Okay, so FAIL happened

Okay, so FAIL happened


Such a simple one syllable word. Easy to say, easy to rhyme… hard to swallow down when there is a lump in the throat.

If we try to do things that do not have an instruction manual, we fail. It is that simple. Look up ‘fail’ in google and find 1000’s of motivational quotes about it. Fail happens.

All of those quotes are cool and all… it is just in the depths of the night, when fail visits the door it doesn’t knock, it has an Autocannon.

So, what to do.

1) Dive deep into it. When failure happens, do not try to feel better about it. Instead, spend a day wallowing… taking 100% responsibility for every part of the failure. It will hurt. It is agonizing.  Especially if you knew better and failed anyway.  Those are the hardest kind.

2) Avoid telling friends and family. They will not let you go deep enough in despair. Really. Spend some time feeling all of the yuck.  That is where the learning is.

3) Think worst case. Allow the little brain to use this failure as the absolute worst thing that could happen and imagine all the ways it will end your life. Think of them all. Write them down.

4) Take another day of this if you can stomach it.

5) Put on the scientific lab coat. What is the pattern or the learning? What could you have controlled or done differently. (Do not allow yourself to blame anyone for anything. Pointless really.) What is the learning from all of this

6) Pay attention to what night dreams are during this time. Write them down. What is the pattern?

7) What now. Be resourceful. What CAN you do now. How can this failure be the best thing that every happened. Saved years of therapy… created a new model for what you do for a living…made you a better parent. Make a list of these things.

8) Get into your calendar. Write both lists in a date 3 months from now. (the list of the worst things that could happen and a list of what you learned from it) Do not look at the list again. In 3 months, review it.  It will give you incredible insight into this moment.

9) Get back on the damn horse as quick as possible. Do something to get your confidence back. It doesn’t have to be the same horse… it can just be something you are great at. Take a kickboxing class. Get physically active. Do push ups. Sounds silly. Physical stuff helps the mental stuff.

10)  Apologize to others.  Make amends, make it right.  Forgive yourself.   Learn and move on.  Do not allow yourself to blame others.  This is all yours.  Fail is just a part of your tale.  Learn.  Find bliss and excitement in the learning.  It will eventually make you a happier you.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

  • Kathy Wall
    Posted at 11:52h, 03 November

    What a great article! We’ve all been there and we all have felt that the world, as we knew it, was coming to an end. But it didn’t. Still, the next time it happens, we feel the same. I think your ideas are terrific for getting through our inevitable failures.

  • Hollie Whitehead
    Posted at 13:47h, 05 November

    Christina -you’re just frickin’ awesome. thank you for this one. I like to burn things. I suggest tacking that on to the end of your #3: writing down the worst case scenario stuff.



  • Traci Maricle
    Posted at 20:11h, 11 November

    Step 11) Add adjective to dscribe the fail, i.e., “epic fail” to assist with Step 1).
    Rock on, love it, love you. T

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