How to Effectively Overcome Defeat & Start New
Isn’t it funny when we have everything planned out completely perfect that those are the plans that always seem to fall flat. How many times have you been so excited for an outcome that you’re floored when you hit a snag? I’ve been there more than I can count! And I have to admit, that in the past, I used to quit on those little snags. I’d let myself rather not do anything rather than trying again: “because that didn’t work.”
If you’re in that boat, you’re in the right place! Today, we’re going to talk about how to pick yourself back up and overcome defeat. Within this article, we’ll dive into how our minds can make a little snag turn into a ginormous problem and how to learn from it!
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All of the articles here are friendly for all lifestyles. Yes, even you! Each article help you identify those trouble areas holding you back and gives you real life solutions with no fluff, no woo-woo. I’m here for you to feel your best, at whatever part of your journey you’re in.
Where’s your mindset at now?
Learning how to see the positives from your failures takes a lot of focus. We’re so hard wired to just throw our hands up and grumble about the negatives. Especially as we get older, it’s so easy to dig ourselves into ridiculous habits that end up making us miserable.
Think about this, when you were growing up did you tell yourself: “this is it, this is the end of THAT” when you made a mistake? You kept trying until you got better and fell into your own rhythm. You learned what didn’t work to find the answers on what does.
As time goes on from childhood to now, our mindsets begin to become more and more limiting if they’re left unchecked. Our brains start collecting data from every little thing that we have done and recording it for future emotional reference. If left unchecked and allowed to run wild, your brain will go to worse case scenario every time for every new situation.
Your mind remembers those multiple failures and says: “well, we’re not going to go through that again, don’t do it!” This is a classic case of a fixed mindset, and it is something that arise from a brain running wild.
When you work on your mindset and rewire your brain out of this track, you begin to break free of that limiting mindset. Those “I can’t” thoughts and “I’ve failed” thoughts become less prominent when you start to focus in on how you view yourself and your actions.
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For this next exercise, set aside some time to do some discovery and assessment work to see where we can grow. We’re going to tap into our mindset and do some repair work to get you back on track. Grab a pen or open a blank document to get started with some clarifying questions!
Answering these questions will knock the cobwebs out, if you will, and get us in the right frame of mind to do some repair work. I do encourage you to write down these thoughts rather than just thinking them out. This way you can refer back to what you learned, what you felt, and what you said without having to recall it. Whenever you’re doing repair work on your mindset, it’s best to keep the new tools you acquire out of the work zone until it’s ready.
When you hit a snag or stumble, what is your initial emotional reaction?
Take some time with this and go through what your emotional pathway is. Are you frustrated at first? Sad at first?
Knowing what your initial emotional reaction is a good first step to find out which way your mindset goes. Which direction are your emotions pointed: towards yourself or outward? Ask yourself these hard questions when writing out this question to see where your opportunities are!
Describe your most recent disappointment, what happened?
For this question, its easy to write about the emotional response to it, but let’s make it all about the facts. Write your answer as if you were watching it from a far, if you were an omnipotent observer. Or a fly on the wall, whichever analogy best fits!
What happened in the situation? What were you doing and what was the outcome after your snag? Unleash your inner reporter and get the facts!
What did you do after your initial emotional reaction?
Going back to your answer from above, what did you do afterwards? Did you get back on track slowly? Did you give up? What happened?
For this question, you can hang your report hat up and go back to being you. Dive into those emotions afterward your stumble, did it domino into other aspects? What else was affected by this chain reaction?
Looking at your answers can be tough. But it’s a learning experience for you when you can look at what you did, what your reactions are, and then using that to change the future.
When really get deep into personal development, that light switch goes off along the way that your future reactions are all able to change now.
Right now: not later, not in the future.
Your past, although sometimes painful and disappointing, can be your best tool from learning and growing from. The better we know ourselves, the easier it is to steer ourselves to where we want to be.
Again, those questions were hard. It’s hard to look at failure and try to see the silver lining, but it’s there!
Now that we’ve cleared the air, let’s look at how we can learn from ourselves, so we can start to overcome defeat easily.
Opportunity instead of Blaming
When a failed plan falls at our feet, we can knee-jerk into that bad habit of blame. We can blame others, we can blame ourselves, but what that does is prolong our emotional response. This emotional response can ruminate in your thoughts and cause you to become stagnant when you could have just started again!
Instead of falling into the easy habit of blaming, look at why your plan failed and what you can take away from it. Was it poor planning? Was it something out of your control?
Learning to fuel your creative brain by looking outside of the normal path is a huge step towards tapping into your limitless potential. When you stop looking at the destination and listen to the lessons along the way, you begin to hear the tools you can plug into other areas of your life.
Going back to that third question above, is this emotion something you experience often when you’re faced with defeat? Or is it a grab bag of emotions depending on the situation?
When you’re learning how to overcome defeat, your emotions are usually the ones to blame for that failure dragging on longer than it should.
Our brains are great at finding evidence to make us never do that again. But it’s also good at making sure we don’t forget how bad that was. Your brain does this with unchecked emotions.
Analyzing your emotions is a great way to curb that feeling of “I’m a failure.” Having an understanding over what you put out from your thoughts into emotions is a huge, ginormous step towards how to truly overcome defeat and keep going.
When you know why you think a certain way and focus on changing that thought process, you begin to be able to change the emotional output. Instead of “I’m a failure, I didn’t reach my goal” you have the ability to change that thought into something that’s not-negative. Something like: “I have the ability to try again.” This simple switch will take focus and time, but it begins to change that negative, fixed mindset into true, positive growth for your future.
You can only ever control your thoughts, emotions, and actions. When you start to focus on stopping these responses, you begin to change the outcome. And you begin to change that failure into a growth opportunity.
Stepping Back & Seeing the Big Picture
Going back to that out of control thought of “I’m a failure, I didn’t reach my goal.” Are you looking at the big picture or are you looking at a milestone? Do you have a clear end-goal with milestones in between?
Losing sight of big picture and keeping your nose down can lead you down a negative path when you’re so focused on one aspect of your goal. With this, you begin to neglect to see that you still have the ability to reach your goals. Just on a different path.
Once you change the thought from failure to opportunity, your emotions from negative to positive, then you can begin to look at the big goal. You know, THE goal.
Unleash your creative brain to go to work by thinking of new ways to get towards your big, end-game goal. When you use what you learn and stop ruminating on what didn’t work, you start working with your mind. Not against it.
If you’re looking for more growth and development in your personal and work life, check out the Personal Growth hub. This page contains everything you need to nurture and grow into the person I know you can be!
In the comments below, tell me about what obstacle you overcame that you’re most proud of. Let’s start the discussion to help other’s who are going through the same!
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