Falling short of expectations is never fun. Even when we work hard, it just wasn’t good enough. Whether we place 2nd or 26th, it’s still not a good feeling. The most successful people don’t look at failure as a dead-end. Rather, they consider the situation a learning opportunity, and commit to making sure it doesn’t happen again.
Of course, for individuals who are constantly competing, failure is bound to happen from time-to-time. The flip side holds true as well … the more one tries, the more times one will succeed.
Rejection after Job Interview
We’ve all had a job interview where we failed to advance. In some cases, we made it to the last two candidates standing, but received the unfortunate “you are the runner-up” phone call. If the job was important to our career, we are going to be unhappy, dejected, and cautious about any future interviews.
The top-notch people take a different approach altogether. While they’re unhappy about the bad news, they look for ways to make a better impression at the next interview. I recommend that we use this opportunity to be introspective. Let’s take the time to consider why we failed to earn the position. Were we unprepared for questions that were asked? Did we lack confidence? Did we project arrogance? In some cases, though, the cards were stacked against us, and there was little we could do to be selected. The other candidate was running on the inside lane because he was well-liked by several executives. Regardless of the circumstances, we must do whatever possible to address issues that we can control.
Failing an Important Professional Certification Exam
In my work as a corporate trainer, I prepare students to take tough professional exams, such as the PMP®, Agile Scrum, and ITIL® Foundations v3. For the PMP from the Project Management Institute (PMI), students will often invest up 100 hours of study time. The exam consists of 200 questions, and many of them are situational in nature. Even when well-prepared for the exam, many students report that the exam was grueling.
Unfortunately, not all students will pass the PMP® exam on the first try. I knew of one individual who fell short of the passing grade, and he stated the following: “This exam is not for me. There’s no way I will ever pass it … so I’m not going to try anymore!” From my interactions with this student, I was confident that he could pass it, but he needed to have the motivation to study and learn the material.
I know another individual who failed the PMP exam, and he called me for advice. Near the end of the call, she noted: “Dr. Flores, I was discouraged with the results, but I’m not going to quit. After thinking through my test experience, I have a clear idea how to prepare for the re-take.” Two weeks later, this student called to inform me that she was a brand new PMP! The people who are unwilling to accept defeat will eventually realize success. It’s only a matter of time.
We should look at failure as part of being competitive. It will hurt to fall short of our goal, to be sure. However, once we accept the situation, and figure out how to resolve it, we can give it another try. The lesson here is that perseverance is often the answer to earning what we want from life.
By Dr. Jimmie Flores
We all have bad days. Some of us more than others. Whether poor decisions led you to an unfavorable situation or there are circumstances outside of your control, sometimes it’s just hard to keep smiling and stay focused. Even when life gets in the way and things don’t go the way we hoped, there is always another chance and a brighter way of looking at things. You have the power to turn things around. Within each of us lies the ability to transform our lives and it starts in our minds. Using positive thinking and practicing self worth we can begin to love ourselves again. Finding purpose in our lives and more joy in our days. As long as you know that you can do better than your current situation and are willing to make the best of every day, then you can use that fuel to transform your life.
Pick a day and make it a priority to become a new person, a better version of yourself, or the type of person you always wanted to be. Feeling sorry for yourself and doing nothing about it will get you nowhere. Both excuses and old, ineffective habits will need to be changed. As you prepare yourself for the dramatic changes, you’ll need to let go of doubts and start embracing self love – even when you sense fear sneaking in and even when you no longer feel like fighting. Pushing through these hardships by thinking positively and keeping your “eye on the prize” are vital to keeping a positive outlook on life.
Reflect and Meditate
Meditation is another great way to get into good spirits and tackle any situation confidently. Sit and be still in a meditative state. You’ll want to focus on letting go of mundane thoughts that keep you stuck in negative thoughts. Change the poor thoughts and feelings by taking the time to sit up nice and tall and breath to relax. Breathe in through your nose and out through the nose and just let yourself be in the moment with your mind totally cleared. See how just doing that exercise really helps change your mood.
Meditation helps with stress and even has the power to change how your brain works. The Washington Post covered one neuroscientist’s studies on the fact that areas of the brain changed when subjects went through a mindfulness-based stress reduction program using meditation practices.
Aside from meditation and quiet contemplation, you can also seek the help of a life coach who can help you get on the right path to attain happiness and peace of mind. Having an outside perspective on your journey is sometimes beneficial, as a life coach can provide an unbiased, yet ultimately positive perspective on how you can reach your goals, whether you’re looking to enhance your career, love life, or self image.
Take Stock of Positive and Negative Influences
As you make the journey to a more positive and prosperous life, think about how you treat yourself and how those who you keep around you make you feel. It’s important that you stop being so unfair to yourself and that you remain aware of any negative self critiques. These manifest in self-defeating thoughts like, “I’m not good enough for this,” “ I don’t deserve it” “I will never be able to” and have the potential to set you back from all of the work you have been doing to improve.
If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others or judging yourself and others, you’ll always set yourself back in terms of reaching any set goal. Instead, choose to embrace differences and accept the fact that some people will not be in your life forever and that you are responsible for your own well being. You need to make a conscious choice to stay away from those things, thoughts and people that keep you from achieving your dreams and that you defined as no longer necessary in your life.
Have the courage to say no when they come back up in your life and find tools for dealing with selfish people in your life. Take the initiative to “clean house” and retain only a circle of people around you who share your vision and are rooting for you and want to see you happy and successful.
Believe in Yourself
Dedicating time to making significant changes is among the most difficult steps in transforming your life. It’s an extremely difficult task, but there is no one who can do it for you. It takes dedication and the ability to push through obstacles on your own to succeed. Believing in yourself means telling yourself that you deserve success. Once you hold yourself to that standard, it’ll be much easier to make transformative choices. Telling yourself it’s OK to fail but that you’re not going to be afraid of negative things anymore can help you be stronger through your journey. As you begin to appreciate the person that you are and love everything about yourself – even your flaws, you can learn to feel better about being yourself and hold true to your dreams no matter what happens.
Many inspirational speakers and experts and will talk a lot about choosing love above all else. This idea, popularized by Deepak Chopra’s methods of meditation, helps you to forget about the things that have been keeping you down or limiting your growth and instead focus on things that make you happy, that bring love back into your life. By doing so, you will find the power to help guide and change your circumstances.
This means having faith even when it seems impossible and using our faith to help make our dreams to come true. If you can take time to appreciate yourself more and have more understanding and compassion, you will start to diminish negativity and see growth. Having true love for yourself is the best way to combat your inner fears and criticisms so you can once again love yourself and begin your journey to a positive life.
Marvin Shine is a writer and consultant who works with Think Coaching and covers news on social media, self help, and faith-based topics. His favorite hobby is fishing and attending college football games with his son and daughter.