High performance and failure go hand and hand, and often we want one without the other. However, in order to perform at a high level often we have to go through the most heartbreaking of failures, to build the skills and mental fortitude we need to reach the level we believe we can go. Sometimes this takes us into a different arena, while other times we can apply it to our current situation.
I recently had a client go through one of the most heart wrenching failures, it might not even be considered a failure, but he was going after a dream, something that tests an individual both mentally and physically to a degree that only a small percentage of people have ever experienced. Many factors combined to stop him from making it to the finish, ultimately being forced out of something he really wanted to do. Being told you are not made for something you believe you would be good at and want to do, is not easy, and makes someone worry about what others will think and what does this mean. When you are so immersed in something, because that is what you have to do to give yourself a shot at making it, and then it stops with no warning there is a transition period that many people find very difficult.
How do we strive for high performance in the future knowing how difficult it can be when a pursuit doesn’t work out? We can start to doubt ourselves and worry about it happening again. What happens if I try again, either in the same area or something new, and I don’t make it again? What does that say about me? There are two important things to remember. One is that when something we want doesn’t work out, we need time to grieve and process the loss. It is a loss, and if we don’t properly process the loss, it can get in our way in our future endeavors. The second, is to take what we can out of the experience that will better us and make use stronger for the future. Often we don’t know why something has happened, and it can take years for us to see the silver lining. So knowing and having faith in what you can’t see yet, but knowing you are stronger and better for having attempted something you care about and put your heart and soul into it, can help.
For this client who recently experienced the loss of a dream, he looks to what this test gives him for going back to another dream, that he put to the side to chase after the other one. The new/old endeavor now has a new look, as he as a very difference perspective of it based off of his time spent chasing his first dream. It is something that will help him go after the new dream, nothing will ever be has hard as what he just experienced, and the things that used to get in his way with the next thing he will pursue now are only minor speed bumps on his path to hopefully making it.