Seeing as though the World Cup semifinal yesterday between Brazil and Germany was the most tweeted sports event ever, you know that Brazil suffered a devastating loss (1-7) against Germany in their beloved home country. If you follow soccer at all, you are aware that scores of this magnitude do not happen in the semifinal stage of the World Cup.
Needless to say, the game was absolutely devastating. Many Brazilians are soccer fans and have overwhelming patriotism for their national team. Love for “futbol”, as Brazilians call the beautiful game, is ingrained in their DNA. To lose this badly, in a global setting, in their own country, is a nightmare. Even if you were rooting for Germany, it was painful to see the frustration of the Brazilian players and the agony of the hopeless fans.
As always, there are some lessons to be learned from the Brazilians here. Failure is inevitable. It happens to everyone at some point. Sometimes two of your best players are unable to participate in the biggest game of your life. Sometimes the project you have put your heart and soul into for a whole year fails. It’s life. Instead of being all down on yourself, think of it this way: Failure is a step toward your success. It’s a lesson. A challenge. A chance. Use it to your advantage.
If you’re feeling like Brazil right about now, here are some tips on how to turn failure into success:
1. Don’t Give Up
When Brazil let in 5 goals in 18 minutes in the first half, it seemed impossible to carry on. How do you come back from a loss like that? I can only imagine that the Brazilian players would have rather quit than continue suffering humiliation in the second half of the game. However, the only thing worse than playing for another 45 minutes would be to take the easy way out and quit, which they didn’t. They persevered and came back stronger in the second half, playing better than before. Their determination even allowed them to score a goal in the last few minutes of the game. Even though winning was seemingly impossible after half-time, they still tried. Failures are just experiences. Know that, business is not a speed race, but a marathon. It will take time, energy, cost, sweat, and tears to make it work. Be patient and work hard. If you are not prepared to go the whole nine yards, then be prepared for the consequences.
2. Reflect on the Mistakes and use them as Stepping Stones
I’m sure a lot of this was going on in the locker room during half-time. Brazil needed to change their game plan based on their mistakes. You should do the same. Take time to look back and identify what went wrong. It’s possible that you’re to blame, someone else is, or no one is. Whatever the case may be, be conscious not to repeat these mistakes. Moreover, be proud that you found the courage to take a risk in the first place. By acknowledging you mistakes, you open yourself up to learning from others.
3. Reframe, Revise, and Reflect
Look at the situation from a different perceptive, be open minded to honest feedback, and move forward. However, don’t just look for false support that will feed your ego. Seek out perspectives from people who may not have believed in you. It is imperative to listen, process the information, and paint a complete picture of what happened and why. Try not to react emotionally to anything you discover or that people tell you. Once you have a new plan or at least an idea of how you wish to proceed, the most critical thing you can do to overcome feeling like a failure is to embrace your new path and focus.
Soon enough you will be feeling like this, and it will be glorious.