Failure and rejection are tough pills to swallow. But sometimes they prove to be the best medicine in the long term.
Let me explain.
We live in a fast-moving, success-driven, “quick fix” oriented society. Encountering disappointment, under performance or outright failure it is something that can feel like a punch to the gut.
Perhaps you launched what you thought was an awesome program, but didn’t get the sign-ups you wanted. You booked the room for your workshop and only 2 people besides your mom showed up.
Maybe you did “all the right things” by your children, but one of them ends up hanging out with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble anyway.
Or you’ve just found yourself in the most amazing relationship, only to discover your partner has cold feet about taking things to the next level of connection.
In every sphere of life there will be moments where our conviction to stand confidently in our brilliance and stay true to our heart will be tested. If we’re not careful, the Gremlin I call “The Pushover” can show up to derail you.
The Pushover wants you to run for the hills and take cover in the safety of your normal routines. The Pushover takes the wind out of your sails to deter you from stepping boldly into a new ventures, relationships or experiences.
But having a strong Brilliance Backbone ™ means your Conviction vertebra is healthy and flexible so you can regroup after a setback. You are willing to stand your ground. It’s what helps you bring life to ideas or plans that fly in the face of conventional wisdom or criticism from naysayers.
To keep that Conviction part of your Brilliance Backbone ™ in strong working order, you need to regroup and do it quickly. Here are 5 keys to help you regroup from failure and turn setbacks into solid success.
Key #1 – Breathe
Dealing with failure or rejection feels like a threat to our safety at some level. So our good old “flight or fight” response gets triggered. With all that adrenalin rushing through our body it’s hard to think clearly about anything!
Taking some deep belly breaths for even just a minute will help short-circuit your reactivity that comes when our reptilian brain gets triggered. Deep breathing allows you to access your prefrontal cortex that governs your decision-making capabilities.
Key #2 – Regroup
The Chinese have a proverb – “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” When things don’t go as you’d planned, the ability to pick yourself up and keep on going is key.
Rather than see failure or disappointment as a sign from the Universe to stop altogether, view it as an opportunity to gather the additional wisdom and resilience you need to move more powerfully into lasting success. Choose to regroup, rather than stay stuck and gripe.
Key #3 – Pan Back and Get the Big Picture
You worked so hard, had such great intentions and yet you still got rejected. Sometimes the sting of failure feels so personal because the Pushover tends to lose sight of the big picture.
Imagine you’re the director of this movie called “Your Life” and it’s time to “Pan back” the cameras to get the wide-angle shot. Choosing to see the bigger picture helps you remember your vision, your Brilliant WHY. Connecting to who you’re meant to serve, or the love and truth you want to have in your life, can help get you ready and motivated to get back in the game.
Key #4 – The W-W-W Formula
Now that you’ve got the bigger perspective, it’s time to use the W-W-W Formula.
Objectively assess the following questions:
W – What worked?
W – What didn’t work?
W – What would you do differently the next time?
Engage your brilliant brain into answering these questions and just watch how quickly your Pushover gets crowded out of your awareness. These answers invoke rich, straight-forward insights and data points that will help you make needed course corrections.
Key #5 – Give Yourself Permission to Fail
Failure is a necessary ingredient of our brilliance and success. Let’s give up the need for perfectionism and the myth of instant success. What if Mother Nature had decided that evolution and natural selection weren’t such good ideas? Our world would be robbed of so much beauty and diversity if Mother Nature was a perfectionist, unwilling to experiment and evolve along the way.
Give yourself permission to fail. Make it your intention to fail quickly and often. That way you can gather up so much wisdom and polishing to take with you so you can step forward in greater strength and brilliance the next time.
As an internationally acclaimed business coach, author and media personality, Carolyn Ellis has helped thousands of women reclaim their financial future and radically transform their lives.
Through her company, Brilliance Mastery, Carolyn has the privilege of helping brilliant women and conscious entrepreneurs reconstruct and realign their businesses in order to present their great work more clearly, powerfully and profitably to the world.
You may recognize her easy-to-understand and holistic advice from regular appearances in The Globe and Mail, MacLean’s Magazine, Divorce Magazine, CITY-TV, CBC radio and TV, as she passionately works to bring forth strategies of personal, business and financial mastery to women all across the globe.
However, Carolyn strongly believes that having a six figure-plus business is no fun if you’re maxed out on time—which is why she also helps her clients build their brilliant empires with work-life balance and real freedom in mind.
When she’s not working in the trenches with creatives and entrepreneurs, Carolyn is equally passionate about helping separated and divorced individuals who are struggling to find clarity and learn how to thrive after divorce.
She has created a number of award-winning educational resources for divorced women, including the Divorce Resource Kit, THRIVE Principles ™, Parenting after Divorce 101 and Thrive After Divorce, all of which have a proven track record of helping women turn adversity into opportunity and pave the way for a life of passion, vitality and success.
Carolyn is the award-winning author of The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive after Divorce, and the popular “Bits of Brilliance” and THRIVE Guide e-newsletters, which are enjoyed by thousands of subscribers from across the globe.
In addition to her experienced gained in the school of life, she is also a Certified Money, Marketing and Soul Coach ™ and a Money Breakthrough Method ™ Coach. She has trained with some of the world’s greatest transformational and marketing leaders, and has in fact been engaged by many of them to assist their personal clients with their business and coaching needs.
Finally, to give some credit to her left-brain, Carolyn also has a graduate degree from Harvard University, and is a Master Integrative Coach and Advanced PSYCH-K Facilitator. She has worked on Wall Street, served as a senior policy advisor in government and was the Director of Development for two of the top independent schools in Canada.
When she’s not creating something or transforming a business, Carolyn enjoys spiritual journeys, hot yoga and works really hard to stay on the wagon as a reformed “trekkie.” She lives in Toronto, ON with her 3 children and a very fluffy labradoodle.