Monday, February 4, 2013

Failure Recovery: Go Ahead, Feel Bad …

Every Monday in February, this four-week series covers a four step process for getting back up after you’ve fallen down.

Oops! My bad! January started with the highest of hopes. We resolved to finally conquer our resolutions this year! We were focused. We had a plan. We started off with momentum. Then, it happened. We gave in to temptation. We let the lure of old habits goad us into doing what we used to do. We worked hard and didn’t see the results we expected the first time out and discouragement set it. Whatever happened, however it to happened, now we seem to be back to Square One. How discouraging!

So, for now. Feel bad. Maybe your slip up was bigger than a resolution. Maybe you’ve experienced a job lost or the end of a relationship or received not-so-great news from your doctor. My advice is the same … allow yourself to feel bad … for a minute.

When you deny your feelings, they don’t go away. They go somewhere else and will reappear later and, usually when they do, they occur at an even worst time or someone who doesn’t deserve it becomes the brunt of your anger and frustration.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating. The only way to get through it is to go through it. Allow yourself to feel the hurt, pain and disappointment. Find a friend you can vent to. Write it out in your journal. Close the door and cry. Take a few kickboxing classes. Respect what you are feeling because you are feeling it for a reason.

Have a pity party. Treat it like a real party. Dress for it (this could mean pajamas). Get the right foods (Ben & Jerry’s, an assortment of your favorite comfort foods). Invite the right people if you need company (or keep it as a party of one). Most importantly, give it a start time and an end time. Your journey to recovery begins here but you do not want to stay here.

In the movie Broadcast News, Holly Hunter’s character, Jane, schedules a daily 5-minute cry. She would take the phone of the hook, cry for five minutes about whatever was going wrong, then she’d put the phone back on the hook and get on with her day.

Own your emotions. Feel your feeling first. Then, and only then are you ready to move on.

NEXT MONDAY: Wiping the egg off of your face

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