cozy to leave.
- Learn from it: An experience is useless unless we learn the lesson it left in its wake. Did you learn you needed more support, more time, more direction or different resources? Do you see that the timing was off, your boundaries weren’t specific enough or there was a challenge with communication? Here’s where we’re usually really hard on ourselves but try to approach this by speaking with yourself how you’d speak with a friend. I’m sure you wouldn’t berate your friend, telling him/her how dumb their idea was and why they deserved to have it fail, so don’t do that to yourself. Love, compassion, and patience are what’s needed for this phase.
- Try a different approach: A willingness to change and doing something different is the only way to bring about a different result. It could be a different approach, a different method, a different level of support or even a different level of thinking. Changing how you think/act/react will ensure a different result next time.
- New rules: So you’ve looked squarely at your experience, learned from it, and know what you need to do differently next time. Now it’s time to create some new rules if not for others, for yourself. What do you insist upon this time? What’s a deal breaker and what needs to be in place before you invest your time, money, effort and energy again? Do you need to know your idea is divinely inspired, more strategically coordinated or better timed? Get those rules set so you’re clear. It’ll also give you more confidence when you try again.
- Forgive: Resentment is one of the most physically and emotionally destructive emotions we can have. It suppresses your immune system, creates accelerated aging and wreaks havoc on your body and mind. Whether that means forgiving yourself or forgiving the person who hurt you or let you down, forgiving and letting go of that resentment helps you let go of the pain and clear the space for a new beginning.
- Trust the process: I know it can seem like nothing ever goes your way and you’re destined to spend a lifetime trying to get it right but the reality is, the universe is conspiring in your favor. Believe that, trust the process and watch it eventually unfold.