Shivanu15 Mar 2019
Why we're always the first to jump ship when it hits the slightest of icebergs.
We ask ourselves this particular question at one point or another. In fact, it is genuine to question oneself once or twice but when something turns into a habit, it becomes a matter of concern. Taking a closer look into this thought/question will allow us room to wonder, ‘is it really worth dwelling on?’
This question only arises when we start asking it to ourselves. A simpler way of putting it would be like so – it arises when one begins to lose self confidence and doubt themselves. This could occur as a result of repetitive failure or rejection – which can have serious impact on one’s life, enough to shatter self esteem.
Frustration, anger, rage, disappointment and envy are all emotions that flood the brain almost immediately upon experiencing failure or rejection. Whether in a relationship, on the job or at school, failure and rejection are two things we all experience at one point or another and will continue to experience for as long as we’re alive. Somehow, these are also the very moments that seem to have the most impact on us, that we end up carrying with us (as burdens) for the longest periods of time.
Lucky for us, some of the world's most successful people have failed as well, and they’ve been kind enough to share their experiences of how they handled their greatest lows – so that us mortals can maybe use their perspective to try to pick ourselves back up on our feet:
"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill
"It's failure that gives you the proper perspective on success." - Ellen DeGeneres
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas A. Edison
But truth be told, there’s nothing in these words that can offer anything but added frustration in the moment immediately following the occurrence of failure or rejection. The thought I try to uplift myself with is this: When one door closes, another door opens.
I find the search for that other, new door to be the most fruitful use of my time – even more than grieving the door that closed after a point. Grieving loss is a necessary step on the road to recovery but the prospect of change and new can offer great comfort and purpose at a time where everything appears meek and dreary. The sooner one starts to see this, the better they begin to feel.
While other people’s words can ring true after a time – there’s always a certain gap in translating the exact message a quote carries. What they lack is the action or effort behind the words. How do you move from this feeling of "why not me" and the accompanying confidence drain, towards an "I have what it takes. I can be successful," mindset?
Here are three places one could start:
a) Don’t dwell:
The idea of not dwelling on failure and rejection is easier said than done. The initial feelings of anger, resentment and hopelessness can quickly take hold of a situation and lead to non-constructive actions. It is important to first acknowledge these feelings and then quickly realise the need to move on. Here are few ways this can be achieved:
- Reflecting on what went wrong and how it can be done better next time but carefully and mindfully as reflection can often prove to play the role of a double edged sword, where with time is can become an unproductive process and turn into endless dwelling with no limit. This is why it is best to set aside a limited amount of time to reflect on the rejection or failure.
- After constructive reflection, it is important to distract the mind from the recent loss. This could be done by virtue of one of many means, like watching a movie, playing a sport, learning a new skill, listening to music, reading etc.
- In certain situations, dwelling can be curbed by getting to the bottom of the situation. In such a case, seeking and digging deep into the reason behind the failure or rejection can help one in coming back up more efficiently.
b) Set small, achievable goals:
After being rejected or failing at something, it is tough not to give up. That is why it is important to set small, achievable goals to serve as positive reinforcement along the path toward the achievement of long term goals.
c) Find a Mentor:
Working with a mentor can prove to be a great idea while trying to shift gears from "why not me?" to "I can do anything I decide to." It is very likely that someone else has already been where you are trying to go. You can find several people who will offer help and perspective and even tips to get you to your long term goal – so why not try to reach out to them as we’re living together on this one planet, breathing the same air and connected without consent.
Why not take this imposition and turn it into something possibly positive?
Why not keep the same question but choose it to mean something entirely different?
Why not, me?