How To Recover From Failure

- - Adam Kidan

How To Recover From Failure by Adam KidanSetbacks, tough as they are, are a part of life.  The founder of Heinz was a failed horseradish salesman, and Steve Jobs was most famously fired from Apple.  According to the Small Business Administration, half of all new companies with employees won’t survive after five years.  But that doesn’t make failure any easier.  Here are some tips on emerging from failure and rejection with your confidence intact, based off an article I found online:

Wallow: Allow yourself to feel everything you need to feel.  Grieving and yearning for what was lost can help ease the suffering.  But don’t wallow for too long.  Take, for example, the story of Barbara Corcoran; initially passed over as a co-host on Shark Tank, she shame-spiraled and then got mad, writing an email to the show’s creator about what they would miss on without her.

Be honest: With clear eyes, map out what went wrong and why.  If you need to, call on somebody you trust to offer an outside perspective.  Acknowledging any mistakes you’ve made can be painful, but it’s essential to ensuring that they don’t happen again.  But more importantly, forgive yourself if you do make mistakes.  

Find what makes you happy: If you have a hobby you love, then embrace it.  Positive thoughts can ward off depressive tailspins during hard times.  Negative emotions can hinder the process of recovery, making it difficult to find broad solutions.  However, positive emotions can expand your horizons.  

Count your blessings: In the words of Monty Python, always look on the bright side of life.  Every day, write down what you’re grateful for.  If you face a setback, you have access to a stack of lists that prove how much is going right in your life.  And even if you’re likely to be pretty consumed by your setbacks, recall the successes that you have achieved.

Help somebody: In the wake of failure, look for ways to be helpful.  Thinking about helping reframes your thought process, and gets people more excited about working with you.  You should be focused more on helping than winning; if you play to win, you’ll feel worse when you do face setbacks, and probably won’t learn much on the way.

Look for the opportunity: Setbacks are stressful, but there are ways to cope.  To manage your stress, think about what opportunities are being created.  Finding that opportunity will help you move forward faster.

Think big: Some studies have shown that visualizing success allows you to “trick” your brain into helping you make something possible.  The next time you’re working toward something, it might not hurt to visualize that process to success.

Think small: There’s virtue in persistence, but you also don’t want to lose sight of other opportunities on the way.  Instead of a riskier bet, try on a smaller one; small steps can help you test and plan your way back to success by giving you a lot of small, information-rich experiences from which you can learn.

This too shall pass: Setbacks can feel personal, yet don’t personalize your loss and remind yourself that things will change.  Failure isn’t a black mark on your permanent record, and you’ll be more resilient if you know you can change your lot.

Be consistent: When you’re ready to get back into the swing of things, come up with a consistent, realistic game plan for networking.  Daily work toward your goal is key to building momentum, and making working toward your goal a habit will lessen the impact of individual setbacks.

Don’t isolate yourself: After a failure, you’ll want to be left alone, but being alone with your thoughts won’t help you get past anything.  Start small, spending time with your friends and family, then go to networking events to connect with new people.  

Try again: Just because you fail doesn’t mean you can’t try anything again.  When you do get a great idea you want to put aloft again, however, be prepared to explain how and why your new venture will be different.  

Adam Kidan