Reality check time.
I’d love to tell you that everything that you try to accomplish in life will come easy and be successful.
I’d love to tell you that there will never be any impediments to getting what you want in life and that you will always get what you truly deserve.
I’d love to tell you that the whole world will be behind you and will be encouraging you to be successful in everything that you try.
I’d love to tell you all of those things.
But if I did, I’d be lying to you.
You will inevitably come to a point in your life, if you have not already, where you just don’t get what you want or what you are working towards, no matter how hard you try.
At least you may not accomplish it on your first attempt.
And that is the key: On your first attempt!
Keep On Going!
We’ve all heard it said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” That’s really good advice, for the most part. It’s something that really is easy to say from the outside looking in. But it’s never really that easy to put into play, is it?
One of the hardest things in life is to keep pushing through the hard times. That is really true when you feel like you gave it everything you’ve got, but the outcome is not what you wanted or expected.
As they say, when the going get’s tough, the tough get going. (I know what you’re thinking, “Alright, enough of these trite sayings, get to the point already!”)
Here It Is . . . The True Test Of Character
The true test of a person is not what they do when everything is going their way. No, that’s the easy part. And if you try enough things in life, there will be plenty of times when everything is going your way and you do get what you want.
After all, you deserve it, don’t you?
You want a job and you get it.
You’re interested in a boyfriend or girlfriend, and they like you too.
You study hard and you get a good grade on a test.
Those times feel really good. And I’m happy to report that there will be plenty of these times in anyone’s life, and they will be filled with great memories and feel really good when they happen.
You deserve to enjoy and celebrate them . . . so do that, every time they happen.
But dealing with the results of efforts that do work out is not the true test of one’s character.
The true test of character.
No, unfortunately the true test of your character is what you do in those situation when you put in every possible effort and yet you still don’t get what you were working towards or feel like you deserve.
The true test comes about when you want that job, but you don’t get it . . .
Or when you’re interested in a boyfriend or girlfriend, and they don’t even know that you exist . . .
Or you study hard, pull an all nighter for an exam, but you just about pass, if at all.
Those times are going to feel horrible and can really weigh you down, and they will if you let them.
So how do you deal with these so called failures? (By the way, I hate to use that term, but I’m using it here to prove my point.)
What do you do when you put in your best effort, but no matter what you do, it doesn’t end the way you want it to or expected it to end?
There Are A Few Ways You Can Deal With These Types Of Situations.
For some, the natural thing tendency is to put your tail between your legs and walk away, and to try to forget it even happened.
That’s called denial! But it is one way to deal with it.
For others anger works, or at least they think it does.
The problem with anger.
The problem with anger is, like a bullet, is that it has to be directed at someone or something to be effective.
Remember, we’re talking here about situations where you put in, or believe you have put in, your best effort. So your angry bullets have to be fired away from you and towards someone or something else to have any effect at all.
So who should you be angry with? And who should you blame this disappointment on?
Here’s how we tend to rationalize things:
Not get that job: The interviewer was an idiot . . . they didn’t give me a chance . . . they are shortsighted and they did not see my talents.
Not get that boyfriend or girlfriend: That person is just stupid . . . they are stuck-up . . . they are not worth the effort.
Fail a test: The test was not fair . . . the teacher was lousy . . . they didn’t cover the material well enough in class.
Again, anger is like a bullet that has to be directed at someone or something to be effective. And just like a bullet, it can be explosive and create a lot of damage and problems for both the person shooting it and the one it is aimed at by the shooter.
Let’s recap here: So far we have denial and anger.
How About Taking Responsibility For Your Own Actions And Owning Them?
How about learning from the situation?
How about taking responsibility for your part in it?
It may be a novel approach, but that could work.
I didn’t get the job: Maybe I wasn’t prepared . . . Maybe I blew the interview . . . Maybe I did great but someone else fit the bill better than me.
I didn’t get that boyfriend or girlfriend: Maybe I was rude . . . Maybe I was arrogant . . . Maybe I came across as too needy or anxious . . . Maybe I’m just not their type.
I failed the test: Maybe I didn’t study as hard as I could . . . Maybe I studied the wrong material . . . Maybe I stayed up all night studying but I was so tired when I went to take the test that I just couldn’t perform . . . How about I just didn’t understand the questions being asked.
There will always be plenty of blame to go around. You cannot force the other person to accept blame for anything, and that can be pretty frustrating by itself, just adding to your feeling of despair.
But you can take ownership for your part.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these things or circumstances or results are all your fault. Perhaps it is not your fault at all. But you should strive to understand what your part was in not getting what you want. Once you do that, then embrace it and accept it.
So now you may be asking yourself, “What do I do once I’ve reached that point of acceptance?”
And here is the best part . . . ready!
Cut The Anchor Of Those Past Failures!
Don’t let the fact that this time you did not get what you wanted stop you from continuing to try get it, or stop you from trying to get something even better!
I don’t recommend that you do a complete post-mortem on the situation, digging and tearing away at the minutia and details, like a hungry dog with a bone. Instead, just go through it in your head and learn something from it.
There is always a lesson to be learned from disappointing situations, but that potential lesson is not always obvious.
Ask yourself some questions like:
If I could do it again, what would I do different?
What would I do more of?
What would I do less of?
What would I do better?
What wouldn’t I do at all?
Go through the analysis. Don’t be afraid to dig into it so you can learn, but don’t go so far that you just make the situation worse. Remember, you are looking for the positive lesson. You are not trying to make yourself feel worse.
You cannot change the facts. The past is just that, the past. The only thing you can control now is how you interpret them and use them to your benefit. Nobody, and I mean nobody, can take that away from you!
Here Is The Simple Six Step Process In A Nutshell:
- Do it . . .
- Analyze it . . .
- Understand it . . .
- Accept it . . .
- Put the lesson in your toolkit . . .
- Then cut the anchor and move on!
In the end, to be successful, you have to cut the anchor and set sail onto the next adventure!
One final thought to ponder: It’s not how far, or from how high, or for how long you fall, it is only how high you bounce when you hit the bottom that really matters!
Think about it and let me know what you think . . .