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Last Updated on February 16, 2021

How To Bounce Back From a Failure At Work

How To Bounce Back From a Failure At Work
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Let’s be honest and get this out of the way right from the beginning: failing sucks but failure at work can be even worse because it’s in front of people you typically see almost every day. Yet, it is inevitable for all of us to experience failure at work. And as more problems arise that greatly affect our lifestyle, many of us have been facing failure more than expected.

We’re continually making more and more mistakes—way more than any of us I’m sure would like to admit. These situations are worsened even further when the people we work with call attention to our failures at work. It can be very challenging to cope with these mistakes and failures, but doing so is an important part of growth. So, I’m going to give you ways on how you can bounce back from a failure at work.

1. Failure at Work Isn’t Uncommon

The first thing to understand is that failure at work is by no means uncommon. Just like you, everyone else is making mistakes as well. Our work lives are simply moving too quickly, the requests are piling up one on top of another, and it seems like we’re never able to catch up—let alone get ahead. These mistakes, errors, and failures at work are made inevitable by these circumstances.

The pressure is enough to make anyone crack, so don’t waste your time feeling ashamed when you make a mistake in your workplace. Learning to accept failure at work as an inevitable part of the process positions you well to begin overcoming the negative feelings and aftermath of these situations.

If you’re struggling with personal mistakes or failures, just remember that mistakes or failures can serve as lessons for us to learn and become better.

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2. Overcome Negativity Associated With Failure at Work

If you’ve ever failed at work, you know that your ego can take a bit of a shot in these situations. That’s a universal truth. But as I just mentioned, learning how you can manage these breakdowns and the negativity associated with failure at work can help you bounce back quickly and get you back up on that horse so you can crush it next time!

This process will help you manage the disappointment and potential embarrassment associated with a failure at work and ensure that these negative emotions don’t drag you down for too long. And to do that—to learn to manage the disappointment and negativity that you typically feel following a failure at work—you need to explore what happened.

What that means is that you need to reflect on the situation that occurred. Identify the things that went well as well as the things that didn’t. Why did the things that went well went well? Why did the things that went poorly went poorly?

Answering these types of questions will provide you with important insights as well as an added degree of self-awareness. This will equip you with lessons that you can take forward to improve and become better the next time you take on a similar task.

3. Prepare for the Negativity

In addition to examining the situation, there are a few common emotions associated with failures at work. A few of them I’ve already mentioned previously in this article. Learning to be on the lookout for these types of thoughts and emotions following making a mistake or error at work—or in any other part of your life—will help you better cope with them whenever they do attempt to take a shot at your mental health.

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These could be many things such as embarrassment, disappointment, identity conflict, feeling worthless and useless, feeling like you have no value to add, feeling like everyone around you is better than you are, etc. There’s probably an endless list we could come up with here because as humans, we—for some reason—love to beat ourselves up, especially given all our past mistakes and failures.

However, if you let this happen, these thoughts and emotions will run riot in your brain and do damage to your mental health. So, just as if you were preparing to go to battle with someone else, you’re going to develop your strategy to combat these emotions before they even present themselves.

Doing this will position yourself well to overcome these emotions. Don’t underestimate the importance of simply being prepared. I have one of the most valuable steps that I’ve personally taken that helps me to remain resilient following a failure at work.

If you give it a try and establish a plan or strategy that makes sense for you and relevant to your life and line of work, you’ll gain a highly valuable set of skills.

4. Reflect, Admit, Apply, and Repeat

Once you’ve made your new strategy, it’s time to begin trying to reflect on your current coping behaviors—you know, the ones where after you make a mistake you go and cry about it, get defensive, and then go eat a bunch of ice cream afterward in an attempt to console yourself. Yeah, you can’t keep using that strategy obviously—it’s not effective.

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So, take some time to reflect on how you currently cope. Why do you act that way? Is it your attempt to try and cover up the internal insecurity that you have? Or is there some other reason?

Finding out your motivation style may help in this case. Take this free asssment: What’s Your Motivation Style? and learn about your motivatoin style and what works best for you when it comes to staying motivated. Take the assessment for free here.

Once you’ve figured out the reason, admit it to yourself and accept that this is how you’ve been acting in the past and that a change needs to occur.

From here, you can begin retraining yourself and shifting away from being defensive and eating ice cream to gaining self-awareness and growing from the mistake you make in life. This is a fundamental step to learning how to bounce back from failure at work. This is because once you’ve done this and gained that self-awareness, you can then begin applying the new strategies that you’ve just created for yourself and establish new patterns of behavior and habits that are much more beneficial to your personal growth and progress.

Then, the final step is to repeat the process. I would recommend that whenever you fail at work or make some mistake in another area of your life, you go through some form of this process of reflection and evaluation. Repeating this process will help you modify and adjust your strategies, and it can help you grow and evolve as a person.

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5. Take Responsibility

We all know these people—the ones who, in their mind, are never at fault for anything, regardless of what role they played or how much they were involved in the outcome. These people are “finger-pointers”. They will blame everyone else before ever even stopping to consider how involved they were in the outcome.

I feel sorry for these people. Not only are they typically not very well admired by their peers for this behavior, but they also will end up progressing at a much slower rate than the rest of us who are willing to admit our mistakes and take responsibility for them.

Try your best to avoid becoming a “finger-pointer” whenever you make a mistake, especially when it’s a failure at work because nobody wants to work with someone who can’t take responsibility or be accountable for their own actions and decisions.

I get it, it’s not always easy to accept the blame and admit mistakes, especially when there are consequences for your actions. But that degree of accountability is very important to your personal growth and development.

Bouncing Back from Failure at Work

If there is one main message that I’d want you to take away from reading this article today, it would be that you can learn a lot about yourself from your failure at work and the mistakes you make in life. But to do that, you need to learn how to address and overcome the negativity associated with these mistakes and establish more effective ways of coping.

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Learn to view these mistakes as opportunities for your personal growth and development. If you can do that, you’ll go far become successful in your personal journey!

More Tips on How to Deal With Failure at Work

Featured photo credit: Christin Hume via unsplash.com

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Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Last Updated on July 29, 2021

How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up

How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up
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It’s Monday morning. The alarm goes off. Do you know how to get motivated at that moment? What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you open your eyes? 

Are you excited to get up and go to work, or are you dreading the day and week ahead?

Whatever your response may be, ask yourself this question:

“What is it that makes you feel unmotivated?” What’s driving you to feel negative or positive about your Monday ahead? If you want to know how to get motivated, keep reading.

The Two Types of People

You likely know of people who have been doing the same thing for years and seem to not have any problem staying stagnant. Whether it be in their marriage, job, or personal endeavors, they seem to be getting along just fine without progressing towards anything “better.”

On the other hand, I’m sure you also know of individuals who focus on the positive, goals setting and are constantly pushing themselves to greater heights. Be it promotions at work, building a family, celebrating marriage milestones, traveling more, or going to school again, these individuals seem to constantly progress towards something that improves or enhances their life.

So what’s the difference between these two types of individuals?

What you feel capable of doing comes down to one thing: motivation. It’s the force, or lack of, that keeps driving you forward to overcome challenges and obstacles to achieve your goals.

Without motivation, you’ll give up after a few failed attempts, or even on the first tough challenge that comes your way. Or you’ll just remain where you are: unhappy yet not doing anything to progress ahead.

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What Is Motivation, Really?

Whether you realize it or not, motivation is a huge force in your life, and it needs to be harnessed in order to excel and actually enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing on a daily basis. If you find yourself thinking, “I need motivation,” there are specific steps you can take.

Unfortunately, many overgeneralize the word motivation. We think of being either motivated or unmotivated as a simple “yes” or “no” state of being.

But motivation is not a switch. As discussed in the Fast Track Class – Activate Your Motivation, motivation is a flow. To feel motivated, you need to dive beyond the surface. Just reading a motivational quote, being encouraged by your friends or mentor, or writing out a short to-do list won’t help you build sustainable motivation in the long run.

You can think of the motivation that we want to achieve like the Sun (self-sustaining and long-lasting), which supplies a constant influx of energy to all life on Earth. Just like the Sun, your “motivation engine” has different layers, starting from the core and spreading out to the surface. The surface is what you see, but the real process is driven from the core (your internal motivation); and that’s the most important part.

If you can create a self-sustaining motivation engine, you’ll be able to find more meaning in your life and enjoy every minute of what you’re doing, which will make your roles and responsibilities less of a chore. 

Let me help you understand this motivation flow better by breaking down the motivation engine into 3 parts:

  1. Core – Purpose
  2. Support – Enablers
  3. Surface – Acknowledgement

The Third Layer: Surface

The outermost layer, also known as Acknowledgement, encompasses any type of external recognition that might give you motivation. It may come in the form of respect or recognition, such as compliments and praise.

Or it could be emotional support through encouragement, feedback, and constructive criticism. It could also be affiliation, where you have mutual companions or buddies sharing the same goal or burden with you.

One recent study pointed out that “rewards had a positive impact on work motivation but no significant relationship existed between reward and job satisfaction”[1].

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Therefore, it’s important to recognize that rewards will motivate you, but they won’t necessarily make you happier in an undesirable situation.

This is generally what you see on the surface when you look at other people. You see the external acknowledgement, respect, and recognition they’re getting.

The Second Layer: Support

In essence, the second layer of the motivation engine (also known as Enablers) is what supports your goals. They can magnify the motivation core you have, or speed up the momentum that you build. Basically, they create favorable circumstances for things to go smoothly.  

If you want to know how to find motivation, positive enablers are key. This could include friends and family, or any support network you’ve created in life.

The Innermost Layer: Core

But what’s most important, and the true driving force behind your motivation flow, is the innermost core, your Purpose. Your purpose is what differentiates the motivated from the unmotivated, the achievers from the underachievers, the happy from the unhappy.

Your motivational core is your Purpose, and it is sustained by two things: having meaning, and forward movement. With these two as a foundation, you’ll have a power source that will feed you motivational energy indefinitely.

If you want to learn more about the Motivation Flow, join our Fast Track Class – Activate Your Motivation for free now!

How to Sustain Your Purpose

Having meaning is simple. If you want to learn how to find motivation, just ask yourself a question: Why?

Why are you pursuing a certain goal? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. While motivation provides you energy to do something, that energy needs to be focused somewhere. So without meaning, there is no direction for your energy to focus.

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Yet, having a meaningful objective doesn’t mean you have to change the world or have a huge impact on society. The secret to meaningful work is simple: it should contribute value to something or someone that matters to you.

One study suggested creativity as one possible path to meaning, saying: “Many of the core concepts in work on the meaning of life, such as the needs for coherence, significance, and purpose or the desire for symbolic immortality, can be reached through creative activity”[2].

Next up is gaining forward movement. In short, this means to just keep moving. Like a snowball, motivation from having progress creates momentum. So to keep this up, you have to keep moving.

The good news is, your progress doesn’t have to be huge for you to recognize it. Small amounts of progress can be just as motivating, as long as they keep coming. Like driving a car, you may be really impatient if you’re at a complete halt. But, it lessens if you’re moving forward, even if you’re moving slowly.

Creating a simple progress indicator, like checklists or milestones, is a great way to visualize your small (and big) wins. They trigger your brain to recognize and acknowledge them, giving you small boosts of motivational energy.

This is why video games are so addictive! They’re full of progress indicators everywhere. Even though the progress is completely virtual, they’re still able to trigger the motivation centers in your brain.

Find out What Drives You Today

Why not take some time today and do a quick reflection of where you’re at now? Take one aspect of your life that you’d like to progress further in.

For example, it may be your current job. Start with your why. Write down your reasons for why you’re in the job that you’re in.

Then, think about your Motivation Core: your Purpose. Write down what it is within your job that gives you meaning, and what are some things that will help push you forward in life.

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Once you have those points, it’s time to do a comparison. Does your current job help you make progress towards that purpose that you’ve written?

If it does, you’re on the right track. If it doesn’t, or if you’ve realized your life isn’t going where you want it to, don’t panic. There’re tools that can help you get through this. The Actionable Motivation On Demand Handbook is one of those effective tools that can help you always stay motivated. Get your own handbook and never lose motivation again!

Do your best to not focus on the negative. Review your goals and aim yourself in a positive direction, even if it means that you start small.

Final Thoughts on Staying Motivated

Happiness doesn’t need to be a vague term or illusion that you’re constantly chasing after with no end in sight. By finding your true motivation, you’ll be one step closer to realizing your happiness and finding meaning in everything you do.

You may have tried many solutions to help you stay motivated and found that none of them really have any impact. That’s because they bring about incremental changes only, and permanent change requires a holistic approach. It requires more than just focusing on one area of your life or changing one part of your routine or actions.

You want to make a fundamental change, but it feels like big, unknown territory that you can’t afford to venture into at this point in your life.

The truth is, taking your life to the next stage doesn’t have to be this complicated. So, if you’d like to take the first step to achieving your life purpose, the time to learn how to find motivation is now!

More on How to Find Motivation

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] European Journal of Business and Management: Impact of Reward and Recognition on Job Satisfaction and Motivation
[2] Perspectives on Psychological Science: Finding Meaning With Creativity in the Past, Present, and Future

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