By Barry Moltz
The only way you can describe what happened is to use one word- “a
failure”. It is painful to think in these terms but there is no way to escape it. You got fired, or you lost your money, or you went out of business or you just plain blew it.
I know how it feels because I have founded and run businesses with a great degree of success and failure for the last 20 years. After being fired, I started my first business. A year later, I went out of business. In my next company, I was kicked out by my two partners only two weeks before my first son was born. I was the poster child for failure until I sold my last business during the heady days of the internet in 1999. I paid back the bank $1.3M and got my wife back at the same time!
So after failure, how do you start to comeback and rebuild your confidence?
7 things you can do:
1. Grieve the Loss. When you fail, it is important to mourn the failure. Feel real good and sorry for yourself. Cheer the darkness! Throw a pity party starring you! You are entitled. What happened just stinks!
2. Let Go of Failure. After 24 hours of grieving, you need to let go. Learn what you can from the failure (if anything) then take an action so you can move on. Holding on to this failure can keep you stuck and prevent any action that can move you to a new place where success again is possible.
3. Give Up Shame. Realize that life is not a straight line. We all have been where you are right now before. Life is a cycle of success and failures. Good times don’t last forever, but bad times don’t last forever either. Most people are not going to remember your failures (or your successes) like you will. Remember a time when you were successful. A lack of credibility in our society does not come from failing (since we all fail). It comes from not being honest about our failures and dealing with them in a straight forward and realistic manner.
4. Face Your Fear About Moving Forward. Forget about having “No Fear”. It is okay to be afraid. You can handle the potential outcome. As my lawyer always told me “The worse they can do is eat you and that’s illegal!” Regardless of the outcome, success or failure, we can always position ourselves for another success by bouncing, and taking a new action. Being in any new place is always preferable to being in this failure state.
5. Set Patient Interim Goals. Forget for a minute about the grand vision. It may be too daunting at this point! In order to plot your comeback, set patient interim goals. Our culture has unfortunately tossed patience to the wayside in lieu of immediate gratification, but patience can be a valuable tool when re-building your life and career. Small successes will give you the renewed confidence to achieve your long term goals
6. Focus on one thing at a time. I jokingly tell people they should “Strive for Minimal Achievement”. Focusing on one thing at a time can provide you incredible power in your current state of mind. This is becoming a difficult talent because we are a multitasking culture. Multitasking actually reduces your productivity by 50%.
7. Value Action. Stop analyzing. Stop waiting for the perfect moment when you have more information. Experience through action builds true business confidence.