How we handle defeat says a lot about us. In many cases our handling of a disappointment is focused on the things we didn’t get, the criticisms of our past, and our fears of not finding success in the future. So, what if we just decide to change how we take that moment and transform it?
In the image above, the message is clear, learn from your defeat.
Did you not pass the interview? Figure out what you can do so you nail it next time.
Did you want to run a marathon and fall apart at the 3/4 point? Find out how to train that endurance and prepare in the days leading up to it.
Did your book flop when it hit the market? Find out why and adapt your plan so it lets you have a success next time.
Here’s the hard part of doing this. You can’t say anything about the event that focuses on any other person. You have to be accountable for the parts you control.
It’s hard, I know it is. I fight it when I try to interview for a position and get turned down. My immediate response is “It’s my age. If I were ten years younger…”
Maybe. Maybe not though. If it’s not my age, what can I control?
I can make sure I look the part. I can research the company and prepare myself with answers and questions about it. I can look up standard interview questions for the role I’ve applied for. I can ask about specific responsibilities in the job posting, or tailor my answers to match those.
With enough preparation, I’ll have the interview nailed. And besides, who wants to work for a place that judges someone’s qualification on age? They probably judge on gender, race, and other things and that’s not the place for me.
In every defeat, look to what you can do better. Examine it like you’re doing a forensic analysis. Be ruthless with yourself, just for a moment, just long enough to get things to come to the surface.
Use the things you find to make improvements. Don’t make all the changes at once, make a list and work through it.
Even if you fail again, you’ll fail that much closer to success.
Remember, Einstein was considered a failure; too stupid to learn much.
Henry Ford went bankrupt five times before getting it right.
Babe Ruth held the record for strike-outs before he held the record for home runs. He must have known the message I’ve chosen for today. He said each strike brought him one swing closer to a run.
Good luck to you, and good insight, so you can turn the setbacks into forward motion.
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