Learn to Pivot - Dealing with Failure
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
I recently had a speaking engagement cancelled. It was one of my first, and I was very excited as well as nervous. I had spent the better half of the week preparing my talk and then translating my notes into Chinese so I could make it relevant for the locals here. But alas it wasn't to be. I felt relieved at first, but then I felt despondent. It's this feeling of failure or rejection that haunts each and every one of us throughout our short lives. However I'm determined to not let this turn into a negative start to a road I've only just begun to walk. Positivity must come out of the ashes. Dealing with failure is an important part of success. You will always have times where you will have to deal with this situation, this emotion and everything that comes with it. Whatever form it comes in, whether it was a 'near miss' or a straight up rejection before you got into the door; how you deal with it is what really matters in the long term.
For me this situation was very much like a near-miss. Everything had been discussed and agreed on, so I had already started preparing for it. We were even in talks with how we could turn this one seminar into a series of lectures. Nothing had prepared me for it to amount to nothing. But, however 'near-miss' your situation becomes, whatever progress you have made to that end, you have to learn to turn it into something positive.
For me I learnt the process of creating a lecture. I learnt how to extrapolate an idea into a lecture that (hopefully) wouldn't bore my students. I have a lot of content and ideas that I can now repurpose for a blog post or a book. I've been thinking about writing a book for a while, so this could give me the drive I need to go and start it. In the meantime I'm going to turn all the preparation and research I did on the talk and turn them into a blog post(s). And from there who knows what may come from it. Every failure has a silver lining. Every setback brings opportunities. Do not despair, move forward.