Everyone has one. That friend, family member, or co-worker. You are discouraged because of some failure. And while you are going through a rough time with the challenging emotions dealing with this thing that went wrong, the say things like
“it wasn’t that bad”
“it could be worse”
“just try to be positive”
You grit your teeth and try not to let them see your eye roll as you smile at them, wishing they would go away. Trying to remain positive and happy after a failure is often much easier said than done.
What if I told you it is possible to change the perspective of failure into a positive one? You are processing the emotions of failure anyway. You can choose to focus on the ‘sunny side’ as well.
Let’s first consider what it means to see the “sunny side” of a failure
I am sure you have heard the metaphor about seeing the “sunny side” for as long as you can remember. Other than a cliché said without thinking, what does it mean?
Seeing the sunny side is an encouragement to find the little spot of goodness within something negative or bad. Going through a failure can be rough – it can lead to you feeling bad about yourself or the experience. It can lead to embarrassment or even self-doubt over what happened. picture yourself in that cartoon comic strip walking with your head down and a dark cloud over your life. At least for a while.
Looking for the ‘sunny side’ engages a different perspective to the situation. It means you’re consciously searching for one little bit of light to shines through the negative emotions and thoughts. It’s that little ray of light that will help you move past the emotions of failure, and open new possibilities.
Though there are many others, here are 4 things you focus on to change the perspective of failure to opportunities.
- Focus on the lessons learned from the failure.
Every failure/mistake/error is a chance to learn something new about yourself, about other people, or even the world around you. Yes, this time your efforts failed, but you gained knowledge you can use to avoid repeating the same again. This bit of light gives you the power to choose to use the knowledge and protect yourself from similar mistakes again.
- Focus on what you still have
It is easy to become so consumed with what went wrong, that you forget what is still right. A good way to pull yourself out of that darkness is to find some light in what is still going well in your life, no matter how small the ray. For example, even though a project at work has totally busted, consider that may still have your family, friends, career, home, etc. to love and enjoy despite the failure you experienced. If you focus your attention on these brighter spots, you will find it easier to locate the sunny side of the failure.
- Focus on reasons why the failure may have been good for you.
Can failure be good for you? Yes, absolutely! This may seem like a strange way to think about failing, and if you have listened to anything I share, you will find I can often find that strange thought. Listen to or read my previous posts on problem-solving. Take time to consider why getting what you wanted could have worked out. In the heat of the moment, a failure can feel like the end of the world – however, succeeding at some things doesn’t guarantee that the future would have continued working out in your favor. Sometimes, failing at something signals the end of an event that could have led you down a different, perhaps even more harmful pathway.
Step away from the situation and look at it from the perspective of what you learned, what you have, and where you can go from here.
And don’t forget to
- Focus on your own humanity.
Nobody, I mean absolute NOBODY is perfect, even if it seems that way.. We all make mistakes and fail. It is part of life. You are going to experience your share of failing and mistake-making. That is a given. You can choose if you are going to wallow in self-pity or pick yourself up and move forward. When you fail, you are simply being human. Focusing on this reality can make it easier to see the sunnier side of failure and help you process your feelings more quickly.
Changing your PERSPECTIVE will reveal new POSSIBILITIES for you to explore, creating open PATHWAYS onto which you can choose to PROCEED.