Ep 45 // How to Deal with Failure as a High Performer

Ep 45

No one likes to fail, especially high performers or achievers, but it happens to everyone at some point. Dealing with these feelings of failure and disappointment can either be productive or hold you back in business. In this episode, Akua teaches four helpful strategies to help leaders cope with these setbacks. They can be more resilient and confident and get back to working towards their ambitious goals, despite a few bumps in the road.

As Akua discusses, failure is a very personal thing. There isn’t one “right” way to deal with failure (though there may be some wrong ways), and people deal with disappointment and failure in their own time and process it differently. We all have things we are especially sensitive to failing at and other things that don’t feel as important. External and internal pressures can also contribute to our attitudes about failure. Akua stresses that because failure is personal, relying on personal relationships to pull us through these setbacks isn’t always sensible. Sometimes others just aren’t equipped to help because they have their own attitudes around failure. Creating time and space to process is important. 

The four-step process Akua outlines here will help you process your own feelings of disappointment in a healthy way (without toxic positivity) and help you realize that these feelings are temporary and can provide opportunities for learning and self-exploration.  

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Highlights in this episode: 

  • How in business, creating distance between your service/product and your personal self is important.
  • How Akua personally deals with disappointment and failure as a high achiever. 
  • Understand negative thoughts are normal but can easily spiral if not kept in check.
  • Akua shares the four things she shares with her clients to help deal with disappointment and failure.
  • Getting a new perspective from an outside party (someone who doesn’t know you well) can help you deal with disappointment. 
  • Keep your value and mission top of mind to help you work through temporary failures.
  • Learn to get comfortable sitting with uncomfortable feelings.
  • Reflect on past experiences and recognize the times when you were able to succeed, and the times you failed but were able to move forward afterward. 
  • Focusing on the positive and on your small wins can help bring success to the present. Other ideas: processing and accepting. Create space and time to deal with things. Protect our time and honor time to process and accept. 
  • Look at the data, not the drama. Use data to create attainable goals. 

Resources mentioned in this episode: 
Blog Post: How To Improve Your Workplace Culture By Unlearning Toxic Positivity
Podcast Episode 26: Ask Akua: Self-Love + Self-Worth: Simplecast
Podcast Episode 28: Goal Setting Tricks


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