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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

7 Ways To Get Back Up After A Major Failure

7 Ways To Get Back Up After A Major Failure

Every one of us knows how devastating failure can be—seeing your business go belly up, missing the pass mark that would have gotten you that coveted scholarship, getting fired from your job, not making the cut into the team after training all year, and so on.

Experiencing a major failure comes with a lot of pain. Failure crushes you, messes up your self-esteem, and leaves you demoralized and feeling like you are not worth anything.

What’s even worse is the fact that moving forward after a major failure is not any easier. However, if you want to go on and have a fulfilling life, you cannot let failure hold you back. The important thing is that you move on from failure and learn how to get back up.

Question is, how do you do it?

Here are 7 ways you can get back up after a major failure.

1. Dissect the Situation and Understand What Went Wrong

In most cases, failure doesn’t just appear out of the blues. Failure is a direct result of something you did or failed to do—either you didn’t prepare enough, you overlooked some important factors, you took too big a risk, or maybe you trusted someone you shouldn’t have.

Whatever the case, there was some reason behind your failure. Understanding the reason why you failed is the first step to dealing with failure and getting back up.

Go back to the circumstances leading up to the failure and try to understand what exactly went wrong. Look at each of the steps you took and figure out which of them contributed to the failure.

When we experience failure, the natural response for most of us to blame and judge ourselves. We berate ourselves and convince ourselves that we were destined to be failures.

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However, when you dissect the situation to understand what went wrong, you shift your mindset from blaming the failure on yourself to the specific action or inaction that led to the failure. This makes it a lot easier for you to deal with and overcome failure.

For instance, let’s say you were trying to build a profitable online store, but you’ve finally been forced to shut it down due to poor sales. This failure might leave you feeling like an incompetent person who was never destined to be an entrepreneur.

After analyzing the circumstances leading up to closing down your business, however, you might realize that the actual problem is that you ignored that competitor you thought was too small until it was too late. Once you realize that your business failed as a result of ignoring your competitor and not because you were destined to be a failure in business, it becomes a lot easier to move on from the failure.

According to research by Ethan Kross and Ozlem Ayduk, analyzing the situation as if it happened to someone else instead of yourself can make it easier for you to objectively look at the situation without getting too caught up in the negative emotions that accompanied the failure. This is something the researchers refer to as “self-distancing.”[1]

2. Forgive Yourself

Imagine that someone close to you, such as a sibling or a very close friend, made a mistake that cost you a major business deal or led to the loss of money. While you’d certainly be cross with them, you’d also understand that no one is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Eventually, you’d forgive them for their mistake because you understand that their mistake doesn’t define them.

The ironic thing is that while we can forgive others, most of us find it very hard to forgive ourselves. When we make a mistake, instead of forgiving ourselves like we would have forgiven others, we define ourselves by our mistake.

It is impossible to move on from failure without forgiving yourself. Therefore, after you have identified the mistake that led to the failure, remind yourself that you are not perfect and forgive yourself for making the mistake. If you want to get back up from a failure, you first have to forgive yourself.

3. See What You Can Learn From Your Failure

While failure is generally considered to be something negative, I believe there is something positive about failure. To me, failure is a feedback mechanism. It tells us that there is something about our approach or strategy that is not working. By figuring out what failure is trying to tell you, you can turn it into a learning opportunity.

Trying to see what lessons you can learn from your failure will prevent you from making the same mistakes again in the future, which will increase your chances of success in similar endeavors in the future.

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For instance, let’s say that you ended up closing your business because you made the mistake of partnering with someone who was not committed to the business and instead, contributed to running it to the ground. Next time you set up a business, you will either go at it alone or exercise greater caution when picking a partner and therefore, you’re less likely to end up with another uncommitted partner who could run your business to the ground.

Some of the strategies you can use to turn failure into a learning opportunity include reevaluating your planning, reevaluating your preparation, reevaluating your execution, and focusing on the variables that were under your control.

Aside from preventing you from repeating the same mistakes, viewing your failure as a learning opportunity shifts your mindset. You stop viewing the failure as a negative thing and embrace the lessons that it has taught you. This makes it a lot easier to get back up and move forward.

4. Focus on Your Strengths

When we experience major failures, our instinct is to peg the failure on some inadequacy on our part. While this is somewhat true—the failure was most probably caused by something you didn’t do right—it doesn’t mean that you are inadequate in every aspect of life.

You still have things your key strengths and things you’re good at, and by focusing on these strengths, you can chart a path to move you forward from failure.

Apple founder Steve Jobs provides a good example of the importance of focusing on your strengths after a major failure. Jobs hit rock bottom when he was ousted from Apple, the company he had founded with his friend Steve Wozniak.

However, instead of drowning in self-pity, Jobs quickly shifted his focus on his strengths. He was a talented innovator who was great at coming up with new ideas for next-generation computers and devices, and this is the strength he focused on.

After his ouster, Jobs quickly founded another computer company known as NeXT. A few years down the line, Apple would end up acquiring NeXT from Jobs, and eventually, Jobs made his way back to Apple as the CEO. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Just like Steve Jobs, after experiencing a major failure, don’t sulk and drown yourself in self-pity. Instead, make a list of your strengths and come up with a plan on how you’re going to capitalize on these strengths to move forward and get past your failure.

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5. Get Support and Inspiration From Trusted People

One of the things that makes it hard for people to move on from failure is the fact that most of us close ourselves off to the outside world after experiencing a major failure. However, there’s no reason for you to go through your failure alone. Talking to someone you trust allows you to get things off your chest and get rid of the negative emotions that come with failure.

Another benefit of talking to and getting support from another person is that a third party can look at your failure objectively, without having their judgment clouded by emotions. Therefore, it is a lot easier for them to spot something you might have missed or to identify a mistake that might have led to your failure since they’re not affected by personal bias.

In addition, talking to someone you trust allows them to encourage you and remind you that failure is not the end of the world—that you can get through the failure and get your life back on track.

Aside from talking to people close to you, you can also get inspiration by reading blog posts or listening to podcasts from people who have gone through similar failures and were able to get their life back on track.

This will show you that it is possible to get past your failure and infuse you with the optimism you need to get back up and move ahead. These people will also share the lessons they learned during their journey to overcome their failure, which can also be very useful as you embark on your journey to rise back from your failure.

6. Take Action

The problem with failure is that it robs you of your energy and demotivates you. After experiencing a major failure, you don’t feel like you have it in you to try something new again. You are afraid of experiencing another heart-wrenching failure. However, this is not the time for inactivity.

If you already identified your strengths and came up with a plan on how to capitalize on these strengths to move forward, now is the time to put that plan into action.

Resist the temptation to procrastinate, and don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis. After experiencing failure, you might want to make sure that everything is perfect before you move on. However, perfection is a myth, and if you wait for perfection, you will never move ahead.

Therefore, just come up with the best plan you can, make sure you’ve incorporated the lessons learned from your failure, and start taking action to get back up.

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7. Believe in Yourself and Keep Dreaming Big

Even though you have just gone through a major failure, don’t lose faith in yourself. Before this one failure, you had several other wins and accomplishments, and guess what—even though you’ve experienced failure, you’re still the same person who achieved all those previous wins, and you still have the talent, knowledge, and skills that helped you achieve them.

Therefore, don’t lose faith in yourself just because something didn’t work out. When a child is learning how to walk, they will fall down several times. However, never will you hear a child say “maybe this walking thing is not for me.” No. They believe in themselves and keep trying until they finally master this crucial skill.

Similarly, you should believe that you still have in yourself what it takes to succeed, and then go for it. Actually, perseverance and an unstoppable will to win is one of the essential characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

Finally, even though you’ve just gone through the disappointment of failure, don’t let failure dim your dreams. Hold onto your big ambitions, envision yourself achieving success, and go at it again—this time with experience and great lessons under your belt.

Wrapping Up

Failure is an inevitable part of life. However, you shouldn’t let failure hold you back or keep you from going after your dreams. Instead, let it motivate you to get back up and pursue your aspiration.

It is possible to pick yourself up and rise again after failure. You can start with these 7 ways to help you get back after a major failure.

More Tips on How to Get Back Up After a Failure

Featured photo credit: Stephen Leonardi via unsplash.com

Reference

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Martin Lünendonk

3x Serial Online Entrepreneur

7 Ways To Get Back Up After A Major Failure

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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

Why Am I Lazy? 15 Ways to Stop Being Lazy and Unmotivated

Why Am I Lazy? 15 Ways to Stop Being Lazy and Unmotivated

Most of us are lazy, at least some of the time. It’s only natural.

Being lazy just means you want to expend as little effort as possible—and who in their right mind would want to spend extra time or energy where it’s not warranted?

Of course, being lazy is also problematic. If you’re feeling lazy and unmotivated, you won’t take proactive action on achieving your goals, and you may struggle in both your personal and professional life.

Fortunately, several strategies can help you defeat this darker side of your mind.

If you want to stop being lazy, it’s going to take a concentrated effort on your part. But don’t worry—once a few of these tactics kick in, you’ll find it much easier to sustain your momentum.

1. Learn to Accept Your Own Laziness

For the most part, this article is designed to help you fight back against laziness as if it’s a dastardly villain intentionally trying to sabotage your success. However, this can be counterproductive. If you hate the idea of being lazy, chances are you’ll end up resenting yourself.

This leads to a cycle of negative self-talk, which is scientifically demonstrated to have a negative effect on mood, increasing stress.[1] Low mood and high stress lead to even lower productivity, which leads to low self-esteem, and the cycle continues.

The way to break out of this is to learn to accept your own laziness. It’s okay to feel lazy. It’s natural to feel lazy. You can work to address your laziness without feeling bad or guilty about it.

2. Understand Your Source of Laziness or Lack of Motivation

Next, take the time to understand the roots of your laziness and/or lack of motivation. This is one of the most challenging steps to take but also one of the most important.

If you can figure out what’s making you feel lazy and unmotivated, you can find a way to prevent or mitigate the effect.

For example, do you always feel unmotivated at a certain time of day? Do feelings of laziness creep in when you don’t have work that challenges you?

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Stress is a common source of a lack of motivation. Fifty-seven percent of high-stress employees feel unproductive, compared to 10 percent of low-stress employees.[2]

Pay attention to your environment, the time of day, the people around you, and the type of work you’re doing. Chances are, there’s a pattern.

3. Break Your Personal Cycles

In many cases, laziness is a byproduct of habit, either directly or indirectly—and this is especially true if you find yourself feeling lazy around the same time of day or in the same circumstances.

Accordingly, you can reduce your feelings of laziness by simply breaking your habits and cycles. This is especially important if you work from home or if you’re stuck in the same office every day.

Consider working in a new environment, giving yourself different working hours, or even dressing differently. Any major change can have a positive effect on you.

4. Set More Reasonable Goals

Sometimes, people are lazy because the goals they’ve set for themselves are too intimidating.

For example, let’s say it’s a hot day and you’ve set a goal to run outside for 10 miles. That’s a tall order even for an accomplished runner. So naturally, you’ll procrastinate and dread beginning the exercise.

But what if you reduced your goal to a 2-mile run? It would be much easier to summon the motivation to go, and 2 miles is certainly better than 0 miles.

Use SMART goal criteria to set appropriate goals for yourself, and don’t be afraid to lower the intensity of your goals if you’re feeling unmotivated.

5. Accomplish Something Small

Feeling accomplished is a tremendous motivator. If you can accomplish something and feel good about it, that positive energy will continue onto your next endeavor—even if it’s something you dread doing.

You can optimize your workload or even your day for this. Choose a small, easily accomplishable task at the beginning of your day to begin your momentum. One of my favorite productivity tips is if something takes less than 2 minutes, do it right now.

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The 5-second rule is similar.[3] If you have an impulse to do something productive, you have 5 seconds to act on that impulse. Take advantage of those fleeting feelings of productivity and don’t hesitate to act on them!

If you find yourself stuck in the middle of the day, find something to do that will make you feel good—even if it means deviating from your usual plan.

6. Use the Pomodoro Technique to Quarantine Your Laziness.

The Pomodoro Technique is a well-known time management strategy meant to help people remain productive. The main idea is to break your work down into focused work and small breaks; the original idea was to work for 25 minutes, then break for 3 to 5 minutes, and take a longer break after 4 cycles.

However, you can use whichever timing methods work best for you. Use this method to effectively “quarantine” your laziness. Allow yourself to be perfectly lazy during the short breaks, then be ready to resume focus when the timer ends.

7. Recognize and Shut Down Your Escape Routes

Most forms of laziness are contingent upon an “escape route.” It’s easy to be lazy if you’re tempted by the endless scrolling content of your favorite social media platform or if you only have one more episode in a season of your favorite TV show.

Learn to recognize these escape routes, and do what you can to shut them down.

For example, can you turn off notifications on your mobile device? Can you work in a different room than the TV? Can you temporarily disable internet access?

8. Make the Most of Your Laziness

It’s perfectly fine, and even good, to be lazy sometimes. When you decide to be lazy and decompress from work, make the most of it.

For example, you can take a few vacation days if you find yourself completely unmotivated to work, and during those days, you can absolve yourself of all responsibilities. Breaks and vacations are shown to have a net positive effect on productivity and wellbeing.

For example, frequent travelers tend to have a 68.4 score on the Gallup-Heathway Well-Being Index, a measure of health and wellness, while infrequent travelers only score a 51.4.[4]

9. Minimize Your Sense of Perfectionism

Perfectionism is an enemy of productivity, and it has the power to make you feel less motivated and lazier. More than that, scientific studies have shown that perfectionism is bad for your health. People with high perfectionism scores have a 51 percent increased risk of death.[5]

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Fight back by reducing your compulsion toward perfectionism. Understand and accept that all work is flawed and so are you, and that’s completely okay.

10. Set a Reward for Yourself

Most of us find ourselves much more motivated when there’s a reward at the end of a daunting journey. The next time you find yourself feeling lazy or unmotivated in the face of a tough task, plan to give yourself a reward.

For example, you can treat yourself to a snack, splurge on a new product, or just take an extended break.

11. Get a Partner

It’s way easier to be motivated when you have someone by your side. Not only will they help you tackle the project directly, but they’ll also be a source of positive energy—and possibly, some inspirational words.

Depending on what you’re trying to do, finding a partner may be difficult. If you can’t find someone to help you do the work directly, consider calling a friend or family member to talk through your issue and provide support.

Sometimes, the kind words of someone you care about are enough to motivate you to take action.

12. Surround Yourself With Motivated People

Attitudes and energy tend to be contagious. If you’re surrounded by lazy people who frequently complain and generally have a pessimistic outlook, it’s going to be impossible not to share the same negative feelings.

Conversely, if you’re surrounded by peppy, optimistic, highly motivated people, you’ll feel more motivated yourself. Seek these people out however you can by selectively hiring them, engaging with them in a group, or even passively consuming the content they create.

13. Set Awareness Alarms

If you’re like most people, you at least occasionally find yourself in a lazy rut, not because of a conscious decision but because of an unconscious default.

For example, you might check Twitter impulsively, scrolling past 100 tweets before even realizing the phone is in your hand, or you might simply stare off into space.

You can combat this by setting “awareness alarms.” These alarms go off at periodic intervals, at times of your choosing, but preferably erratic. When they go off, take a moment to think about what you’re doing.

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Is this productive? What should you be doing instead?

14. Gamify Your Most Tedious Tasks

More than 50 percent of organizations managing innovation processes are gamifying at least some of their work.[6] With some caveats, gamification is shown to make people more motivated and engaged.

Generally, people like games, so turning your most tedious tasks into a game can make you feel much more motivated to accomplish them.

For example, doing the dishes isn’t fun, but what if you create a scoring system that rewards you for cleaning them as quickly as possible? What if you invent unique challenges for yourself while tackling a tedious assignment?

15. Channel Your Laziness Into Something Productive

Believe it or not, being lazy can actually help you be more productive.

How? By encouraging you to find low-effort solutions that still solve your problems.

Remember, productivity isn’t about how much effort you expend, but about how much you can get done. Laziness could encourage you to develop an algorithm or buy an app that automates a task that takes too much of your time. Ultimately, this allows you to achieve more in less time while demanding less effort.

The same is true for hiring additional staff or delegating tasks to people who can handle them more efficiently.

Conclusion

“I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because he will find an easy way to do it.” — Bill Gates

It’s completely reasonable to feel lazy some or even most of the time. And even the most productive among us are challenged by our inner laziness.

However, your laziness and lack of motivation do not have to hold you back from getting the results or achieving the goals you want. Find a strategy or combination of strategies that work for you, and stick to them.

More Tips to Overcome Laziness

Featured photo credit: Katie Barrett via unsplash.com

Reference

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