“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Maya Angelou
“Failure is success if we learn from it.” Malcolm Forbes
How do you handle situations when things don’t go as planned? Some people see these situations as learning opportunities, while others view them as evidence of a personal defect. When considering why things didn’t go the way we’d hoped, some people heap all blame and responsibility for the situation on themselves. Others place all responsibility and blame for things going awry on random circumstances or other people.
When our actions don’t result in the outcomes we would like, how we explain those results will affect our confidence, motivation, energy levels, attention, relationships, and overall well-being…not to mention our future actions and the likelihood of things working out better the next time around.
The next time something doesn’t go how you wanted it to, notice how you think about and handle that situation. Do you see the aberration as an opportunity for learning and development or as a failure that has knocked you down and set you back in irrevocable ways? Also, notice the reasons you give for why things didn’t go as planned. Are those reasons fixated solely on your own role? Do those reasons implicate others and absolve you completely? Or, is there a fair and honest balance between your role and the roles others or circumstances played?
Things aren’t always going to work out the way we want them to. When they don’t, perceiving the situation as an opportunity for growth and evaluating the causes in a thorough, honest, and unbiased manner can help us maintain our confidence and motivation, sustain and improve relationships with others, and maximize the likelihood that we will be more effective in the future.