Some times ago I wrote a review about our participation at the European Innovation Academy, one of the most important accelerator here in Turin, Italy.
There is a point of that review that I want to highlight. I can summarize that point with this sentence:
Whatever happens, go to sleep as a loser and wake up as a champion.
What do I mean? Well, shit happens. And shit happens even more when you try to make something new and difficult, when you start some journey to change your life, like opening your startup, begin travelling, trying to change yourself. The highest the reward, the highest difficulties you have to face. Because as doctor Kelso says in Scrubs (if you don’t like Scrubs… well, how can you ever think of succeeding in life?)
In the web you already find lots of motivation sentences like “to succeed you have to fail” and so on… it’s so true. What you usually find with that are advices on how to take failures: “every failure is a feedback”, “every failure is a step towards to your success”, “you have to be happy of failing, because you’re on the right path”. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so true. But c’mon, let’s be honest: who has ever been happy of failing?
Failing sucks. That’s the harsh truth. I know, it is feedback and it teaches you a lot, but it can also sadden you so much that you feel like it has no sense going on anymore with your super-journey. It can make you abort your journey. The worst is: all this be-strong-like-a-super-hero and face-all-failures-like-they-can’t-hurt-you that you find online, make you feel even worse… because you see you can’t handle failure the right way, and so you also fail in taking failures (yo dawg, I put a failure in your failure so you can fail even more!).
My advice is: just let things suck a bit. So, you’re sad? Be sad. You wanna scream? Scream. You wanna think that you’re going to fail forever, think it! Complain about your life, about yourself… let your bad thoughts flow. It’s ok, we’re not robots: we are humans, we feel pain and that’s perfectly normal. If that super-guru online is able to take failures in a super-way, he probably came from Kripton to make us feel miserable… it’s not your business (and usually, let me be honest, I think that some gurus lie about their sad moments). BUT, hey, I’m not finished with you: let this lasts only until the same night. You can’t complain forever, or you’ll become a loser and you can’t let the most important person in the world (you) become a loser. Let sad things come out until night, then go to sleep and during the night, close your depression faucet. You have vented enough, just close it. Then, the morning after, wake up and use the new energies of the new day to fight the reasons why you failed the day before. We are all stronger when we wake up, due to the sleeping rest of the night, we have more energies to fight our demons. So, wake up and put all yourself in understanding why you failed and how you can solve that issue. Every failure is just a lesson for one simple reason: if you failed, you made something wrong… so, what have you made wrong? Wake up and just look at the problem with external eyes… remember, you’ve just woke up, you have the energy to do it: why have you failed? How can you solve this issue? Think about the actions that you can take to recover from that error and become successful. And then spend the rest of the day doing them. Usually, you’ll discover something that you can practically do and you’ll start doing it, just killing all your demons inside, because now you are not focused anymore on your problems, but on a possible solution.
This strategy helped me a lot during the EIA weeks… we failed a lot, we got sad a lot, but we also recovered a lot. I went to sleep sad a lot of days, but every day after I woke up like a warrior saying to myself “I want my startup to succeed! Why yesterday things went bad? I want to fix them!” and came up with lots of ideas to make things better. We didn’t win in the end, but we’re still here fighting using the lessons learnt during that program and that’s even more important.
Just give your demons the illusion that they are winning, then make your troops stronger and then attack them! Remember, you have no choice than succeed…
And you? What’s your strategy to overcome the sadness of failure? Let me know in the comments! And if you liked this article… please share it!