Oops. That sure didn’t work. Back to the drawing board to figure out another way to add an enhanced brick design to this wall. Just look at this mess! Sometimes a solid attempt turns into a solid failure. Something goes wrong. One crucial part of the process was forgotten. Maybe a piece breaks along the way. When the whole wall crumbles like this, it’s hard to feel like trying all over again. Instead, people are often immersed in feelings of self-doubt, frustration, and regret. What do we need to turn all of this around and M-O-V-E forward?
Use that gray matter to remember exactly what you did this time. Focus on each step to figure out what went wrong. Make notes – your memory of it all won’t last long. They say that we remember only half of something from the day before, and a week later much less than that. By tracking what you’ve done on each attempt, you’ll have a memory of what changes were made, what was tweaked, and maybe even what went wrong.
Just know that you are not alone. Most successes only came to be after many failed attempts. Give yourself some time to feel deflated, but then plow through it, knowing that you’re in excellent company. The first business entrepreneur Bill Gates created failed before it got off the ground. You know what happened to another one of his companies. A motel and restaurant Colonel Harland Sanders owned burned in a fire. He was down to a $110 Social Security check, but went on a road trip to pitch his recipe for fried chicken. More than 1000 restaurants said no, but one said yes. Look where that went. At one point, there were over 4200 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in the U.S. Marilyn Monroe dropped out of high school at 16; four years later, her face was on 33 different magazines, plus she had a contract with an acting agency. Ted Giesel’s first manuscript was rejected by 28 editors. He submitted it to one more. Now known as Dr. Seuss, more than 600 million copies of his books have been sold – and translated into 20 different languages for children around the world to enjoy. These folks did not give up.
Take a break. Don’t go right back to it and try again, because invariably you’ll end up doing the very same thing. Move on to something else so that you can give yourself some distance, some space. Sometimes when we don’t focus on a task or topic, our brain is mulling it all over in the background somehow – and up pops a solution! That’s what you need. When you allow your mind some time to sort things out, your perspective is recharged and you’ll come up with a different approach, some new ideas.
Put yourself in a good space. Reach out to someone who makes you laugh. Read a few pages of one of your favorite books or articles. Do something fun. Watch a TV show or a movie. Basically, distract yourself. Your energy needs to be recharged. When you get out of your own thinking, you’ll get back into a positive space. In order to take a flying leap into the next attempt, it’s important that you are revitalized and renewed. Once you’ve flushed out all negative thoughts and feelings, then it’s time to move forward and try, try again.
When it seems as though you’ve failed often enough, just know that you could very well be on the edge of success. Failing is a much better route and adventure than never trying at all. Many discoveries have been made because people refused to give up. Use this maxim to keep motivating yourself beyond a collapsed wall: “Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart.”
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