How to bounce back after a shocking and unexpected failure

 
I could tell you the same wise words that so many gurus we appreciate and admire boldly proclaim…”Failure is a part of the process, accept it, learn from it and move on.” And yes, I completely agree, but really when the news is received, when you can feel yourself go straight up into slow motion and can feel your jaw drop and your heart start to pound louder and louder, moving on doesn’t seem like an option.
 

Accepting it feels ludicrous.

 
We are never going to be free of failure on this planet, we will always be disappointed about something that’s happened to us whether if it involves our business, movement, family or dreams.
 
Today I want to talk about how to bounce back after failing. More specifically when you fail at something that you poured your heart into and something that you wanted to impact lives. Whether it’s your passion project, IndieGoGo Campaign, social business or just a collaborative effort you were a part of that was meant to do good. This will help so much in the long run, because…
 

When we set out to do good, the last thing we imagine is that it will fail, because after all, you didn’t start it to benefit your life.

 
In April of 2012, I set out on a 28 day fundraising campaign to raise $10,000 so that the End Sex Trafficking book could be published and have all proceeds go to the Not For Sale Campaign. After 28 days of creative asking and speaking that it was done, it was a success!
 
Next up, I had my heart set on raising at least $25,000 on the day of the book launch so I could send a heaping sum of money to NFS and help end sex trafficking. It couldn’t have failed more. At 9am, the day before the launch I was sitting on my friends couch in New York City crying because the paperback wouldn’t be up on Amazon because of an error that I had no control over.
 
After a month of sales, I was only able to send a little over $2,000 to the Not For Sale Campaign. I saw this as a complete and utter failure. So much so that I slipped into an i-don’t-want-to-talk-about-end-sex-trafficking-day-hibernation.
 
Which I don’t recommend.
 
In fact, to keep it real, I’m not sure if I recommend how I dealt with my failure at all. It worked for me but it may not be the best way for you to get through yours. I went through three main stages, that you can see in my lovely little timeline.
 

failure timeline

 
You’ll see that in December I entered into a celebration period. It was this post that did that for me. I found that once I asked everyone who was involved in any way shape or form what they got out of it and how it inspired them…I could see it as something to celebrate and not a failure.
 

One of my Rockateers, Rashida says she likes to…”Take a minute and “roll around in it”, feel the pain and not try and block or pretend it didn’t happen. Then know that it isn’t indicative of who I am or what I can accomplish in the future and finally find the take aways, the important lessons then go crush it next time.

And a follower on Twitter said she deals with failure like this…

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 11.41.27 AM

 
No matter how you deal with feeling like you’ve failed at something that you wanted to impact the world for the better, know that you inspired someone.
 
Yes, you. Whether it was your story, you getting vulnerable and taking a risk, you doing something that wasn’t purposed to build your wallet or whether it was just you starting SOMETHING. You did it. The goal may not have been reached, you may have felt disappointed but inspiring someone to do good in the world, to try and make our world a better place doesn’t happen every day.
 

Celebrate that.

 
Cheers to what you’re doing in the world and will do,
 

Blue-Sig

 
 
 

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Comments

Willi Morris
Reply

Are you reading my mind again? I feel like a failure at the moment in my business, and I needed to read this. I’m a chronic procrastinator, so I am having a hard time not beating myself up.

And something else hit me – my passion project was started to help me in part. Maybe that isn’t the best way to go about it, but we shall see. It’s still in baby stages.

Jill Therese
Reply

Erin, I LOVE the “denial” portion of the timeline, made me laugh out loud- just went through that myself!

Even though its hell when you’re there, it does usually create a ton of clarity. Thank you for this!
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Jill Therese

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