Starting over after failure
The Challenge: You're feeling blocked, and you’re struggling to move forward in life. Sometimes taking a step back, breathing out, and going back to basics is all that's needed to help us progress.
Failure, sadly, is inevitable. However, as with all in life, it needs to be seen with its silver linings. Failure at its core is a lesson.
Lewis Hamilton, Bill Gates, and Tiger Woods, all have one thing in common, and that is taking the lessons from failure and becoming extraordinarily successful in their respective fields.
Sometimes the hardest part of failure is finding the silver lining, the benefit or lesson. Once we have found this golden nugget, the rest becomes so much more manageable.
Failure can be small or seemingly insurmountable, but we are designed as humans to adapt and overcome.
So when you feel all is lost, here are 9 practical tips to help you start over and keep the momentum going.
1. Take the time to decide what you want to do and put your energy into one goal at a time. Little wins will give you the motivation to keep going.
The idiom that an elephant is eaten one bite at a time rings true. Set your goals, no matter the size, and take the small steps to achieve them. They will fly by, and before you know it you’ll have what you set out to achieve.
2. Invest in yourself; further your education, find a mentor, and make your physical and mental health a priority.
There are so many resources for any subject available online now. Be it an online education company, (a MOOC) or even something as simple as YouTube. The more you learn, the more you’ll want to learn. It is guaranteed that others have faced the same problems and have opened their experiences up to others to help. Make sure not to get bogged down, take your rest times, and look after your sanity & mental wellbeing.
3. Build a support system. Find friends, family, and professionals who align with your goals.
Surrounding yourself with successful, driven people, experienced in the discipline that you need help with is invaluable, vital in fact. With the added benefit of making new friends for life, and substantially expanding your knowledge base. There is one hidden cost here, and that is to pay it forward. As you grow, coach and guide those who are in the same situations you once were.
4. Learn to live on less to gain more.
Frugality is so important in all aspects of life. A lesson my father once taught me, don’t buy an item unless you can buy 2 of them. This isn’t always applicable, but it will help instil a mindset of saving, and shopping around for deals.
5. Acknowledge that a temporary side hustle is okay.
You may not have your dream career right now, but what you are doing will help support your financial goals so that you can work on your other goals.
Side hustles are also often born out of hobbies, and it’s always such a blessing to make money out of a hobby or something you’re already good at and enjoy.
6. Identify your strengths. This may help uncover unexpected career paths.
Be proud of your strengths, wear them, and work on them. Your brain is like a muscle. Work on it, discuss your obstacles, and learn to think critically. Your strengths will grow exponentially, and have a knock-on effect into areas you thought you were weaker.
7. Be smart about debt.
Pay off what you can and only invest in things that are directly related to your new goal.
Debt is money wasted. Credit cards, car payments and accounts are a bottomless pit of terror and despair, until you separate and identify the worst of them. Pay the worst off as quickly as you can, and as each is settled, budgeting becomes easier until you find yourself not only debt free, but with extra funds in your accounts. Save this however, rainy days and unexpected surprises are to be expected.
8. Take your time and do it right.
And when you don’t get it right, understand where you made the mistake, learn, and correct it. Any carpenter will tell you, you go to school on your first item. Making or creating the first of something, in any field, is what teaches you how to build the second thing, better, simpler and faster.
9. Look after your body.
Exercise, take walks, and eat right. Try as best you can to end any bad habits. And wear sunscreen.
When it comes to starting over after failure, always remember that your past does not define you. We all have a story, but we also have the power to change it. Don’t compare yourself to others, especially on social media. People only post the best of their lives, and it’s usually grossly exaggerated and glorified. Compete with your previous self, aim to be just a little better than you were yesterday, with the motivation that you’re going to be even better tomorrow.
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