Overcoming Failure (Part 2)

Last week I wrote to you about the impact that failure has had on my life. You can read it here

Today, I want to follow up on that thought. 

My life has not been all positive. I have seen my fair share of both at-the-pinnacle and in-the-pit moments.  Based on some of the responses I received last week, I can guess the same is true for you as well.

During those in-the-pit moments, I have had to be very intentional about using failure as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than to retreat on the vision that God has put on my heart to make a difference in this world.

Napoleon Hill once wrote, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”  Failure can be a wonderful gift of opportunity to grow in character (patience, humility, appropriate grounded-ness, wisdom) and become more resilient.  

But how do we do that?  

I have found 4 vital disciplines that I must exercise regularly to help deal with failure in a healthy way while preserving a healthy mindset. As a person of faith, you will see that a few of these disciplines reflect my belief.  

  • Reflection - Instead of passing judgment on yourself, try asking...

    1. “What can I learn from this?”

    2. “What could I have done differently?”

    3. “What potential blind spots does this reveal about my character?”

    4. “How will I grow and become stronger from this?”

    5. “In what areas do I need to grow and develop moving forward?”

    6. "What does God want to say to me through this?"  As a person of faith, a significant part of my reflection centers around reading and reflecting on scripture.  I always want to understand what God might have to say to me in these moments and seasons.

  • Prayer - Prayer flows naturally out of reflection. It gives me the opportunity to talk to God about the disappointments and issues that are beyond my control.  Prayer also helps me to release the heavy burden that often accompanies failure.

  • Gratitude - Gratitude is the intentional step of recalling and writing down the good in life -- even the good that often comes out of failure.  When our focus is on our failure, it’s easy for our perspective to become warped and out of balance.  This makes gratitude all the more essential -- especially as our tendency is to effortlessly remember our failures over all of the good we experience. I learned long ago that if it does not get written down, it will not get remembered.  Anyone who has ever walked into the store without their grocery list knows what I’m talking about. :-) Write down what you are thankful for.

  • Positive Thought Input - This is the vital step of reading (or listening) to great books that continually renew, challenge, and broaden perspectives.  I set goals every week around what books I will read because because I have learned that one of the keys to maintaining a healthy mindset includes a daily input of the right thoughts.  Just this morning I read a chapter on developing the right attitude from John Maxwell’s book, “Make Today Count”. Reading this chapter has impacted the outlook on my entire day.  Because of this practice, I am in a much more positive and healthier frame of mind than if I had not read it.

Reflection, prayer, gratitude and positive thought input are my top four ways to bounce back from failure into a healthier mindset. 

I hope this helps.  Blessings.

How do you bounce back from failure? I’d love to know. Send me an email or comment below.