No matter how successful we might become, there will be times when
an overwhelming sense of failure comes over us and leaves us wondering
just where we are headed. This can be caused by a small failure of
a project, new challenges in your personal life, or monetary troubles,
but it is important to realize that feelings of failure don't necessary
mean you have failed. It can simply mean that you are at a down period
in your life and work -- one that will pass if you continue doing
your best work and striving for something better.
Of course, in the midst of a failure attack, it is very easy to
lose any sense of perspective. Every small challenge, every small
anything that doesn't work the way it should simply compounds the
feelings of failure and often leads to you acting out in ways you
might never consider otherwise. All you can feel is the weight
bearing down on you and even the smallest grain of sand added
to the load
seems unbearable. How do I know about these feelings? Simple, I
face them from time to time, just like you -- just like everyone
in the world.
The truth is, no matter how successful we might be, there will always
be times when we feel we have failed. We worry about failing our
families, our children, and in the end, we worry most about failing
ourselves. It is perhaps there that we experience failure more deeply
than anywhere else. We are always tougher on ourselves than anyone
else, so we often "beat ourselves up" over real or supposed
failure well out of line with the true importance. The trouble is,
it is very difficult to gain deep perspective on our own issues,
because they are felt so personally and so internally. Our fears
can run away with us, if we let them.
When you feel that sense of failure growing, here are a few methods
I use to move beyond and get back to a productive state of mind.
First, acknowledge the feelings. Ignoring them simply pushes the
worries and fears from your conscious mind into the subconscious
where it can do even more damage. There it will gnaw at you silently,
making it hard to sleep and generally stressing you out which will
in turn make it harder to work the next day and that will make you
feel worse so you won’t sleep the next night – you get
the picture. Sometimes feelings of failure need a small amount of
wallowing to get them out in the open. That is not to say that you
should wallow for days, bemoaning your lot in life and making the
problem worse. You just need to acknowledge how you are feeling.
Then you can move on to the next step -- getting back to productivity.
I find that the best salve for feelings of failure is work. This
work can be directed at a specific failure, or your general area
of work, or it could be something totally unrelated. I know that
accomplishing anything, no matter how mundane can often push me
in the right direction. Sometimes we simply need a reminder that
we can do something well to bring us some perspective. This little
glimmer of perspective will help us to realize that today's feelings
are not forever. Life is cyclical and this cycle, too, will end.
So, attack a task where you are almost sure of succeeding. After
all, you don't want to add to your already dark mindset by failing
yet again. Do that task to the best of your ability and use it
to block out all the negative thoughts that might be bouncing
your head. Succeed at this one small, maybe even tiny task. Feel
better now? I thought so.
Feelings of failure can come to visit, but your goal is to address
them and make sure they move on as quickly as possible. It can
be a trying time, but if you remember that these feelings will
move on, you can find a way out. Acknowledge your fears, worries
and recriminations and then move on. Seek out one small success
and you will be back on the road to productivity in no time.