When Things Don’t Work Out

At various stages in our lives and businesses we strive to achieve different goals for all different endeavours some we hit spot on, some we change as we learn, some we miss altogether and some we put aside because of other life commitments or unexpected circumstances.

A missed, changed or derailed goal needs to be acknowledged, explored to discover what insights can be gained and put into perspective in order for us to grow as individuals and to ease the path for our next life adventure.

Here is a simple five-step system to help put some perspective into the things that haven’t worked out and to learn from:

Step 1 – Create a list

Make a list of the last 5 – 10 things that you have set or attempted to achieve – make sure you include the ones you achieved as well as the ones that were missed, altered or derailed.

Step 2. – Identify what your ideal situation was

Identify what you hoped you would achieve, what would the result be, how would you feel, what difference would attainment have made in your life?

Step 3 – Describe what actually happened

Describe EXACTLY what did happen – did you achieve it or not? How was it different from what you had hoped you would achieve? How did you feel? What differences if any did it make in your life? Was there pain or pleasure? Elation or disappointment? What did you say to yourself & others about the experience?

Step 4 – Put it into perspective

Now put it into perspective by asking yourself and documenting your answers to these questions

  • What did you learn from the experience?
  • What about the experience made you stronger?
  • What did you achieve? (it does not matter how small, make sure you recognise it)
  • What will you do differently next time?
  • What wouldn’t you do again?
  • What can you celebrate from this experience?

Step 5 – Let it go and move on

Let it go and move onto the next thing you want

It is absolutely pointless hanging onto what didn’t work. Think about it like this… you may want to be 21 again thinking about it is not going to make you 21 – it’s pointless – you need now to focus on your current age and enjoy the benefits that it brings.

Same as the things that haven’t worked out it is pointless hanging on.  You are best to use your efforts in focussing on what you want now with what you have learnt.

Let me know how you go.


Keep smiling




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