Success is only temporary

How we can cope with defeats and turn them into successes

TIP 1: Admit defeat to yourself.
It is very painful for most people to look closely at their failures and to admit mistakes. We therefore tend to deny defeat and not want to admit it. We have a tendency to feel like victims, to blame other people or fate, to struggle with fate.

But as long as we deny, we cannot learn from our mistakes and we cannot correct them. The first step is to admit defeat, failure or mistake.

TIP 2: Allow feelings of fear, anger, and disappointment.
Whenever our expectations are not met, negative feelings such as fear, anger, sadness, disappointment and guilt grow in us. We cannot avoid these feelings and should give ourselves permission to feel them.

Success is sometimes the end result of a series of unsuccessful attempts.
Vincent van Gogh

For a limited time it is beneficial to act out these feelings. If we suppress them and don't want to admit them, they tend to persist. Talking to friends, but also keeping a diary, can make it easier for us to express our feelings.

We can also express our feelings creatively, e.g. by painting pictures or modeling with clay. Therefore, find a way to express your feelings of disappointment, despair, anger, fear, loneliness.

TIP 3: Analyze the course of events.
We deal with mistakes very differently. We have not always developed helpful strategies. Some push the responsibility for events away from themselves. Others blame themselves without even being responsible. The best way is to seek an objective analysis of the situation.

We have to find out how the defeat came about. Examples of helpful questions are:

  • What is my part that contributed to failure?
  • What factors that I couldn't control played a role in my defeat?
  • Distinguishing one's own contribution and external influences is so important because we can only influence our behavior one hundred percent.
    We cannot control other people, the environment, economic developments, natural events etc., nor can we foresee them in most cases.
  • We should close the analysis with the questions: What can I do better in the future? How can I avoid the mistake in the future?

Start writing your failure analysis right now.

TIP 4: Give up your self-pity.
Self-pity and licking your wounds is good for a short time. However, self-pity permanently blocks us from analyzing the situation, learning from the mistakes and becoming active again. The environment will withdraw from us or become aggressive towards us if we keep complaining about our misery. Other people also make mistakes and get into crises. Therefore, accept that bad things happen to good people (like you) from time to time.

TIP 5: Practice constructive self-criticism, but avoid feeling guilty.
Most of us have been raised to feel guilty about failure when we fail. With accusations like "I wouldn't have ...", "How could I ..." or "Why I didn't, I should have ..." we rack our brains.

The result is: We feel anger and hatred towards each other and our inner critic does not leave us with a good hair. However, feelings of guilt are completely unnecessary. We do not undo our mistakes by reproaching ourselves. Feelings of guilt don't necessarily help correct our mistakes. Nor can they necessarily protect us from further mistakes in the future.

Instead of tormenting ourselves with guilt, we should strive to recognize our mistakes and how we can correct them and avoid them in the future. Mistakes don't make us people to be despised. Mistakes are human. We will make mistakes as long as we live because we are born ignorant and imperfect. We should therefore forgive ourselves for our mistakes. We do not need to admit our mistakes, we only have to accept ourselves with our mistakes.

So interrupt your self-reproach with the attitude: I am ready to accept that it went that way. I did what I was able to do at the time.

TIP 6: Maintain your self esteem.
Avoid thinking in all-or-nothing terms. We tend to see ourselves as either winners or losers. In our eyes, a defeat makes us a failure, a success a winner.

This way of thinking is particularly problematic when we completely devalue ourselves after a defeat, question ourselves and overlook everything that we have successfully mastered and built up so far. If we make a conscious effort, we can usually even discover parts of the defeat in which we have acted correctly and successfully. So consciously look for what you could see positively in the concrete event. Or you can remember your past successes.

TIP 7: Develop a now-even more attitude.
After a defeat we are at risk of seeing our situation as hopeless. We see ourselves as incapable and believe that others also see us as incapable. That is why we have to strengthen our power of contradiction: one defeat does not mean that we will have a defeat again and again.

There is more to us than what we have shown in this one situation. If others can manage it, we can also get out of the crisis. So make a conscious decision to remember situations in the past in which you successfully mastered a crisis.

TIP 8: Find allies.
Many of us have learned to be ashamed of mistakes and failures. We'd like to bury ourselves or just walk around with the covers over our heads. In this way we take the chance for outside support and disregard ourselves. If we open up, we will find out that other people have made mistakes too. If you don't make mistakes, you don't risk anything.

There are self-help groups or therapists with whom or with whom we can talk safely. So don't isolate yourself. Do not hide or conceal your defeat, but actively approach friends. You can also visit a support group or exchange ideas in a forum.

TIP 9: Do not expect any support from those around you.
The environment reacts very differently to failure. There are people who enjoy the failures of others - for example because they value themselves and are better able to accept their own mistakes.

There are people who keep picking on our mistakes and want to manipulate us with it. There are people who already knew better from the start and who boast about it. We must therefore be prepared not to be supported by others.

A weapon against it is a healthy self-confidence. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Think of them as human. Then the mockery of others can bother you less.

TIP 10: Look ahead and find new goals.
We must not stop at only looking into the past. All quarrels and reproaches don't get us any further. After a comprehensive analysis of our situation, it makes sense to look ahead. So ask yourself: “What options do I have now? What new goals do I want to set myself? "

Remember, even if Plan B doesn't work, there are other letters in the alphabet.

TIP 11: Get support.
In addition to personal conversations, we can get constructive words and new strength from advice books and lectures. People who have already overcome a similar crisis can be a positive role model and encourage us. Which books would you like to use? Encouraging stories from disabled people.

TIP 12: Focus on your strengths.
First of all, failure takes up all of our energy and thought power. We can only think of this event. It makes us feel bad and inferior. In order to strengthen our self-confidence and to build up new energy, we have to consciously direct our gaze to our positive sides.

So answer the following questions: Where have I had successes in the past? What are my strengths, positive qualities and skills? Write down the traits and successes and read them over and over again.

TIP 13: Take care of your appearance and pay attention to your diet.
When we feel bad, you can usually tell by looking at us. We have no strength to take care of our appearance and nutrition. We lose weight or we gain weight drastically. Our clothes are put together carelessly, we may also look slightly neglected.

Our external appearance in turn has an impact on our self-esteem, our charisma, energy and also on the reaction of the environment. A shabby, sloppily dressed person is treated less kindly. We should therefore pay attention to our appearance.

Show yourself respect and appreciation by carefully grooming yourself and eating healthily - even when you don't feel like it.

TIP 14: Avoid sedatives and alcohol.
Anger, disappointment, and sadness are uncomfortable feelings that we all don't like to feel. That is why many people resort to addictive substances in order to numb themselves and no longer have to think about failure.

The disadvantage of this strategy is that when we are sober we can see our problem again and have to resort to addictive substances again. Over time, people get used to the addictive substance and the risk of addiction increases. Therefore, express your feelings in other ways and work on turning them back into positive feelings.

TIP 15: Don't be afraid to seek professional advice.
Many people feel so ashamed of their failure or mistake that they want to cover it up. They think very negatively about their failure and are afraid that others will think negatively about them too.

This gives them the opportunity to take corrective action or to discover new possible solutions through professional advice. Experts are there to make their knowledge available to other people. They live from our problems. Therefore, get support from e.g. a psychotherapist, lawyer, debt advisor or doctor.

TIP 16: Keep a positive attitude

What decides about your happiness in life is not your defeats, but how you deal with them.
Rolf Merkle

We made a mistake and / or external circumstances contributed to it. However, that does not mean that we no longer have any choice or influence. We have the choice of judging ourselves for our failure, of falling into depression, or of taking the situation for granted and actively looking for possible solutions. We continue to have control over our lives and the ability to regain internal and external equilibrium.

Therefore use your abilities to change thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Make yourself clear:That too will pass. In bad times, this sentence makes us aware that good times will come again. In good times, these four words remind us that the good times cannot be taken for granted, that we should be grateful for them and enjoy them.

I've always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.
John D. Rockefeller

Also read the article How to be successful with the right attitude and the wisdom of a boxer on the subject of success.

TIP 17: Picture yourself overcoming the crisis and achieving your goal.
Every picture that we imagine, every fantasy affects our feelings and our actions. Negative fantasies, such as that we will never get out of the crisis, rob us of our motivation to take action.

It is helpful to imagine what we have to do specifically to get out of the crisis and how we will achieve our new goal. So imagine in your imagination again and again very vividly how you are taking the concrete steps that will lead you successfully out of the crisis. Yes, see yourself at the point where you've achieved e.g. a new partnership, a new job, recovery or a debt-free account.

TIP 18: Avoid generalizations that everything always goes wrong and all people are bad.
Once we have failed and had a bad experience, there is a risk that we will carry this over to all future events. In our imagination we see each other ending up in bankruptcy, in a breakup, etc.

Defeat is a lesson. Use them to learn from them and develop yourself further.
Rolf Merkle

The consequence of such negative fantasies is that we do not act at all or only half-heartedly and feel great fear. We will also not be able to tackle all the opportunities that arise. So keep reminding yourself that this was a unique event and that you are now approaching the new goal with more life experience and new knowledge.

TIP 19: Put the events in relation.
What would this event mean if you only had a short time to live? Often we see failure as much worse than it really is. We overestimate their importance, which they have for us, or only see their negative effect. A mental time shift helps us to relate it to other problems.

Answer the questions: How meaningful would this event be if you had only a short lifetime left? Are there any events that would be far worse for you than this one event?

TIP 20: Remember that every crisis can also be an opportunity.
Crises can stimulate us to recognize our limits and lead us to new solutions to problems. We have to learn how to deal with crises and defeats as well as eating and running! Crises can help us to set other priorities in our life and to focus on ourselves. Our self-esteem is strengthened when we successfully overcome a crisis. Therefore, allow a crisis to train your problem-solving muscle.