Failure to Success: Lessons from Hillary

486487-success-failureIt’s easy to stay motivated when everything is going smoothly. But when the going gets tough, that’s another story. According to Hillary Clinton speaking at an International Women’s Day event, “life does hand you setbacks.”

Perhaps you didn’t pass an audition or a screen test that would have been a big break for you.

Maybe you didn’t get the job promotion you were expecting.

Or you asked your true love to marry you and were rejected.

Maybe you ran for office and, like Hillary, you lost.

Whatever your failure, it can leave you feeling angry, ashamed, unsure of yourself, disheartened, and more. Maybe you want to shrink away or even lash out. You might even want to give up.


You may need to retreat, you may need to review, but after you re-assess your situation, you can renew and achieve your goals.

Here are three lessons we can we can learn from Hillary Clinton in terms of regaining our motivation after failure:

Making-the-Journey-Lasting-School-Health-Initiatives-11. It’s okay to lick your wounds.

If everything has blown up in your face, you deserve to feel sorry for yourself. Whine, complain, cry, sing the blues, or visit your mother and let her make you tea.

Play with the grandkids.

Eat a whole cheese cake.

Call your best friend and let him boost you back up.

It’s okay; you’re allowed. You suffered a loss, so you can grieve.

The caveat is that you have to make it time limited. Give yourself a day or two, two weeks if you must, but six months later, if you are still singing the same song, then you are probably depressed and have a problem.

And I think that is what we saw Hillary do. She retreated. There were reports of people seeing her walking in the woods. She was regrouping and connecting to nature. She stayed out of the public eye for a short while and probably gave herself some well-earned rest.

That’s what you do. Take some time out for a short, period of time. And then, when your pre-defined time is up, you get back up and get back to work.


Because that’s what successful people do.

2.          Reassess.

When you are ready, it is time to have a clear-eyed look at what happened. Re-assess. You want to do this with some detachment. But you don’t want to be a scab picker, who just focuses on the negatives and what went wrong. You also want to look at what went right. In fact, it might be helpful to not even use those words, right/wrong. Think in terms of what you did well and what you could have done differently.

This gives you a broader perspective and takes you outside of yourself. If you analyze the failure correctly, you’ll figure out what changes you could have taken.

And once again we saw this with Hillary Clinton. In her campaign there were things she could have done differently. She could have campaigned in certain states; she could have reached out and connected to the “basket of deplorable people” she talked about.

She could have been more responsible with her damn emails.

As we saw, there were bigger issues at play. Who knew that she would have been blindsided by James Comey in the last few days running up to the election. And, as we now know, there was interference from the Russians.

Often, when we fail at something, there are bigger issues at play and you will have to figure out what that means for you.

Failure is feedback if used constructively. Don’t think a failure means you’re not good enough. Just think that a failure means your plan needs work.

3.          Get back in the saddle.

When you have defined for yourself what your errors were, come up with alternative plan. Maybe the door to what you want is closed, but as we know, a window is open somewhere.

It is time to build up your resilience and “bounce back ability” muscle. We all have one.

You have to restart using those things that you used to motivate yourself in the first place. Re-establish your positive thinking routines. Visualize yourself coming back from this failure and going forward to success. Practice positive affirmations that describe you overcoming your setbacks. Look in the mirror and make statements describing yourself with positive characteristics, such as, “I am resolute. I am indefatigable. I am steadfast. I am competent. I am confident.”

Connect to your mentors, your coaches, your master mind group, and surround yourself with positive, like-minded people.

So maybe for Hillary she can now invest her time and energy in more global initiatives with her foundation. Maybe that will allow her to have a bigger impact internationally in more far reaching ways than she could have had as a president of the USA.

You may have to re-jigger your path to your goal. You may even have to tweak the goal. But don’t give up. Don’t ever get up. Get back in the saddle and ride. You can take control of your life and improve it in the way you want by learning from your failure and trying again.

Remember Winston Churchill’s sage advice: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

If you like this post please share. Your feedback and comments both positive/negative are always welcome. Happy International Women’s Day to both women and men.

About Em-Powered-Solutions

Veronica's purpose in life has been to inspire, motivate and empower individuals and organizations to help them to find creative solutions in transforming their situation or circumstances. She has a demonstrated track record of making a difference in the lives of people and organizations. Her expertise includes services in the area of public speaking presentations, key note addresses; facilitation of seminars and workshops in the following areas: health, wellness, stress management, self esteem building, relationship building, emotional healing, empowerment strategies, personal motivation and growth with large and small organizations, as well as providing 1-1 counselling and coaching to individuals in these areas.
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