When we think of outcomes, and we consider the category that describes them, be it something positive or something negative, labeling gives us a feeling that our job is done. You put the experience in a box and you move on. However in actuality, the work has just begun. Whether it is a box of happy endings or the all-is-lost or woe-is-me box of failure, assessing outcomes is how we leverage for future success.
With regard to the coveted box of positivity, when things map out just perfectly – when we meet the love of our life, we get the promotion, when we make our first seven figures, or we lose weight, our ego gets a boost and our naysayers are momentarily silence. There’s nothing quite like vindication and the sweet nectar from the fruits of our victories. Even when things go well, there are lessons to be learned. One must take time to consider how the war was won. So, it’s very important to relish and engage in the splendor of success, but the most crucial task is assessment. We must canonize the behaviors and performance that proved profitable.
In contrast, when we have negative manifestation, ego takes a hit, we lick our wounds, and we have to suffer the gloat and taunts of naysayers. Most hurtful, is the loss of the prize and the, seemingly, wasted time and squandered resources. Arguably, there’s even more to learn with negative outcomes, which is difficult to admit and surprising to consider. Firstly, we hone the skill of demonstrating unconditional love for ourselves. Self acceptance and authenticity is the tenet of success that often goes neglected, but there’s something about crashing into a wall that forces an entrepreneur to face their vulnerability and find a way to believe and honor themselves, despite the failure. On the day when all is lost, when we tried and failed, when the neighbors are pointing and jeering, and our nemesis counts our loss as their win, we can choose to walk in the dignity of having tried and honor the divinity still alive and well within us. And it’s those days that we develop the muscle of true self-acceptance. This, by the way, is the same love and acceptance by which we care for others. If you’ve ever met someone who’s unkind to themselves when they make a mistake, someone that has brutal self-talk and berates himself or herself for their inability to operate in perfection, you have met a special kind of evil. RUN! At the end of every day, a person will only love you as they love themselves, and how they behave toward themselves on the day of loss, yields a fairly accurate demonstration of their ability to be supportive to you on your inevitable day of humility.
Indeed, negative outcomes are priceless opportunities to cultivate self-love and care. Failure is proving ground for all the things you claim to believe – be it forgiveness, faith, hope, bravery, and self-respect. Talk is getting cheaper, and the priceless days of failure are really what make you grow as a business owner. So, in the moments when you feel the cut and injury of unwanted outcomes, rest a beat, manage the stress at the gym or a dance class, perform damage control, operate in forgiveness and self love, but most importantly, glean the positive lessons imbedded in the pain. There are lessons in the debris of a failure that are, many times, more transformational than that of positive outcomes. So despite the loss of money, divorce, being fired from a job, weight gain, or hair loss – every instance yields a chance to face fear, look an enemy in the eye, and realize that you survived, overcame, and still you rise. There’s something to be said for experience and testimony as it relates to the future battle. When you’ve stood in the ring and taken life’s best shot, surviving and rising from the canvas of the boxing ring, you realize your durability. And be encouraged because something happens spiritually when you face an enemy the second time around. You are always more qualified the second time, if only because you know how your opponent plays the game.
If you’ve every looked into the face of a warrior, you’ve seen that formidable often intimidating element in their eyes. That element is made of one thing: preparation. Warriors are prepared to win and prepared to lose. Hollywood movies geek us out with conditioning that the hero wins and that’s why we love them, but we actually love them only when we appreciate their struggle. We love them because the tried, and we especially love them when they triumph despite their childhood, the betrayal, or some great loss. We love and respect them because they go to battle despite the possibility of loss – they are prepared to face and survive however it plays out.
This week, I encourage you to shed the idea that your journey needs to be untouched by negativity. Of course, acknowledge the things that you could have done better and next time, do them better, but do not spend too much time mourning the losses. Simply, glean the positive and valuable lessons in negative outcomes.
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