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We have all done it (if we are honest), we have at some point looked in the mirror and in some respect thought quietly, “I feel like a failure, this is just not working.” It is natural and it is normal to see a temporal, seasonal event as a measurement of our past and an indicator of our future. The real challenge for many is to realize that that type of thinking is a bunch of bull$*!# . . . SERIOUSLY.

An event is defined as . . . “Something that happens”. I am not joking look it up in the dictionary. I would add another word, “Something that JUST happens”. In other words, sometimes life just happens, we fail or somebody we love fails or disappoints us, we have a bad day (maybe a month) at work or we fail to reach some goal and immediately the baby goes right out the window along with the bath water. (Note: Some of you not as ancient as I may need to ask a baby boomer about the baby and bathwater metaphor)

Failure is an ugly word that no one wants to hear or experience and yet it is something we all encounter in our lives. It can be our own perceived failure in a relationship, job or some goal we set for ourselves. Maybe someone has let you down, failed you in some respect, a close friend, a family member or a mentor of some sort. We all have or soon will have to deal with disappointments and a personal failure on some or possibly even multiple levels.

I can look back on my brief 55 years and see many times when I have been let down and when others have been let down by me. These are painful memories sometimes that expose my weakness and shortcomings they also remind me that if my trust and faith are in other people alone I am bound for disappointment. It is inevitable.

So if we are all destined to fail or be failed throughout our lives what are we to do in order to lessen the blow and prepare ourselves. Here are 3 quick tips that will help to prepare you to handle disappointments and perceived failures when they come along.

  1. Accept it when it happens. When life (and people) throw you curve balls or you get blindsided by events and circumstances – DO NOT BE SURPRISED. This is all part of life and understanding that it is absolutely going happen from time to time is the first step to being able to handle it. You see it is those people who go through their lives with a Pollyanna attitude who are devastated when the inevitable happens.


  1. Get up and learn from it. I heard the great Les Brown say one time, “If life knocks you down, try to land on your back because if you can look up you can get up.” Do not let the difficulties of life keep you down. But you may say, “Life is just so unfair.” That may seem true at the time, however, remember this – “Life is not fair, life is not unfair, life is just life.” Every human has faced at some time and will do so again, the perceived “unfairness” of life, the difference in being happy in your life journey or being run into the ground by it is all in the way you respond to the things, the events that happen.


It is when we get mired in was has happened that we lose sight of the things that are truly important. Deal with the consequences, focus on the desired outcomes, do not wallow in the event. Everything that happens, and I mean everything, happens for some reason and in it, there is a lesson from which we can learn if we look for it.


Tony Robins says It is only when we ask ourselves, “What is the gift in this situation?” that we truly grow and learn. If we will just get up out of the natural self-pity we can see it. Just remember no ever gazes at the horizon lying flat on their back.


  1. Fix your eyes upon your goals. Goals that are clear and defined will help you to get up, brush the dirt off your knees and get back in the race. Refuse to be the person who has no goal or desire to look beyond themselves to something greater. Focus on a big dream or serving others tends to make your immediate circumstances seem smaller. Becoming a big goal setter and a servant to others who are less fortunate will help you to get up, stand tall and move on with your purpose.

Want a little inspiration to dust yourself off and get back to it check out this link to “48 Famous Failures”

Remember that difficulty is life’s way of testing your faith and showing us a different path. In my years of research into successful people, I have found that without exception they all had stories of failures that could have stopped them but they chose to press on and just on the other side of the difficulty that found victory personally, financially or spiritually. Their common characteristic was faith in what they were pursuing, focus on something bigger than them and sincere belief that it was possible.

My mentor Zig Ziglar taught me that, “Success (a win) does not make you, and failure (a loss) does not break you. A failure is an event, not a person.” I have come to believe this is the very deepest parts of my soul and this belief has allowed me to see personal setbacks, disappointments, and failures as defining moments. Moments at which I either lose myself in mediocrity or springboard towards ultimate victory. It is my hope that you will make the decision to in all things look for the gift and use it to spring towards the awesome potential that I know rests inside of each and every one of us.

Commit faith and integrity to what you believe, focus on your goals and believe in your ability to stand tall and overcome. Trials will build dogged perseverance and indomitable character if you have faith and truly believe in your goals. The secret is to know the tests are coming, look for the gift(s), learn from what happens and get up quickly when life knocks you down. Choose to be your best and inevitable life will give you it’s best.