Dealing with failure: the healthy way

This past week was not one of my proudest or most productive. Clearly, given my lack of posting. I have been overwhelmed on so many levels.

I will never be that blogger that is always cheerful, because hey, that’s life, and I am here to dish it to you bullsh*t free! EVERYONE has their off days. Furthermore, I’d be lying if I said that success only contained positivity. It certainly does not, and honestly, some of the greatest growth that we make within ourselves comes from negative events and personal failures. Success and happiness are built through life lessons, which will always include negativity at some level.

Let’s get real: sometimes IT IS therapeutic to let yourself wallow in sorrow and self pity for a bit. Just not indefinitely. I did a lot of that this weekend. For me, I heal and learn from my mistakes and shortcomings through my tried and true Mandy regimen: cry, pout, reflect, own it, learn, and move forward. Yes, even the ice queen cries. It’s healthy. I have been overwhelmed for a while with struggles in what seems to be every area of my life lately, and have been spending a lot of time reflecting on how to move past them and how to face the crossroads that are currently in my path. Sometimes, coping includes the waterworks, and I usually feel better after I take a moment to let the emotions out.

Today, I am making y’all the “Mandy List of Punching Failure in the Face!”

See below:

1. Take time to unwind and re-group. Ideas: curl up in something cozy, heat up your fave tea or cocoa mix (or Hot Toddy!), and relax on the couch or in bed with something completely unrelated, like a good book, your iPad, or like me, with my pup and a snack! Go for a long scenic run. Making progress toward recovering from failure starts with a fresh and non-objective mind, one you cannot have unless you give yourself some down time. Sleeping on it for a day is always a good idea.

2. Make lists. These can be in your head, or written down, but as long as you can clearly articulate to yourself the following, you’re good!

  • Avoidable setbacks on your behalf
  • Unavoidable external obstacles
  • Steps to take to avoid the same mistake in the future

3. Forget people. I spent the better half of my youth worrying about what others thought of me. Real talk: nothing is more toxic than trying to be everything to everyone. One of my favorite quotes nails this topic perfectly:

Failure

Setting yourself up to be everyone’s perfect person is the easiest way to always be disappointed and to foster tons of self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. Most of the time, others have absolutely no freaking idea what went into your planning or work, and have no idea what exactly you are trying to achieve. So…. Forget em. Remember, its always easy to criticize when you have no idea about the internal facts of the matter. You know what I’m talking about… Everyone is guilty of it.

4. Expect future mistakes. It is completely unrealistic to think that if you work and learn from a failure, you will never make it again. Being wrong or making a mistake is always an opportunity for personal growth. Find the positive in failure; learn to love finding out you are wrong about something, its the only way you learn how to make it right. It took me a long time to outgrow one of my biggest negative traits, perfectionism. As a child, I would throw my written work out if my penmanship wasn’t perfect, and I would stress myself out over minor imperfections in nearly everything. I feared failing, and as a result, it happened more often. If you are always expecting perfect, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment!

5. Own your stuff. If you can’t own your shortcomings, you will never overcome them. Personal responsibility is somewhat of a foreign concept these days, but it is one of the most important parts of becoming a more successful and happy person.

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6. Embrace fear and move forward! Since you have already experienced failure, how much scarier can it be? Keep pushing and trying, you will slowly realize that you are becoming stronger every time you step out of your comfort zone again. One of the best motivational books I ever had the pleasure of reading was this amazing book below. MJ knows his sh*t. It was given to me as gift as a child, and it was an instant way to imporove my mood and outlook on life when things got hard.

I Can’t Accept Not Trying by Michael Jordan

7. Prove yourself to you, and only you. Success is about building a better version yourself, not comparing yourself to others. Take it from my homegirl JLaw:

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Failure is a part of life, use it to your advantage.

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