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How Do I Bounce Back From Failure?

Is a past failure holding you back from being resilient? Kelly offers two valuable ways of viewing failure.

Hi, it's Kelly Boys here. I've been asked to answer the question: how do I bounce back from failure? I'm really grateful for this question and I can definitely relate to it. This is one key area I've seen clients and students really get stuck. And I want to share two pointers that have helped me and I've also seen help others with this question around how to bounce back from failure. They center around mindful self-awareness something that people who don't acknowledge failure typically lack.

The first pointer I'd like to offer is to develop the capacity to look at your own shame. Brené Brown has some amazing work out there on shame, so you can check her work out. But my share here is that typically when we fail, we have a reaction that we can't see. So it seems really real to us through our own confirmation bias that we have, that we don't take the time to question the lens through which we're looking at our failure. And often that lens is shame, especially if a failure has happened in front of our family or our colleagues.

It's such a natural human nervous system type of response that is to feel shame. And we don't want to get kicked out of our community. So we can feel shame as we're seenin our failure. And if we don't look at our own shame and work to acknowledge it, it trips us up, it keeps us stuck in loops and sets us up to fail again in ways that do hurt us. So how do we do this? One way is to acknowledge is this is a typical reaction when we fail.

And we use a simple mindfulness tool of naming what is present like, wow, I feel shame, and this is natural and I'm going to reach out and talk to someone about it. Another tactic is, wow. I feel shame. And if this shame weren't here, what I would be feeling instead would be.... It's kind of an exploration of a way not to get overloaded with shame.

The second pointer is to find out your own version of defensiveness. We all have one. So how do you actually see your own defensiveness? That is one of the things that is so hard and. Why it's so important to build mindful self-awareness and here's how you do it. You just watch yourself.

And you see that when you fail, maybe you lash out and blame others, or you move that inward and you do a lot of kind of negative self-talk. Like, you know, lashing out basically towards yourself. Maybe you actually ignore your failure and you act like it didn't happen. It's one of those things as a kid, you're like, if you can't see me, I can't see you. If I can't see the failure, nobody else will.

It doesn't work like that though. Um, perhaps your style is that you just get anxious and this freezes you from moving forward in your life and bouncing back from the failure. I think of someone I know who went on an online date and for her, it was a total failure. She decided actually to stop all online dating as a result of one experience. That's an example of, it's kind of a lack of resilience.

She couldn't look at her own shame that came up and defensiveness and sort through it, being able to make meaning and find growth through the challenge. And that's okay. And of course, maybe for some people, the appropriate action would be to stop online dating. There's no formula on this, but check yourself. How might you be, in your own way, when you're wanting to bounce back from failure? If you understand your particular defense, such as you know, well, I usually move to blame others.

Then you can bounce back from your failure because you know that that's a pattern for you and you can take a look inwardly, realistically taking responsibility for your part and placing responsibility elsewhere as it happens, but from a place of understanding and compassion. The key thing I've seen in all my work, you know, at the UN, at Google, other places, is that when people cannot acknowledge their failure, they cannot grow. The two things are intricately linked, and it's usually shame or it's close brother pride. So the trick is not to be paralyzed by your failure when you do acknowledge it. We all fail.

I love this story. One man on his deathbed, when asked why his grandson what he learned in life, he exclaimed, I know a thousand ways it does not work. How would that be to encounter failures as ways that are helping us know what doesn't work, which in turn, help us know what does work. You know, as if we are these sort of neutral learning algorithms. We have to take the personalness out of it and the shame and defense that can arise to help keep ourselves safe that are no longer working for us.

I once saw a teacher work with an older man who had been paralyzed by 'if you're a failure' his whole life. And this had kept him from doing any of the creative projects he wanted to do. The teacher looked at him in front of a hundred people and he basically said, 'Can you go all the way with it? Be a total failure. Get up here and announced to us what a failure you are.' And the man came up to the front of the room, took the microphone and he exclaimed, 'I'm a total failure!' And it was really his biggest fear in life and in owning it, it gave this tremendous liberation. He started laughing as hard out and we laughed along with him because the freedom he was experiencing from the fear of it was really palpable.

And you could tell he felt free from it for the first time in his life, by going directly into it. So I imagine that that man then could bounce back more quickly from his future failures that were going to happen because we all fail. For me, I see failure as an interesting thing in my life, and it's not pleasant most of the time, but it always helps me grow and learn. And I've learned that along the way. And this only happens when I'm out of my own way, though.

I hope this hack can help you go a long way and bouncing back from failure, taking a look at your own shame, defensiveness, meeting them mindfully, and then looking at how you can actually grow from the experience. Thank you for your practice. And I wish you well as you work with becoming more aware of shame and defensiveness in your life as a way of bouncing back more quickly from failure. And remember today, to be gentle, to see the beauty around you, and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

Talk

4.6

How Do I Bounce Back From Failure?

Is a past failure holding you back from being resilient? Kelly offers two valuable ways of viewing failure.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, it's Kelly Boys here. I've been asked to answer the question: how do I bounce back from failure? I'm really grateful for this question and I can definitely relate to it. This is one key area I've seen clients and students really get stuck. And I want to share two pointers that have helped me and I've also seen help others with this question around how to bounce back from failure. They center around mindful self-awareness something that people who don't acknowledge failure typically lack.

The first pointer I'd like to offer is to develop the capacity to look at your own shame. Brené Brown has some amazing work out there on shame, so you can check her work out. But my share here is that typically when we fail, we have a reaction that we can't see. So it seems really real to us through our own confirmation bias that we have, that we don't take the time to question the lens through which we're looking at our failure. And often that lens is shame, especially if a failure has happened in front of our family or our colleagues.

It's such a natural human nervous system type of response that is to feel shame. And we don't want to get kicked out of our community. So we can feel shame as we're seenin our failure. And if we don't look at our own shame and work to acknowledge it, it trips us up, it keeps us stuck in loops and sets us up to fail again in ways that do hurt us. So how do we do this? One way is to acknowledge is this is a typical reaction when we fail.

And we use a simple mindfulness tool of naming what is present like, wow, I feel shame, and this is natural and I'm going to reach out and talk to someone about it. Another tactic is, wow. I feel shame. And if this shame weren't here, what I would be feeling instead would be.... It's kind of an exploration of a way not to get overloaded with shame.

The second pointer is to find out your own version of defensiveness. We all have one. So how do you actually see your own defensiveness? That is one of the things that is so hard and. Why it's so important to build mindful self-awareness and here's how you do it. You just watch yourself.

And you see that when you fail, maybe you lash out and blame others, or you move that inward and you do a lot of kind of negative self-talk. Like, you know, lashing out basically towards yourself. Maybe you actually ignore your failure and you act like it didn't happen. It's one of those things as a kid, you're like, if you can't see me, I can't see you. If I can't see the failure, nobody else will.

It doesn't work like that though. Um, perhaps your style is that you just get anxious and this freezes you from moving forward in your life and bouncing back from the failure. I think of someone I know who went on an online date and for her, it was a total failure. She decided actually to stop all online dating as a result of one experience. That's an example of, it's kind of a lack of resilience.

She couldn't look at her own shame that came up and defensiveness and sort through it, being able to make meaning and find growth through the challenge. And that's okay. And of course, maybe for some people, the appropriate action would be to stop online dating. There's no formula on this, but check yourself. How might you be, in your own way, when you're wanting to bounce back from failure? If you understand your particular defense, such as you know, well, I usually move to blame others.

Then you can bounce back from your failure because you know that that's a pattern for you and you can take a look inwardly, realistically taking responsibility for your part and placing responsibility elsewhere as it happens, but from a place of understanding and compassion. The key thing I've seen in all my work, you know, at the UN, at Google, other places, is that when people cannot acknowledge their failure, they cannot grow. The two things are intricately linked, and it's usually shame or it's close brother pride. So the trick is not to be paralyzed by your failure when you do acknowledge it. We all fail.

I love this story. One man on his deathbed, when asked why his grandson what he learned in life, he exclaimed, I know a thousand ways it does not work. How would that be to encounter failures as ways that are helping us know what doesn't work, which in turn, help us know what does work. You know, as if we are these sort of neutral learning algorithms. We have to take the personalness out of it and the shame and defense that can arise to help keep ourselves safe that are no longer working for us.

I once saw a teacher work with an older man who had been paralyzed by 'if you're a failure' his whole life. And this had kept him from doing any of the creative projects he wanted to do. The teacher looked at him in front of a hundred people and he basically said, 'Can you go all the way with it? Be a total failure. Get up here and announced to us what a failure you are.' And the man came up to the front of the room, took the microphone and he exclaimed, 'I'm a total failure!' And it was really his biggest fear in life and in owning it, it gave this tremendous liberation. He started laughing as hard out and we laughed along with him because the freedom he was experiencing from the fear of it was really palpable.

And you could tell he felt free from it for the first time in his life, by going directly into it. So I imagine that that man then could bounce back more quickly from his future failures that were going to happen because we all fail. For me, I see failure as an interesting thing in my life, and it's not pleasant most of the time, but it always helps me grow and learn. And I've learned that along the way. And this only happens when I'm out of my own way, though.

I hope this hack can help you go a long way and bouncing back from failure, taking a look at your own shame, defensiveness, meeting them mindfully, and then looking at how you can actually grow from the experience. Thank you for your practice. And I wish you well as you work with becoming more aware of shame and defensiveness in your life as a way of bouncing back more quickly from failure. And remember today, to be gentle, to see the beauty around you, and most importantly, be kind to yourself.

Talk

4.6

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