How to Make Fear, Failure and Rejection Inspire You
How to transform hopelessness into positive energy
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” — Eric Thomas
I like that quote. But it makes me think of desperation, frustration and hopeless times when you can see no way out. Picture the scene: your laptop is barely working, everyone around you is telling you you can’t make money writing and your house needs a good clean.
The thing is, that doesn’t motivate me. I’d rather be surrounded by a beautiful spacious house, working on a high tech super fast laptop with my breakfast cooked for me. Now, that would inspire me to achieve more.
A lot of people find it easier to feel inspired in moments of hardship
They feel compelled to act, forced to achieve their dreams. But what if, like me, you’re not one of them? What if you feel inspired by success?
For example, at school when I got an A grade on my report card I felt amazing and I began working even more so I could get an A+. However, if that had been a D? I would have given up immediately. I like compliments, not criticism and encouragement, not tearing down. Basically, the better I do, the better I do.
If you’re the same, you’ll already know why that kind of approach is not useful. It isn’t getting you to where you want to be in life because it’s not reliable. Depending on other people’s encouragement or a sunny day to make you feel good and motivated, isn’t sustainable or consistent.
And to be successful you have to be consistent.
So, how do you turn every eventuality, even the prickly feeling of rejection, the sharp emotion of fear and the debilitating effect of despair, into inspiration?
Break it down
When everything is bleak and life feels a million miles away from the Instagram highlights of successful people and the reality of icons you look up to like Will Smith and Michael Jordan, it’s time to get personal.
Why do you feel bad? What is it in your life you don’t feel happy with? Write down at least three things which are making you feel hopeless. And then see if there are any solutions you can do today to change.
For example your three points might be:
- I don’t have any time
- I don’t have any money
- I don’t feel confident in my ability
And your solutions would be:
- Write down the things you have to do in a day. This might be your job, childcare or other family duties. Then work out how much time you have left. This may mean waking up early or sacrificing TV time. But, trust me you do have the time. You can make it work
- Write down exactly how much money you have at the moment — how much do you have to spend a month and how much do you make? How much more money do you want? Is there a simple way to achieve this? Do more hours at work, write more on Medium, etc. List these solutions and work out how you will get to your aim
- Write down three reasons why you should feel confident. This can be anything from your qualifications and past experience to the raw desire you posses to succeed. Give yourself a moment to celebrate how far you’ve come already
What’s the why?
What’s the reason why you want to improve your life? Why are you not satisfied with where you are right now? What’s your ideal situation and what’s the driving force behind it?
For example, my ideal situation is living in a big house near the beach with my family and no worries about money. And my driving force is the feeling of freedom and lack of anxiety having money and security gives me.
When life feel hopeless you can come back to your driving force and the beautiful ideal version of your life. Michael Jordan, who is a pro at turning darkness into inspiration says,
“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion”
Focus on the one reason which compels you to move forward. Focus on the way you want your life to be, rather than despairing at the reality. This way you will nurture hope, keep positive and find it easier to ignore the limits you are setting yourself.
Eliminate the naysayers from your life
If there are people in your life dragging you down, it’s time to say goodbye. If this isn’t possible because they’re family members, then it’s time to reduce how often you see them. Sounds harsh? It may be, but it’s the only way you will begin to cultivate lightness and hope in your life.
Plus, by seeing these people less often, you can get the best out of each other, without feeling too negative or pulled down by their thoughts. After all, it’s not your job to constantly make people feel better, or listen to their negativity.
It takes time and purposeful action to create an inspiring environment around you. People are a crucial part of that. If someone is making you feel bad, don’t feel guilty about seeing them less or not at all.
The only way you can transform your response to fear, failure and rejection, is by having strong and positive people around you, who are determined to do the same.
Change your attitude towards failure
What’s your problem with failure anyway? It’s easy to spend your life in fear of rejection because ultimately, you don’t want to fail. So, you stay in the dead end job, which gives you no satisfaction or the relationship, which doesn’t bring you joy, because you’re scared of failure.
It’s time to re-address your response to failure. Are you scared of failure because you don’t want to be vulnerable, look stupid or hurt your pride? A great quote from Will Smith encourages failure,
“You’ve gotta take a shot, you have to live at the edge of your capabilities. You gotta live where you’re almost certain you’re going to fail. Failure actually helps you to recognize the areas where you need to evolve. So fail early, fail often, fail forward.”
Start seeking failure. Scared of pitching to a big company because you might fail? Do that today. Worried about going to a job interview in case you fail? Apply today. Terrified of starting your own business, because you’re probably going to fail? Get on that right now. The quicker you start, the quicker you’ll fail and the closer you’ll be to success.
Stop seeing failure as the boulder in the way of your success
In fact, it is the stepping stone to your dream life. And the quicker you make friends with failure, the more inspired and positive you will feel. You should be proud of yourself when you fail, because it means you pushed yourself into a situation where you had the opportunity to grow and learn.
And by failing, you do exactly that. You analyse and improve, which allows you to jump onto the next stepping stone, one inch closer to your dream life.
So, in order to make fear, failure and rejection inspire you, learn how to break down your feelings and offer practical solutions. Remind yourself of your driving force — the reason you want to change your life — everyday. And start seeing failure as a sign you’re progressing.
Soon your success will gradually increase and the pathway to your dream life will unfold. And remember nothing ever stays the same, so if you feel like you’ve dealt with a lot of rejection lately, there’s a whole lot of chance you’re about to have something big to celebrate very soon.
Originally published on medium