One of the hardest things to handle is a failed expectation.
I’ll start a new endeavor, get so hype about it, talk about it to everyone I know—even some strangers—and then boom…it sinks. I think we all have gone through similar things. We get our hopes so high for something and expect to turn out a certain way and if it doesn’t…our world is crushed.
We don’t know how to handle this failure and what hits even harder is that we didn’t even think that this failure was going to happen in the first place. Yup, this is it; this, right here, is my million-dollar idea! Then…it ends up not being it. That thought that you expected to be so great and amazing and your ticket into the world ends up being something you wish you never talked about.
Eventually, you start to believe that failure is the ultimate outcome of whatever you do.
I was stuck in this mindset…for a very long time. Being denied a few times took a toll on my heart and my work. I doubted everything produced. Even when others loved it, I always found an excuse as to why: they’re only saying that because they’re my friends; of course, my mom is going to like my work; I’ve been working with this place for a while, odds are they’re going to just be nice and like my work. At times, I found myself just creating with no love, no purpose and no drive. Every time I created, I was scared to show the world.
I had so much work saved on my computer, so many ideas in my mind, so many new things that I wanted to try out; but, failure haunted me. It buzzed at the back of my mind and every time I began to feel a little better about what I was doing and developed some courage to share it with the world, the buzzing grew louder and louder. I didn’t know how to get this buzz to go away; I didn’t know if this buzz could even go away. Then, one day, I decided that enough was enough. Though this buzz was loud, I was going to be louder. I made the decision to respond to my failure differently than what I had been and changing my future with a few tricks.
So, Deiona, how do you respond to failure?
I am so happy that you’ve asked. Anytime I find myself being rejected, having an idea denied or just overall in a funky mood because what I’m aspiring isn’t working out, I turn to these 5 tactics:
Stop Having Expectations
This may sound crazy, but once you let go of expectations, you’ll find yourself not only able to respond to failure better, but to be able to respond to any negative occurrence in a better way.
As humans, it’s natural for us for expect things to go a certain way or expect people to treat us a certain way. However, in this world, that is not always the case. And quite honestly, it’s not always the failure that is upsetting us, rather, the expectation we had before the failure happened. Because our expectations were high—sometimes way too high—we are hit even harder than if we were to just approach the situation or person without thinking that they or it was supposed to do something. Instead of expecting good or expecting bad, just step into the situation with all that you have, and you’ll be able to positively encounter whatever the outcome is.
Stop Being Afraid/Hesitant; Do it Anyways
We all have big dreams, big aspirations, big goals that we are trying to check off our lists. With all the last thing we need to do, if failure is to occur, is to crawl under a rock. There are still tasks to be completed, dreams to bring to life; none of these things are going to come to a halt just because we do. Don’t hesitate, don’t pause, don’t keep yourself back just because a mishap happened; don’t refrain yourself from going forward. IT’S OKAY. NOT EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE PERFECT.
And, quite honestly, the biggest dreams come with the biggest disappointments. Just make sure that, no matter how many times you get knocked down, get fearful or just want to stop, DON’T, and do what you need to do anyways.
Stop Doubting Yourself
When failure happens, it’s easy to doubt ourselves, our work and our capabilities; this is absolutely the last thing we need to do when failure happens. When trying to create something, put your mark in the world and change your life, chances are, not everything is going to work out. When those moments come—and trust me, they will—the thing to do is to believe in yourself even more. Yeah, you may have been denied by one place, but you will get accepted by another. Yeah, that person that you liked might have not felt the same towards you, but someone else will. When you get into the mindset of self-doubt, you are only going to attract things that aren’t going to work out for you. If you make the conscious decision to believe instead of doubt, it’ll push you to do more than what you ever could’ve imagined.
Don’t Throw It Away; Revise
I’m not going to lie, there have been certain ideas that I’ve come up with that were just not that great. However, one of the things I learned is that instead of completely starting over, I should work more on revamping; rewiring and reconstructing instead of making an entirely new blueprint. Not only is it easier not to completely start from scratch, but with revising comes new ideas. Though the idea you had may not have worked in one way, when you revise, you could discover that million-dollar thought! To think that if you just took the time to revise instead of discard, you might’ve discovered so much more. So, try revamping something that may not have worked, instead of thinking its complete trash.
Don’t Speak About it; Be About it
I am guilty of talking a good talk, but not walking. I’ll bring up all this talk about what I will do in response to something not working out, but, I won’t actually do it. So, if you find yourself in a predicament such as this one, please get up and go. We are never going to change our failure if we aren’t actively trying to change it. Though you may be thinking about how you want to alter what you failed at or have an idea as to how all of this can be fixed, nothing will happen if you are just talking instead of walking.
Yes, these 5 things may seem simple enough, but, they are also things that we rarely practice doing for ourselves. Failure can sometimes be so loud that it overpowers our ambitions and goals. However, I was done letting this buzz be so loud. Let us be done letting failure win and responding to it in a much better, productive and positive way.