Shift Happens – 5 Steps to Reframe Failure

on January 19, 2016 Divorced Entrepreneur, Resilience - Growth & Strength and Tags: , , , , , , with 0 comments
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Failure. Everyone has faced it, even those unwilling to admit it.

We fail in life. We’ve all tried things, from a new hobby to a new sport to a new recipe, and failed.

We fail in business. If you’ve ever met an entrepreneur or an employee that claims to never have failed, you should move on. That person is not being real.

We fail in relationships. Sure, we lose friends, but when we lose our marriage it hurts in the deepest of ways.

As Mary Kelly, M.A. states, and I fully agree:

Because over 50% of the adult population experiences divorce at least once in their lifetimes, I find it irrational that divorce was being seen in such a negative light. Is divorce awful, gut wrenching, and painful? Yes! Is it hard on children? Yes! However, this does not necessarily mean that divorce equates to dysfunction.

Society portrays divorce as both major failure and moral decay. Many have stereotyped me as a failure because I’m divorced. And, despite the large number of divorced adults, our world continues to paint the picture of divorce as a dark and gloomy cloud following a divorced person.

I choose to dismiss this judgment and stereotyping. Regardless, failure is real in many aspects of life, particularly for those of us on a constant quest to improve and grow.

So, what do we do with failure? As an entrepreneur, a consultant, and a coach, I’ve not only witnessed many of these, I’ve personally lived them:

  • Stuff it. I’ve buried feelings deep inside, refusing to discuss or even acknowledge the failure let alone admit to the level of pain I was incurring.
  • Dismiss it. Pretend “it’s no big deal”. Tell folks it didn’t really matter anyhow. In summary, this is denial.
  • Suffer with it. Some choose to sit with the failure for prolonged periods, dwelling on the past and the loss. Surrounded by self-imposed negativity, the effects are usually not good.
  • Reframe it. This is truly the best and likely the only way to move past failure. When I’ve picked up my head and focused forward, I moved beyond failure and it’s pain.

So, let’s talk about how to reframe failure.

Not just feel-good statements, I mean actions that you can take if you’re in or ever in this state of failure recovery.

  1. Focus on WHY – Own your part. Explore and list all the possible reasons the outcome occurred, but do so not with judgment. Do so with personal accountability. This will help you craft your future.
  2. Stop Judging. Silence that inner shadow voice. Forgive yourself and others—shame and resentment only hold us back. Focus on what you can do in the present and the future. Learn from what happened and continue to improve.
  3. Be Uncomfortable. Powerful change doesn’t occur in the comfort zone. Take a calculated risk…. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable in order to fulfill your potential.
  4. Give Yourself Credit. Be aware that you are making progress. Don’t dwell on the negatives. In contrast, seek what it is that you have accomplished and focus your mind there.
  5. Be Patient. Reframing failure and moving forward is not often a rapid process, particularly when it includes transformational change.

A major part of recovery is the refresh period. This is where you take the time and effort and actually do the work of reframing. This is where credit and patience must be prevalent.

In business, this refresh period could be a few days for the loss of a big sale, a few weeks for the loss of a great employee, or a few quarters for the loss of a venture. For help on how to do a refresh, get this free guide.

In divorce recovery, reframing and moving on typically takes much longer. The above guide can help, but nearly everyone benefits from interaction, encouragement, and accountability from others, which can easily be found here for free.

Here’s to reframing failure and mastering your wonderful life!

After all, “Life is a Gift!”

~bill

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