You blew it. You should have done things differently but you didn’t. Maybe you didn’t have the experience or resources, or maybe someone outsmarted you, or perhaps you let emotion cloud your better judgment. Whatever happened, you lost and now it hurts. Like crazy.
We’ve all been there or else will be. What separates those who come out on top in those situations is often what they say to themselves when it all goes wrong. Even people who are wonderfully supportive to others often are incredibly harsh to themselves. “That was so stupid! What’s the matter with you? Why do you always fail? Can’t you do anything right?” You may be incredibly kind and forgiving to your children or co-workers or friends, but when you find yourself messing up, listen hard to the voices in your head. Would you ever let yourself say those things to anyone else? No? Then don’t say them to yourself.
Teach yourself to recover from failure.
Louis C.K. gives an incredible and very quick lesson in the video below. Whether it is learning a new skill or getting ourselves back on our feet, the single most important factor will always — always — be how we talk to ourselves. As Louis says, “Instead of being able to say “I’ve done this before,” you say to yourself “I haven’t done this before, but I have done other things I haven’t done before, and it came out okay, so I am not afraid of this.”
Check out the full clip — literally just a minute — right here…
As he points out, we can learn any skill the way they do it in the Matrix. We really can. “It just takes longer.”
I obviously don’t know what is happening in your life right now. Countless talks with people in every imaginable situation though lead me to believe that there is something in your life right now that feels like a failure. If you are on top of it, awesome! However, if you are feeling overwhelmed and wondering how you are going to get through, consider Louis’ advice. Learn about recovering.
Turn off the TV
Recovering doesn’t start with a bottle or sitting in front of the TV for hours at a time or tearing yourself down. Instead, it probably will start with talking to a trusted friend or family member to help you start sorting things out. If you don’t have someone in your life like that right now, a counselor or pastor might be an excellent next step. Check to see if your health insurance will cover mental health visits. Hey, even forcing yourself out to the gym or for a walk can be a huge first step.
Take a look at some self-help books, online resources, or podcasts. Yes, they get a bad rap and yes some of them can be pretty hokey, but many of them do have great ideas. I will be making some recommendations in a post to come soon. At the very least, resources like these are almost certain to be of a lot more help than another mindless night in front of the TV will be.
You can get back on track. You can turn things around. You are smart enough and strong enough to do this. But it will take effort. It’s time to make it happen. As Lous C.K. says, “The thing you learn the most that will help you do things you can’t do yet is how to recover from failure. If you can recover from things not going well then the worst that happens is ‘This is going to be a total wreck but I know how to recover. I know how to be okay after I wasn’t.'”
Learn to recover. It’s time to be okay.
Watch for my upcoming post on books, podcasts, and other resources to help get yourself moving again. Have a favorite you want to recommend? Please tell us about it in the comments below, and feel free to share this post to anyone you feel might be in need of some positive words.