Bouncing Back From Failure
It was your big lightbulb moment. You had an idea that was obviously going to be the best thing since the invention of pizza delivery...until no one else agreed. Now comes the big decision. You have to choose whether to continue on your own or scrap your idea. But along with that difficult decision, you’re faced with feelings of doubt, rejection, fear and failure. It's a feeling no one enjoys, but the good news is you aren’t alone.
Almost everyone who has achieved notable success is faced with an obstacle and the same feelings of failure at some point. Plenty of now-famous people were told they’d never make it, including Oprah Winfrey, Lucille Ball, J.K. Rowling and The Beatles, so your "crazy idea" might only be crazy until it works. The crucial skill all of these individuals had was persistence and the ability to take action, rather than dwell on setbacks. Don’t internalize the negativity you’re facing. It’s temporary. Fight to keep a positive mindset, and create actionable items that will feel like progress. Keep pushing forward, whether it’s pivoting, revamping the old idea or making a completely new beginning. You now know what doesn’t work, so it’s time to find out what does.
If this is your fifth or sixth big idea, it's important to keep in mind that you're learning every time you practice or experience something, and that includes failing. Learn to look for the lessons in your setbacks. Failure isn’t something that you are; it’s just something that can happen to you. Have faith in yourself and what you’re trying to do. As cliché as it is, there's still value in the "fake it ‘til you make it" attitude.
If you get stuck in a negative-thinking cycle, complete tasks that relax you or relieve your brain. In fact, there are plenty of successful individuals who came up with great ideas or a creative breakthrough in their sleep. Don’t neglect your creative side, because your subconscious could have the missing link to your big idea. Listen to those “what if” scenarios that inevitably pop into your mind while you’re mid-sip at your coffee shop. Write things down; don’t trust yourself to remember them later. You had a good idea, and you’ll definitely have more. You just need to get into the headspace that allows those ideas to flow, rather than automatically dismissing them. And don’t necessarily toss out all your old ideas right away. Think of new angles, different audiences and minor tweaks. Did you know YouTube was originally an idea for the video version of an online dating site? After months of going back to the drawing board, they found their niche and became hugely successful. With your big idea, you might be able to revamp something that originally might not have worked into a sound idea.
Putting your plans out there for judgement can be really scary, and rejection can be even harder to accept. But if it’s something you feel strongly about, you owe it to yourself to make the effort. Someone dismissing your idea might hurt like hell, but the rewards could be boundless. But you’ll never be certain until you’re strong enough to try, and who knows? You just might be the next big thing. So instead of living with the regret of not trying to accomplish your goal, go for it.