“It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” - Epictetus
Let me tell you about one of my clients, Hannah. Hannah is a bright, 30-something-year-old who has had a lot of bad luck in her career. Even though she is talented and a hard worker, she kept finding herself in jobs that didn’t work out for one reason or another and had to keep starting over. She expressed to me that she had thought that at this point in her life, she would be in a better place and now feels like a total failure.
I told Hannah that while failures, rejections, and disappointments are hard and painful, if you are able to handle them in a productive way, they can be as beneficial to your career as a huge accomplishment.
After we talked for a while, Hannah and I sat down and come up with a plan on what she could do to overcome these failures. Here are a few of the tips:
You know the old saying, “The first step is admitting…”. When we acknowledge a situation, we are able to take control of it so it doesn’t control you. Instead of blaming others or external factors, own up to the part you played in it.
DON’T LET IT BREAK YOU
This one is a tough one, even for me. In both personal and professional situations, it can be easy to dwell on the negative while letting the positives just pass right by you. This just makes the bad seem that much worse. Next time, try focusing on the positives. Be proud that you tried!! Just because things might not have gone as you liked, don’t let one mistake, failure, or negative piece of information derail you from your goals.
REVISIT IT WITH A FRESH PERSPECTIVE
When you experience heartache and discouragement, especially over and over again, you can easily want to give up and think that you are destined for lifelong failures. But, after a bit of time, you should be able to come back to it and look at it a way to learn from it. In order to grow and develop, we need challenges and even failures. While it is hard to remember when you are feeling defeated, giving yourself a little time and grace will allow you to look at your situation with a new, fresh perspective.
Accepting your failure doesn’t mean being proud of it, cursing the universe for your “bad luck,” or admitting to yourself that you suck and should give up. Accepting your failure is understanding that this is an obstacle and knowing that you need to figure out how to overcome it. When you’re able to accept and face these failures head-on, you’ll learn to stop allowing them to prevent you from pursuing your dreams.
MAKE A PLAN
Every successful person in the world has a story about how they failed at one point of their career (hello, can we talk about Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and even Oprah). Every single one of those successful persons will also tell you that they took that failure, evaluated it, learned from it, and made a plan on how to move forward. There are plenty of things you can proactively do to get your career back on track and taking the time to map out those options will eventually get you to where you want to be.
Hannah is now in a great job with a great company and she is thriving. She was able to take what she was experiencing and turn it around for her benefit. Now, it’s your turn. How are you going to bounce back from your failures? By hiding under the covers or taking charge?
If you are ready to take charge of your career, send me a message today and let’s work together to find a plan that turns your failures into a great success story!