Loss is imagined
No failure is final. Nothing in the universe disappears. It merely changes form. Your failures an losses can turn into success in an instant.
How we react to events is more important than what actually happens.
Failure is merely a step in the journey of life. It is part of the life process.
Life is not an Interstate, it is a back road. Back roads contain potholes, and roadblocks, but the journey is much richer. Failure, then is not the end of the road, merely a fork in the road.
When you travel along the back roads of life, planning is the key. Anticipate that there will be setbacks and focus on how you will overcome them.
Deal with problems as they arrive, not 50 miles down the road. Change the tire immediately so that you won’t have to replace the rims later.
To be truly successful, we must look no longer at the failure, only the results – what we have learned from the experience.
Expect that you will arrive safely. Believe that everything will be OK in the end.
Some people quit the minute something bad happens. These people will never get ahead in life.
If people experience enough failure at something, they develop learned helplessness. They hold onto beliefs that things are hopeless. They decide that they can’t before they even try.
They have given control of their lives to the river current, drifting along, reacting to whatever comes our way. They refuse to row their boat.
This creates a new type of stagnation in their lives. They allow one problem to control their lives, to stop movement. They wallow in despair; becoming a breeding ground for mental malaria rather than a life-giving stream of hope.
Indulging in beliefs of hopelessness is the mental chocolate cheesecake drenched in hot fudge and whipped cream. It may taste good but it is bad for you.
Learned helplessness is an indication that your vision of the future is weaker than your current reality. You will make excuses, project blame on others and find reasons why you can’t.
Stay away from bad movies
Would you pay to see a bad movie twice?
Then why replay failures over in your head? Reliving bad experiences only re-records them in your subconscious as if they were happening again.
Each time you relive a failure, it adds a negative weight to your self-esteem. You will eventually develop learned helplessness; you will lose hope.
Instead of reliving the bad movie, change the ending. Imagine the problem and push it away from you. Put yourself in control. Picture the problem in your mind becoming smaller and smaller as you tower over it. This creates a new mental picture of you as a competent person, able to conquer your problems, a positive weight in the self-esteem scale.
Opportunities in disguise
Hitting roadblocks and feeling frustrated is actually a sign of eustress. It means that you chose worthy goals and that you will be strengthened by them. Overcoming difficulties develops inner-strength, mental muscles. It reinforces your belief in your own abilities.
Some disappointments are actually opportunities in disguise. Not achieving a goal makes us re-evaluate our situation and find a new direction. Many times this new path takes us to even greater heights.
Don’t get mad when you have setbacks.
Setbacks are the weeds of life. Weeds are opportunists. They do what weeds do; they find fertile soil and will take root and destroy the garden of your dreams. Don’t ignore them, pull them.
Don’t get mad at them, get rid of them.
But weeds have their purpose. Pulling weeds will give you exercise and strengthen you.
Reason-finding reduces anxiety that is caused by big goals. Don’t allow this weed to grow in your garden.
However, if you focus on the weeds, you miss the opportunity to enjoy your garden.
Dealing with setbacks
- Recognize that all setbacks are temporary.
- Realize that everyone faces hardship, rejection and loss. You are not alone.
- There are no such things as failures, only results. The result of a disappointment is always learning. Always ask yourself what you have learned from the experience and how you can use it in the future.
- Design how you will deal with obstacles. Expect that you will overcome every obstacle in your way.
- Conquer the monster while it is small. Procrastination allows the problem to grow.
- Never allow one problem to control your life.
- Focus on the solution so that you can move in the right direction. Ask how you can turn this around, not why did this happen. Ask what you are and are not willing to do to fix it. 10% of energy should be focused on the problem, 90% on the solution.
- Move on. Do not harp on failures.
- Expect to win.
Speaking of winning, Sunday is my 30th wedding anniversary. They said it wouldn’t last 🙂
Have a terrific, stress-free weekend. Enjoy the season.