They often say failure is the best way to learn and is also vital for our overall growth. Without failure, there is no success. Without the downs, there are no ups. Without the rejections, there is no appreciation for the wins. We have to experience conflict, challenges, rejection and loss to appreciate all of the great things in life and to learn how to help get ourselves to greater heights. I have spent so many years in the corporate world and have always had my eye on the prize and on my goal. I have loved my career, my new ventures and all of the challenges to get there. But along the way, there were so many hurdles and so many obstacles thrown my way. And no one is immune to the falls, the conflict, and the supposed failures.
In my work with teams, I am often asked, so…” How do you get over the challenges? How do you not hold grudges? How do you move on?” Too often, I have seen people being crippled by the way they perceive loss and the way that they reacted to failure. And for me, it’s all about choice. Even when you are focused on your dream, one thing I can guarantee you is that there will always be hurdles along the way. Some small, some simple and some very big obstacles will attempt to obstruct your path. Not everyone will be supportive and not everyone will believe you are ready or, more specifically in business, that you will have what they need. People, challenges and conflicts are, and will always be, a part of our lives. This is never going away. So, when you face the obstacles, the people, the challenges and the failures remember that YOU really have a CHOICE. Regardless of the situation, no matter how grave it may appear, you always have to ask yourself, “Will I allow this to cripple me? Or, will I learn from this and move on quickly to reach even greater heights?” For me personally, I have always used Michael Beckwith’s 3 really simple steps to overcoming obstacles and I discuss this often with both of our kids. When an obstacle appears or something happens, obstructing my path, I very quickly think the following:
You cannot change it. It will either control you or, you will control it. Whether it was your action, or someone else’s, it’s happened. You cannot dwell on it and you cannot allow it to consume you. There is nothing you can do to take it back or change the situation. Try arguing this point? Futile argument. What you can do is learn from it. Now, this does not mean we will be void of emotion, hurt, or anger. But, we do need to be aware of our emotions, keep them in check, accept the situation and quickly move into solution mode.
The more you look for the good, the more you’ll find it. So at this point, and as hard as it is, we have to look for the good in everything. There is good in every single situation no matter what it is. This step, for me, is the most healing step. I believe in this whole-heartedly. As I look back and connect the dots, I can see clearly how every single fall I have had has been the best thing that could have happened to me. So, now I know for sure that every single fall in the future will also be the best thing for me, even if I cannot see it immediately.
As a small example, I recall the first promotion I applied for was a sales manager’s role. I wanted this role so badly and I felt that I was ready for the role. I was one of two at the very end but was unsuccessful. It was a long and drawn-out process. The other candidate was successful. I was devastated when I heard the news initially but knew that I had to move on. As it turned out, six months later and as a result of the way that I conducted myself, I was promoted to another role that, when I look back at it now, catapulted my career tenfold. I would not be where I am today had it not been for, what I felt at the time, that devastating rejection. It was simply the best thing that could have happened to me at that point. But it really all had depended on how I behaved after the "rejection". So, as Garth Brooks says, “Thank God for Unanswered Prayers”.
Forgive means to let go of completely and abandon. How I interpret this is that I hold no grudges, I send love and best wishes to everyone that crosses my path, no matter what the situation. I let go completely and forgive. If you don’t forgive and let go, you are only hurting one person and that person is you. We must learn to forgive to help us move forward. There is no room for ill feelings. I am so grateful for every single interaction, every single problem and every single person whom I have met through good or bad circumstances. You don’t necessarily have to stay friends, or in regular contact, but you have to find inner peace and you have to forgive in order to move forward. With peace in your heart and genuine love, you will go on to greater heights and to bigger things. One of my mentors, who I learnt so much from, used to always say to me “and the sun will rise tomorrow” regardless of what happens.
One final word on forgiveness. I’ve also come across many people that can forgive others but not themselves. You have to be able to forgive yourself. It’s done, it’s passed and you have to move on. Learn from it, forgive yourself, love yourself and then go out there and make a conscious choice to be an even better person who chooses to give more back.
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Always with Gratitude,