Updated: Aug 23
We have all been there.
You did everything you were supposed to do.
You showed up as your best self and did your best work.
You followed all the rules and did what all the great and the good said to do.
You worked your arse off.
And things still fell apart and you failed spectacularly!
The outcome you had hoped for (but did not attach to 😉) did not materialise despite your best efforts even though all the signs and results leading up to the actual event were positive.
What do you do when things don't go to plan?
What do you do now?
How do you recover from an epic fail?
I recently had an experience just like this. So recent in fact that it is still smarting a bit.
It wasn’t my first encounter with failure (yes, I can name it now without falling to my knees, beating my chest and wailing ‘why me’), and I am pretty sure it will not be my last. But what do you do when you have done all you can, done your best, followed the directions of those in the know and still end up with bupkis?
Well here is what I did, and I hope some of it works for you.
1. Retreat – or should I say tactical retreat.
It took energy – bags of mental, trucks of physical and oceans of spiritual and emotional to do the work, put myself out there and hope, so you will not be surprised to hear that I was exhausted…..the kind of exhausted where you are too tired to think or really feel anything. So, I surrendered to it, wrapped myself in a duvet, put on the gogglebox and zoned out. I felt like crap so I allowed myself to feel like crap – heaven knows I had earned the right.
2. Indulge yourself – a.k.a it is ok to eat copious amounts of chocolate
My name is Patricia Ezechie and I am a sugar addict – scratch that…. chocolate addict 😏. My battles with the dark stuff have been legendary (a discussion for another day), but for me there is nothing that screams ‘comfort me I am so sad’ like a bar of creamy, rich chocolate. So I ate a few bars.
3. Reach out and SHARE.
I am so very blessed to have an amazing partner. He was with me through every step of this little foray and witnessed first-hand my effort – the thinking creating, analysing, learning, skilling up and delivery. I waited a long time for this glorious man and I thank god and the universe every day for him. My objective (as much as someone who loves you can be), brilliant (he is a doctor you know 😊), kind, loving, straight talking sounding board was as bemused as I was as to why things turned out the way they had. He provided me with some much-needed objectivity, endorsed and encouraged by tactical retreat and held me up when I needed it so I could live to fight another day.
4. Begin to probe the wound - a.k.a - it is ok to look!
I am who I am. My resilience, tenacity and creativity are what allow me to keep going, so even when I was feeling that low, that magical, analytical, irrepressible part of my brain was whirring – critically assessing, categorising, and summarizing all the things that went well, what I could do differently next time and how I could actually finally have a go at what I really wanted to do anyway! My heart and gut were never completely convinced about the approach I had been reliably told was 'the way' to go, and I should have followed the beat of my own drum and my instincts. Thank you heart and second brain for the timely reminder, I won’t be making the same mistakes again 😊.
5. Remember how incredible you are.
My name is Patricia Ezechie and I am awesome 😊.
I am unique, talented, an expert in my field and care deeply about what I do, and the people I am lucky enough to work with. I have also developed my personal and professional resilience and continue to do so. Just because things did not work out the way I wanted does not make me any less the person I was. If anything, it reminds me how courageous I am to even have tried, and how the skills, experiences, and tools I have available to me enable me to bounce back and to continue to create and deliver.
As one of my wonderful clients used to say in her beautiful Scottish brogue…..
’What’s for you won’t go by you’.
This was not meant for me, because something else is!
I was once called the ‘Queen of the Positive Reframe’ during my coach training, so together with breaking out the tools in my personal resilience toolkit and a generous sprinkle of some of that magic reframing gold dust, I have transformed the learning and lessons from this experience into something new and exciting. I am not negating the tricky few weeks I had – they were difficult and painful - but, and it’s a big BUT, I got through them and have come out the other end -clearer, wiser, stronger and more focused.
So, when you hit your next road block (because as a night follows day and as a real person living in the real world you will) my coaching tips to you today are to remember to:
Allow yourself time to grieve and recover
Look after yourself
Lean on the support you have
Learn from the experience
Never lose sight of how incredible you are, and how courageous you were to even try!
Continue to be courageous until we next speak x