If you were to look back at my most recent blogs you’ll see that I’ve ‘fell off’ a little bit.
From the moment I said that I was not completing blogs on the same day up until the last couple of days – I actually stopped writing.
That pained me at the time. I’ve worked so hard to build up a consistent routine that I was thinking ‘oh man now I need to start again that really sucks’.
So that’s what I wanted to talk about today.
Having that one feeling – about ultimately ‘slipping’ rather than ‘failing’ – led me into a little bit of a spiral.
It’s amazing how cataclysmic the interruption of routine can be.
It’s 45 days into this new routine I’m trying to set myself of just writing every single day, alongside record videos every single day…
And yes, the last couple of days have really just not gone well at all.
So I wanted to produce a blog about it so I can (for me) in real-time, work through it with you, and discuss what I’m doing to overcome this issue so I can keep driving forward.
Talk About Your Failure
That’s literally what I’m here with you doing right now – talking about this failure. This is so so important as I’ve learnt from my days in therapy – that keeping things inside of you is terrible for your soul.
Or as my mother has always said to be – that a problem shared is a problem halved.
What most people don’t recognise is that also extends to talking out loud about it to yourself –
Here’s me doing that for YouTube:
I knocked out 5 60-second videos on failure – again mostly for me – but also because I wanted to give myself a little bit of coaching on the process.
Talking To Yourself and Answering Back
So, when you’re talking about your failures – it’s important to be mindful of HOW you’re talking to yourself.
I don’t mean it’s simply a case of berating yourself because that’s not going to make you feel any better or prove constructive to your psyche.
When you’re talking to yourself – there are several things you must consider when you’re dealing with ‘failure’.
Don’t Focus On The Failure, Focus On Acceptance
This is in relation to talking to yourself but also analysing what happened. It is for me reminiscent of the teachings of the Landmark Forum which suddenly come to mind now.
I.e ‘It is what it is’ and ‘it isn’t what it isn’t.
It’s within our nature to attach lots of negative emotions to things that have happened.
But that’s in the past – that’s NOT now.
Right NOW you have the power to do anything that you like.
You are the master of your ship – no one else is – and with this in mind, you can plot a new direction and determine the landscape in which your psyche is going to reside in.
Is your direction going to have an accompanying background of brimstone and axes that are leaned against yourself?
Or is it going to be one of measure, of calm composure, that accepts all that has happened and focusses on the here and now?
Don’t Focus On The Failure, Focus On The Emotions
Because that’s the thing that is toxic.
It isn’t the actual failure itself.
I don’t focus much on that in my mind’s eye.
I.e it’s true I didn’t blog on Saturday or Sunday – but that’s not what I’m focussed upon.
I’m focussed upon having acceptance over the frustration I feel, and also accepting it.
‘So I feel this way Deepak – and that’s ok – it’s happened now – we move forward’.
Those 2 words ‘’that’s ok’ are more powerful than anything else in your vocabulary in those moments of failure
Acknowledging You May Have Irrational Beliefs About Failure
Have you ever heard the expression ‘Deepak you’re too hard on yourself!’.
I know I have.
It’s something that the vast majority of us fall foul to.
So be mindful of this – that you have a tendency to blow problems up in your own mind and make them out to be ‘life/success ending’.
If this is something that you’ve been commonly told you do – recognise that this is a narrative bias you have in your heart and mind that ‘colours’ the way in which you see the world – so be mindful of this.
Watch out for the ‘I always’ or ‘I’m so’ or ‘Why do I consistently’…
Ultimately be on the lookout for any cognitive distortions you keep in your mind that you consider being overarching views of yourself.
The negative ones – are not doing you any good at all – and it’s important to be mindful of what your ‘emotions’ are telling you at this moment.
Externalizing The Problem
This is a technique used in narrative therapy for those who ‘make a mountain out of a molehill’ – i.e have a tendency to exaggerate issues in their own mind.
However, this technique is powerful for anyone whose trying to cope with failure.
Once you’ve dealt with the emotional aspects of what’s happened and you’ve accepted that things haven’t happened as you have imagined they would – externalizing the problem is a core next step to deal with it
This simply works by personifying the problem – i.e giving it a voice and a ‘body’.
The simplest way this happens is through talking to yourself and imagining there’s another person there talking back to you.
Doing this allows a much clearer separation between yourself and the issues that have led to failure and mean that you can begin to clearly understand –
- What’s happened?
- Why it might have happened?
- How to immediately fix/recover from what happened?
- How to prevent the same thing from happening in the future?
Recognise Failure Happens When The ‘Ask’ Is Difficult
It’s also important to recognise that if you’re ‘failing’ or rather ‘not succeeding’ at something (we’ll talk about ‘relabelling’ things in a moment) – that it’s evidently the case that what you’re asking of yourself is difficult.
If it was easy, if it was obvious – you would have ‘nailed it’ the first time.
And evidently, it wasn’t the case because you didn’t nail it.
This is actually a good thing because:
Failure Can Be A Sign Of Progress
When you’re challenging yourself – it’s because the ‘ask’ is difficult.
So actually – through failure, you’re moving forward – by engaging in something that that you struggle with.
Something that’s not evidently easy to do.
That makes the path you’re on all the more meaningful – because it’s evidently difficult.
Now – if the ‘thing’ that you were trying to do is apparently ‘easy’ – then you’ve got to make sure you’re not doing this:
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
This is such a deadly thing to get into.
Over the years I’ve caught myself doing this and it’s NEVER ever gone well for me.
I’ve got the most recent comparisons I’ve made swimming around in my mind now – but I’m not going to give this comparative trap any more energy than it deserves.
And I urge you to do the same.
Who else has your background? Your context? Your mindset? Your access/inaccess to resources? Your upbringing and ALL of the innumerable things that have helped mould you?
Well – it’s not SOMEBODY else – so in comparing yourself to others – you’ll only end up hurting yourself.
Stop calling it ‘failure’
We spoke about this in point #7 – that you need to be very mindful of the words you use to describe yourself and to describe what happened.
Words are truly weapons and it can be incredibly damaging to attach negative words to yourself.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the balance of compliments Versus criticisms.
I learnt this through the mistakes I’ve made in my relationship with Strawberry that for every one criticism you make – it can only be repaid through 100 compliments (sometimes 1,000).
I.e the act of using negative words, and making negative character judgements is SO damaging – that you should not be using them at all.
It’s ok to recognise that something ‘didn’t work’ (see what I did there). But separate yourself from damaging language as quickly as you can.
Rather – focus upon what needs to be done to move forward productively.
Make A Plan Of Action
This (as we’ve echoed) – involves making a plan of action for what you can do to ensure you move forward and improve upon past performances.
So whether you write down your new plan of action or otherwise – it’s important to make a plan of how you’re (in my case at least) going to try again and do better this time.
This involves of course:
An Acceptance of ‘Failure’
This isn’t something I do personally but I know that some people do do it (thanks to googling lol) –
But not accepting responsibility for this failure.
Yes, there may always be extenuating circumstances and forces at hand – but if it’s your aim, your agenda and all – then it’s your mission and your responsibility.
So being accepting and taking ownership of the ‘failure’ is important
Build A Preventative Plan Of Action via Fail Safe’s
This ISN’T something I see spoken about – but what can do you do to ensure there’s redundancy built-in or some kind of backup plan to prevent the same thing from happening again?
In my instance of not writing for a couple of days in a row – the answer may well be in:
- On those days where you don’t write for whatever reason – have a ‘minimum word count requirement’
- This could be on Quora – I could answer AT LEAST one question
That can be my fail-safe – I wish for completion – and on a day I don’t feel like writing for whatever reason – it’s unlikely I’m going to clear 1,000 words in one sitting – so instead perhaps I should focus upon one tiny action –
And I think I’ve found it!
Recognise There Are Many Who Have Failed. There Are Famous Failures
If you feel alone – it’s useful to see there are hyper-successful people who have failed way bigger than yourself and way faster – and so this can be a reassuring consideration when it comes to building your own path forward.
Just give it a google and you’ll see what I mean.
Thomas Edison, Stephen King, J.K Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney.
There are lots of massively successful people who’ve had to deal with abject failure in their lives.
There is ALWAYS time to correct your course. No matter what
This is a powerful one for me. That ‘running out of time’ kind of implies that ‘success’ has a specific timeframe.
When it doesn’t really.
Success comes whenever success comes – so stick to your path and don’t think you’ve run out of time to get to where you want to go.
It is not ‘taking longer than it should’ but rather just ‘taking the time it needs to take!’.
Don’t Worry About What Other People Think
Just worry about what you think.
I know that’s much much easier said than done.
But ultimately – all people have their own lives to worry about and not yours. So whilst they might pass ‘momentary judgement’.
It’s you who’s living your life with yourself.
You who’s in a powerful relationship with yourself.
You, who’s with yourself at night, with yourself by day – and together at all times apart from when you sleep.
So only worry about what you think.
And with this in mind – just keep driving forward
Well, I feel better at least.
And determined to continue on my path of content production.
Yesterday I think I read in an interview that’s featuring on one of our websites that one of the ‘hacks’ they used was producing content for 90 days in a row.
That’s something I’m trying to get towards with all of these blogs – and then to see what results come from it over the rest of the year while I write the NEXT 90 days worth of content.
I guess that’s all of an aside.
Mostly – if you found this blog because you’re having issues with how you feel about something you ‘failed’ at – well I hope this helps you turn that around in your mind’s eye!
And today’s finish time:
I toast (metaphorically) to many more productive mornings like this 🙂