• Octoryia Robinson

Reframing loss . . .



The value of failure: Reframing loss


The disempowering sweltering of emotions that proceed, an inevitable yet equally inescapable rendezvous with failure, is just too much! Kind of like my intro sentence. Would you agree?


Have you ever been emotionally and mentally accosted by Failure? I sure have. Let us take a few moments to think through this personally . . .

  • Have you ever given something everything that you had and in the end, it still was not enough to create success?

  • How about the times that you invested into something that has “proven results” and you follow it to the “t-ee” and still somehow favorable results allude you?

  • Ooh, I got another one. Think about a time when you studied, you prepared, you ate right and slept right but on the day of - NONE of the benefits from your brilliant process paid you back?

I bet your imagination is running rampant with your own recollections of failure. I mean the literal definition of the word promises the lack of success. Who wants a life which lacks success? “Show not me,” so in the words of my son Michael, “Miss me with that one.” The only sensible response to such emotional turmoil is to STOP it. As soon as humanly possibly STOP it. In other words, discontinue doing what is creating the problem. In most cases, this would mean – quit, give up, abandon the pursuit, etc. I think you get the jist of it.


Even though it appears to be the right and most responsible thing to do, the world of influencers is rooting for you to keep going! There is so much research out there about the power of “positive thinking.” Which include tools like affirmations. In fact, Sherry Jacobson writes that “Affirmations may rewire our brain. The philosophy is that affirmations can erase a previously negative script and replace it with something positive within our subconscious mind. This constant repetition is thought to affect the chemical pathways in our brain – essentially, we are rewiring our brain.”


You may have read or converted some of these famous quotes into affirmations:

  • “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Thomas A. Edison

  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”Winston S. Churchill

  • “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”Lance Armstrong Sally Jenkins

  • “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”Truman Capote

But . . . what happens when these do not work? Y'all already know what time it is with that question. I am talkin’ about the times when you believe what is said in theory yet the convergence of what the words mean has not transformed how you think. Ugh! This only adds to the frustration of what you are facing with failure.


If the truth be told, discovering the potential of an embarrassing moment can feel quite complex. Wrestling with competing thoughts like:

  • Should I stay vs. Should I run

  • Should I own this vs. Should I deny it

  • Should I embrace it vs. Should I shift the blame to another

Each thought has very compelling arguments in support of its position. The big question remains: how do you discover the value of failure? For something to be considered “valuable,” it must be something of importance or beneficial. How could a perceived negative “thing” bring about an expected positive “outcome?” Great questions, and below I hope to provide you with practical steps to reframe how you view failure.

  1. Stop: Discontinue trying to separate success from failure, they are inseparable. I recall someone sharing it this way: “No one who has had great success, has not come through great failure.” Whether in life, relationships, goals, or business – Failure will happen. Acknowledging that you will have to go through failure to achieve success, is the first and most important step in reframing your thinking concerning failure.

  2. Wait: You do not owe a temporary moment anything. Temporary things have a very clear assignment and it is to pass on. DO NOT let a temporary moment outlive its purpose in your life. Let it pass. While it is passing, take this time to reflect. John Maxwell says it this way: Stay down until you figure out why you keep getting down there!” Patience allows you to get clear enough to reflect from a healthy perspective.

  3. Own-it: Own why it happened not what happened. This is vital because you cannot change the what, but you can change the why. This stance will enable you to focus on things that will get you moving forward towards success.

  4. Decide: This is key. Choosing to decide, is the moment you gain access to the value of the experience. Just like electricity, the positive side can be greater than the negative side – together they work to create power!

In closing, I would like to share that I believe in you. I embrace that so much is going on right now in the world, but you can emerge successfully. Even in the cases where failure finds us due to no fault of our own, you can still uncover value. I encourage you to apply these steps and add to your success.


For more resources, please check out the books authored by Octoryia.


Unraveled Potential: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HHHX147/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Unraveled from Fear: Transitioning Silent Quitters into Finishers: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1072653052/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_IucXEb4DTASR4

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