Using Feelings of Failure to Thrive

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There are times in our lives when everything seems to be going wrong. You aren’t where you thought you’d be and you aren’t who you thought you were. Whether you are in your teens, mid twenties or fifties, there will be times were you feel like you have failed.

It is easy to focus so much on the goal that we forget to enjoy the journey. We lose patience with the process and the urge for instant gratification allows us to forget the progress we have made thus far.

I am no exception. Like many of you, I’ve set many goals for myself. I expect greatness and sometimes perfection. There are times that I am so hard on myself that I can’t enjoy my accolades so far. When I graduated from college, I was so depressed because the plans I had made fell apart. I wasn’t excited that I was graduating a semester early. I wasn’t impressed that after several years of struggling both financially and academically, I finally “made it.” All I focused on was what I didn’t have. I wasn’t traveling abroad like I had planned. I was unable to secure a job prior to graduation. There would be no lavish vacation or car to celebrate my achievement. While everyone else was celebrating my achievement, all I could do was focus on my failure.

It is not a bad thing to be goal oriented or driven. However, we cannot focus on what we don’t have. We have to learn to enjoy the process. My biggest fear is looking back and realizing I didn’t enjoy my youth and I didn’t take time to live in the moment. We are all destined for greatness on some level or another. Our struggles and failures are meant to test and make us stronger. We must learn to use our feelings of failure or discomfort to thrive. You may not be where you thought you would be but the path you are on could lead you to a much better destination than you ever imagined.

“If God has given you a vision or a dream, I want you to know that He will fulfill his promises to you,” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

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A few tips for dealing with feelings of failure or discomfort:

  1. Meditate- Meditate on what really makes you happy. Come to terms with the feelings you are having and think about ways you can make yourself feel better.
  2. Make a List- Sometimes writing things out make them more real. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Write down a list of your accomplishments and blessings.
  3. Pray- Talking to God has been one of my biggest ways of dealing with feelings of failure and feelings of being stagnant. Growing spiritually can stimulate growth in all other areas of your life.
  4. Make a VISION board. Bring all your dreams into fruition. Seeing images of your goals everyday can stimulate motivation over feelings of hopelessness.
  5. Act-Take action on all the things you can change. If you hate your old job, look for a new one or begin the steps to start a business. If you feel you are unhealthy, start to exercise and begin to make changes to your diet. Even the smallest actions, can a have significant impact on how you feel about your progress.

-Imani

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