Learning from Losing

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I’ve worked with all kinds of people throughout my 30+ years as a psychologist-turned-personal, career, and performance coach. A common thread throughout all of it? Everybody, and I mean everybody, fails. Everybody loses. Most people know that failure is essential to success (thank you, Kelly Clarkson) but knowing this doesn’t, and shouldn’t, erase the feelings we feel when we fail or lose.

Believing the popular mantra of “becoming stronger from failure” is not enough. You can fail at something and tell yourself, “This is necessary for growth,” but that doesn’t actually ignite any change. You don’t just become stronger from facing adversity. Failing passively will. not. work. Failing passively leads to a spiral downward because there is no potential for growth. 

The passivity continues to feed all of the negative thoughts and feelings. “I am a loser. I am a complete failure.” It goes on and on and on. You need to know what to DO with failure. You need to think about what THIS failure teaches you, what it means, and how it can help you grow. 

“Take the failure and turn it into a goal. What am I working toward? What do I need to do now?” (Read my conversation with Men’s Health on this topic!)

Close-up photo of podcast equipmentYou can find my conversation HERE with Sassy Little Podcast about the importance of losing and failing. When you reflect on how you think about losing or failing, you can often find the humor in it all. We laughed a lot in this podcast! One of my favorite themes of our conversation was about the importance of authenticity: feeling your feelings honestly rather than glossing over or ignoring them by using a fake shield of toxic positivity. And then comes the next step – making a choice about how to move forward, build on the positive, and use that failure to ignite change. 

This process of learning requires the capacity to self-reflect and face uncomfortable truths about yourself and your limits. Otherwise, how will you know how to push them? You can become more insightful and resilient. You can build better skills for how to transform failure into growth. And coaching can help! Reach out to me if you want to learn more.