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Why you need to embrace the feeling of failure


It’s OK not to be OK. It’s easy to get caught up in the general tendency of creating an illusion that everyone else is doing perfectly fine. So by watching others, you feel the need to pretend that you are also always doing fine. What happens when you are not OK and you had a really bad day at work?

During hard times, most people want to skip past the acknowledging that they had a really bad day/period/month. The first reaction is to look for a resolution. Resolutions – even tough ones – make us feel in control. Admitting that you’re struggling does not feel as manageable, or fit in with the sense of perfection that most people get blasted with on an everyday basis.

However, the ability to sit with a feeling of failure, even for an afternoon, can be one of the most important skills you learn, both in life and in work.

Embracing tough moments, instead of just trying to go past them as quickly as possible, can be truly powerful when practiced correctly. I am not saying you need to sit down and not move for a month. This is about accepting and moving through and not about accepting and ignoring.

Emotions play a big role in your workplace as well. We are often told we need to control our emotions, but our emotions are what makes us – us. Emotions are simply information. When making a decision, emotions will play a big role.

So, what to do to feel grounded again after a tough day at work? Let’s start by breathing. It may sound silly, but it is the best way to get yourself centered. Even a yoga newbie like myself knows the importance of breathing. Furthermore, find yourself a philosophy/mantra you like. You might not consider yourself a mantra person. I am definitely someone who often cringes when people have 234727 motivational quotes on their LI, but studies have shown that positive affirmations have a positive impact on confidence and performance. I have always loved the quote: “The only way out is through.” When I was 14, I wrote it on my bedroom wall. I don’t think I really knew what it meant 10 years ago, but I am sure it had helped me in my adult life. Something I cannot stress enough, you need activity in your life. In my case, I love going for a walk with my headphones on listening to my favourite TED Talks (a great way to motivate yourself). It brings everything into perspective, helping me feel more grounded and connected to the present. Last but not least, talk about it. Ideally, you will have a work colleague who will understand you. However, the person does not have to be involved to understand. Just getting it out there will make you feel better.

Allow your vulnerability to be witnesses and build capacity to tolerate painful experiences. By accepting that there are things you cannot control, you will lose less time trying to fix them. This will allow you to start focusing on more important things in your life.

Do not feel pressured to always have a perfect day. We humans are flawed. The people who end up being the most successful are not the ones who do not struggle. They are the ones who know it’s OK not to be OK.

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