Many times, when we start to chase after our goals and desires, we inevitably face challenges in the form of rejection and failure. For example, in your quest to find a job, that special someone, or a dream, you might find yourself failing many, many times.
When all you have faced so far is failure along your journey, and all you have seen is an unending stream of disappointments, it is very easy to expect failure at your next try. As a result, you may even stop trying altogether, throwing up your hands in despair and quitting.
As Viktor Frankl said, despair is suffering without meaning. Give meaning to your suffering and remove despair from the equation.
Challenges Are Just Opportunities
You will constantly encounter barriers and challenges along your journey. Rather than fret and stress over each challenge, treat them as opportunities for learning something new. That way, when you don’t get what you wanted, it will feel less like rejection and failure. Every opportunity is a chance to improve upon yourself and increase your chances of success the next go-around.
Astute readers will notice that I just suggested reframing the situation to be positive. For example, instead of looking at the next challenge as a cruel joke from Fate, reframe the situation to say that it is a chance for you to work on freeing yourself of the victim mentality. After all, you are ultimately responsible for the situation, even if it is seemingly out of your hands. It’s always easier to blame the situation or person for your current stake in life. Instead of rallying against what is impossible or unfair, focus your time and energy on what you can change. You will find that you start to see things free of your ego, objectively instead of subjectively in the third-person, that you are more able to dispassionately judge the situation and make decisions on what could be wrong so as to provide a solution.
Now, that’s what I call turning a negative into a positive!
Take a Break
You really can try too hard sometimes and end up embittered and sore from the whole experience, especially after weeks and months of constantly racking up losses with little, if any, wins to show for it. It’s time to get away from it all for a little while. Take a mini vacation out of town for the weekend and forget about your problems. Treat yourself to something nice, like a gourmet meal or a massage. Buy yourself that toy or outfit you’ve been eying for months.
In other words, relax your body and your mind! If you have been pondering about a situation, the answers will often come when you least expect them. If you have been trying to get a job or find a significant other, it’s time to release that stress, desperation, bitterness, and anger that may have gripped you, subconsciously leaking out during your interviews and interactions.
Preventative care is often the best medicine. After all, you only have so much willpower in reserve. You only can take so much rejection and failure before it breaks you. The trick then is to find your own breaking point and stop before you ever reach it. It takes time and experience to recognize the signs. When you start to see the signs, it’s time to step back, take a break, and relax a little bit.
Be Outcome Independent
Part of chasing after your dreams and going after what you want is to accept that failure is a part of the equation. Failure is just another way for you to learn and provides many of life’s valuable lessons. While it does often hurt, we come out of it stronger and better for it. The thin line that separates those who find success from those who do not are how they view and recover from failures.
Wayne Gretskey famously noted that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So, take a chance! Tell yourself that there is no certainty, only opportunity. Think of it this way: Every accomplishment in your life began with a decision to try.
A successful person has oftentimes failed much more than the person who gives up easily. That person learns that failure is part of the road to success and learns how to learn from those rejections and those failures. He or she also rebounds faster from the latest setbacks and keeps moving onto the next attempt.
The next time you are feeling down and out, remind yourself that you deserve what you are chasing. You are worthy of living your dreams and having a fulfilled life. You have to first believe with overwhelming faith that it will be (rather than likely or possible, believe that it will happen!) before you can start to manifest it. Kindly remind yourself that challenges are just opportunities, to take a break, and finally to be outcome independent.