Everyone fails; some pick themselves up better than others

Everyone fails; some pick themselves up better than others

Everyone experiences unhappiness at times; and anger and frustration and anxiety etcetera

The so called “negative emotions” are just part of being human. No one is happy all the time. Happiness, it could be argued, would be meaningless without the contrast of unhappiness.

And it’s the same with success and failure. Everyone fails sometimes. If you don’t, you’re probably doing nothing! But what do you do to pick yourself up? How do you bounce back?

If you think you could improve in this area then keep reading…

via the NY Times by Rachel Simmons

Earlier this year, I suffered an anxiety attack while giving a speech in front of 250 people. It was disorienting and embarrassing; I’m a professional public speaker, and this was an important client. After I stopped talking, someone brought me a chair and a glass of water. I sat in front of a sea of murmuring, concerned faces, wondering if my public speaking career was over.

Years ago, that would have been the end of the story: I would have slunk off the stage and returned the money. But instead, I put my hand over my heart and reminded myself I wasn’t alone. I spoke to myself the way I would talk to my closest friend. How did I know to do this? In part because I’ve spent the last decade teaching failure resilience to students. 

As it turns out, learning to fail is a skill like any other. Which means it takes practice. Here’s how you can approach a setback so that — to paraphrase Cardi B — when you’re knocked down nine times, you can get up 10.

What’s the Worst That Can Happen?


After I bombed that speech, my first instinct was to blame myself. How could I have let my nerves get the best of me? This is typical of women who face setbacks, research has found. When a woman screws up, she is likely to question her abilities or skills. But when a man screws up, he often points to outside factors that contributed to the mistake — such as a hot room, a phone ringing in the audience or a poor sound system.

Part of the reason this kind of self-blame is such a problem is it that it can inhibit women from taking risks in the future. If you’re going to be convinced you are fundamentally flawed every time you fall short, why wouldn’t you steer clear of uncertainty and play it safe?

Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford, calls this the “fixed mindset” — the belief that failure is a dead end instead of a stop on the road to improvement. What you want to have instead of a fixed mindset is a  “growth mindset” — the ability to see failure as an opportunity to learn. 

I advise my students to ask themselves the following questions when they’re hesitant to take a risk:

  • What’s the worst that can happen?
  • Then, can you deal with that outcome? What resources do you have to handle it?
  • What are some possible benefits of your failure, even if the situation doesn’t work out? 

For me, the worst outcome was that they wouldn’t invite me back to speak again, or that they would mention my debacle to someone else. Could I deal with that? I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I could manage. Meanwhile, I tried to focus on how this failure could make me a better person — perhaps more empathetic to my students, many of whom suffer from anxiety, making me a more relatable and effective teacher. Being nervous about returning to the podium also pushed me to tighten up my lecture in ways I probably wouldn’t have otherwise…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE