How do I remain wholehearted despite failures?

Brene Brown talks about how people who are wholehearted approach life and failing. She goes in depth about her research and what she’s found people who are wholehearted do. From here, entrepreneurs and freelancers can take further inspiration about building the blocks of their business.

What can you learn from dealing with failures and remaining wholehearted?

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

— Winston Churchill

Go after what you want.

Stop making excuses and start tracking what you want to accomplish. See how the numbers add up or how many rejections stack up. 

  • Track what you want to accomplish. By bringing tracking to your dream or goal, you can see your progress which will help motivate you to keep moving forward.
  • Keep moving toward what you want despite rejection. People will tell you no. You are the ultimate salesman for your life: it’s your job to show people why they should say “Yes.”
  • Don’t be afraid to say “No.” If you end up with an opportunity that gives you a bad feeling, is not financially viable, or is not a step in the right direction, don’t be afraid to say no. Saying “No” to an opportunity that’s not right will leave room for the one that is.

Say yes to yourself.

While you’re going to experience failure, remember the only person that’s going to give yourself permission to succeed is yourself. Don’t hold yourself back by refusing to give yourself permission to apply to the big job, say “Yes” to the next challenge, or quit to start your own business. Only you can tell yourself that:

  • You’re worth it.
  • You’ll make it.
  • Your dream is worth pursuing.

Let your fear motivate you.

Dreams can be motivating, but so can your fears. Without letting your fear control you, let it motivate you to get that new car or apply to that dream company. Let it be an extra tool in your toolbox, it will help you remember why you started.

Remember why you started.

Don’t forget what put you down the path of freelancing or starting your own business. In marketing or any other profession, remember why you started to help you retain and grow your passion for the work you’re doing. Tangible reminders of where you started can include:

  • Something to remind you of home. I like to use some coffee mugs I took from my parents house to remind me of how far I’ve come.
  • A rejection. Take pride in being rejected because it won’t happen forever. Stephen King posted all of his rejections on the wall:

By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.

— Stephen King
  • Your first dollar. The first dollar you’ve ever earned as a business can be a powerful reminder to keep moving forward.

Stay grateful.

Wake up and be grateful for what you have and have achieved. Even if those successes seem far away or you’re upset about where you are now, there is still time to reflect and be grateful. Being happy that you have your family, friends, fur-babies, home, or health, can go a long way to assuage the feelings of failure. Big and small achievements can be recorded so you don’t forget what you’ve achieved.

  • Write down your successes. Small achievements in your career, exercise, or personal life all count. Write them down in a place you see every day.
  • Start a “Thank You” jar. Physically writing down what you’re grateful for every day and placing it in the jar will let you see how much you have to be thankful for.
  • Start the day with meditation. Sounds a little hokey, but it works. Think about and visualize all the people or actions you are grateful for first thing in the morning to get your mind ready for all of the great things coming.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself.

While you’re out achieving your dreams and hustling, take care of yourself. A good nights sleep and exercise can go a long way to keeping you in the right frame of mind to succeed. Taking care of yourself isn’t limited to sleep and exercise either, it can include your food or anything else you do to recover (like binge watching Netflix). When you’re pushing yourself harder, especially on top of another job, remember:

  • If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.
  • Help yourself to be at the top of your game. Neglecting yourself when you need to be ready for the next challenge is not setting yourself up for success.
  • Why go into business for yourself if you’re going to treat your top employee poorly? You are the number one employee in  your own business. When trying to expand or just get your next client, people want to see you can take care of the #1 employee (heard a variation of this advice from Being Boss and wanted to share).

Keep learning from every failure.

No matter how many times it feels like you’ve failed, keep learning and moving forward. Much progress is made just from plodding forward, one foot after another, until you look up and realize you’ve made it to your destination. Every journey is made up of single steps, and to give up means you’ll never arrive. So what other choice is there but to keep moving forward and gaining life lessons from every stumble and fall?

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