Life is full of setbacks and heartache.
The difference between unsuccessful people and successful people often comes down to one thing: mental toughness.
You can be someone who lets failure derail you, feel like a victim, and tell “your story” of defeat to everyone you know. Or you can do the most difficult and healthy thing of all: move on and try a different approach to accomplish your goals.
Here are three mental tricks I use to feel better when I want to give up.
1. Give Someone A Genuine, Massive Compliment
The reason this technique works is that it takes the focus off of yourself. It’s easy to become self-centered and overly focused on your own problems until you realize something very important: EVERYONE feels like this at times. EVERYONE is insecure about something.
You aren’t alone, and I’ve found that one of the most therapeutic things you can do is make someone’s day. Totally out of the blue, give them a massive, genuine compliment.
It can feel a little bit weird to do this over the phone, so I usually cheat and send a text message.
To someone I go running with who is trying to lose weight, I might say “I’m so impressed at your determination, you’re getting faster ,keep it up!”.
To someone I saw at a party last night I might say, “I don’t know what it was about you last night, but you looked really classy/confident/beautiful/etc for some reason. Whatever you are doing, keep it up!”
To someone who has an important interview/game/speech coming up I might say, “You’re going to do great, you’ve worked really hard for this and you deserve it!”
Your goal should be to make them blush or fill them with confidence. Make someone else’s day with a massive genuine compliment to take the focus off of yourself and you’ll start to feel better right away.
2. Be Thankful For What You’ve Learned
No matter how bad it is, now matter how much it hurts, no matter how much money you lost….the lesson you learned from it is FAR more valuable, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
Even if someone TOTALLY took advantage of you or did you wrong, take a minute to actually thank them in your own mind or out loud. You can bet it will feel strange and it will go against every instinct in your body, but thank them for teaching you such a valuable lesson. It will make you that much stronger next time.
When an unscrupulous contractor took advantage of me on a real estate deal, I was filled with anger and frustration. Most of all I was mad at myself for letting him do it. I ended up taking him to court which caused even more frustration and lost sleep. But in the end I was able to thank him for teaching me such a valuable lesson. If I hadn’t had this setback, I would be just as naive. I wouldn’t know to get a rock solid contract next time. I wouldn’t know to inspect the property more thoroughly before making the last payment!
The money I lost on that deal has taught me enough to make it back ten fold down the line. It was worth every penny in education.
3. Read Some Quotes From The Greats
Finally, when I’m feeling down I like to read some quotes from some of the most successful people of all time. This is a great reminder that EVERYONE must face setbacks. In fact, it is a pre-requisite for success. There is no record of anybody accomplishing anything without MANY setbacks and failures along the way.
Setbacks let you know that you’re making progress.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Success is the ability to move from one failure to the next with enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchhill
Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.
- Ross Perot
Every single peak performing human being, every single high achieving man or woman, has been a person who has thrown off the natural tendency to play it safe and stay within the comfort zone, and has continually tried to exceed their previous levels of accomplishment, has continually moved forward into the risk zone, to try something more and bigger and better and more important. Every single accomplishment in the history of man, has come from men and women who have had the courage to take the risks, to step out even though they had no guarantee or assurance of success…
In studying the lives and stories of the most outstanding men and women of all of history, we find that every single one of them has been a great failure. People do not understand the importance of failure in achievement. The fact is that it is impossible to succeed without failing, that failure is an indispensable prerequisite for success, and that all great success is proceeded by great failure. Every single person who has tried to accomplish something outside the ordinary has suffered setback and obstacle and defeat and adversity and disappointment and heartache over and over again as they have moved toward their goal. There is no record of anybody ever having achieved any kind of success without having failed over and over again. The only difference is that the winners continually pick themselves up and carry on knowing that ultimate success is inevitable as long as they keep on going on.
- Brian Tracy
Feel free to bookmark this post for the next time you feel like crying and giving up. It may come in handy. Life isn’t an easy journey, and the measure of a true champion is not how far you go, it’s how far you bounce back after facing defeat.
I wish you the best.