Here is a familiar scenario for all of us: You have an exciting goal in mind, you’ve done your homework, you think you’re amply prepared—but things just don’t work out.
You probably have times when you thought you were doing what you’re supposed to do, but you were misinformed. You think you have it all laid out, but it just doesn’t work. You burn the midnight oil day after day, but it doesn’t seem to help. You just can’t seem to change the end result.
These are the times when you have to be your own best cheerleader. And there are two ways to keep yourself encouraged:
1. Take responsibility for the missed opportunity.
Be prepared for the letdowns that happen every so often. Know that this lost opportunity just set you up to take advantage of the next one. Realize that you can make the necessary alterations next time. Make the changes that will make the difference. Study your mistakes and learn from them. Instead of dwelling on the mistakes, simply acknowledge them and learn from them.
2. Remind yourself that you’re bound to get better.
Don’t get down on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s the next opportunity that matters, not the previous one. The previous one matters only in that you must learn from your mistakes. But the next one gives you the opportunity to show that you have learned from your mistakes. You can do it better next time. You just have to practice. Keep trying until. If you figured out what went wrong last time, then you know how to make it right next time. Don’t beat yourself up for messing up. Pat yourself on the back for figuring it out.
You need to encourage yourself. You need to pump yourself up. Why? Because you can’t wait and hope that someone else will come along and cheer you up, make you feel better, tell you that you’ll do better next time. You have to rely on yourself. You have to have faith in yourself and your ability to figure out what works and what doesn’t. You have to have the inner belief that everything you’re doing you’re doing for a positive outcome in the future. You have to encourage yourself with future successes.
When you miss an opportunity, are unprepared for an opportunity or suffer a setback while realizing your goals, you need to encourage yourself by immediately getting back in line. If you fall off track, get right back on. If you fall away from your disciplines, get right back to them. If you fall out of habit, get back into it. Something goes wrong, do what you can to make it right. It might be hard. It might be scary. Keep your resolve alive, active and well. Cheer yourself on to victory. You can do it.
Sometimes defeat is the best beginning. Why? If you’re at the bottom, there’s only one way to go. Up. But more importantly, if you’re flat on your back, mentally and financially, you’ll usually become sufficiently disgusted to reach way deep down inside yourself and pull out miracles and talents and abilities and desire and determination. When you’re flat broke or flat miserable, you’ll eventually become so disgusted that you’ll pull out the basic essentials required to make everything better.
In the face of adversity is when things begin to change, when you begin to change. With enough disgust, desire and determination to change your life, you’ll start saying, I’ve had it. Enough of this. No more. Never again! These words and these thoughts really rattle the power of time, fate and circumstances.
A lot of people don’t change themselves. They wait for change. These poor unfortunate folks accept their defeats and wallow in their self-pity. They refuse to take control of the situation. They refuse to take control of their life, their career, their health, their relationships and their finances.
If you’re disgusted and in need of change, then I have some words to offer: Your present failure is a temporary condition. You will rebound from failure, just as surely as you gravitated into failure.
One time, when I was in the midst of a bout of failure, somebody suggested that I should tell myself, This too shall pass. I firmly believe that you’re only given as much as you can handle, as much negativity, as much failure, as much disappointment. This too shall pass, if you grasp for a new beginning. You need to pull yourself up and move back into the world with a plan.
Your current limitations or failures are the building blocks from which to create greatness. You can go where you want to go. You can do what you want to do. You can become what you want to become. You can do it all, starting now, right where you are.
Make your failures give birth to great opportunity, not prolonged agony. Make your disgust lead to inspiration, not depression. The doors will open once you decide to get back on your feet and make your mark. In your own enlightened self-interest, give a run at adventure. Keep your eyes firmly set on achievement. Don’t settle for mere existence and self-pity. Make a commitment to excellence.
Related: Rohn: 13 Ways to Improve Your Life
This article originally appeared on JimRohn.com and has been republished with permission.