Dealing with Failure and How to Reset yourself for a happy 2017!

Tessa Burns MartinPsychotherapy

Written by Marina Agafonov, Registered Provisional Psychologist
As we approach the new year, we reflect back on 2016 and judging by the social media posts I am seeing – many of us have had a tough 2016. So how do we start the new year with some hope?

I have to start this by being honest first, really honest! I have had my share of bad things happen this year, 2016 was not as fabulous as I had hoped.

Just yesterday I was handed the biggest academic failure of my 2016 year, I had literally received a failing grade in an important milestone that if I had passed would have propelled me forward to other successes. But, instead I failed and boy did I fail miserably! The worst part is that now I had to tell everyone who knows me that I had FAILED! Ouch! Nothing makes a failure worse than having it be publicly paraded for all to see.

Ok, maybe your “failure” wasn’t an exam mark like mine, maybe your “failure” was that you feel like you failed at being the perfect pinterest mom, or the perfect employee of the year. Maybe you, like many people this year were forced to downsize financially. A challenging and a deep down hurt.

Let’s reflect together on some big losses this year and put it in perspective, so that we can go in to 2017 with a renewed sense of hope and sense of self.

Did Hillary Clinton cry when she lost the presidential race? I bet she did and half of the nation cried right there with her. No one said “oh Hillary, you should have tried harder!” we all said, wow look at that Hillary she was so brave for trying. We didn’t see it as a failure, we saw it as a courageous act and she modelled for us what it is like to lose your hope. In the context of your life, you may have lost hope too, but just like Hillary you got up the next morning and kept on going. I hope you reached out to your friends and asked for help and that was a brave thing you did right there! Telling people about our “failure” is the hardest part, because not only do we have to admit defeat but we also have to be vulnerable in reaching out for help. Being vulnerable is being BRAVE, in fact there is a famous author who would probably back me up on that notion since she has written many books about it.

You know when I fail, I am often reminded of all the successful people that failed at something, how Oprah was fired from a TV station, how Steve Jobs was fired, and the list goes on. That somehow is not comforting, however when I look at my own response to past failure and where I am today “still breathing, still alive, still kicking” I think – alright obviously I had some sort of tools to cope with this and came out on the other end.

So, let’s look at your previous experience. Seems to me you are qualified to cope with your “failures” and challenges. Since you are sitting here reading this article, I know, I just know that you were able to rise above your past challenges! Which means you are already better than you think at dealing with the though challenges life hands you.

Make a list of all the “WINS” you have had so far in your life, and if you look just beyond that you will see those wins were a result of rising above a challenge … and not always on the first try, but you kept going and you eventually rose above it. As you review your winning list, I want you to really honestly look at your abilities that you have practiced to perfection because they got you past those challenges. Looking at it this way, you now see that hey, you are GREAT at overcoming obstacles! You have all the experience you need and now you can enter 2017 with the confidence of knowing that you are capable of great things when you just quietly say to yourself the simple phrase – I WILL and I CAN!

So for 2017, instead of making resolutions to be better. Make yourself a promise to give yourself some credit for being able and hardy enough to deal with any challenges you may face. After all you have a great life resume that shows you are beyond qualified to overcome any challenges. In fact you are the sum of your amazing fortitude, and whatever challenge comes your way in 2017 you will face it bravely.

If you would like help in further developing your fortitude and bravery, or maybe just a refresh on your coping skills. Give me a call, or book your appointment using this useful online calendar