Failed But Not Defeated

You can start over after temporary setbacks

Michael A. Grant, J.D., is a motivational consultant and speaker in Nashville, Tennessee

Charles H. Brown knows what it means to fail. In 1980, the Detroit-based real-estate developer lost a tennis and racquetball complex that took him 13 years and $250,000 of his own money to build. “The trauma was so bad,” he recounts, “that I began to suffer from panic attacks and an irregular heartbeat.”

In the midst of his depression, a friend gave him a copy of Mental Equivalent by Emmet Fox. “I learned to stop blaming myself,” says Brown, 60. “I got myself into that situation, so I decided I had the ability to get myself out.”

Two years later, after studying The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, Brown successfully transformed his mind-set. Today, his business, The Brown Group, is doing better than ever. He was contracted to build Grayhaven, a waterfront village on Lake St. Clair, and two senior citizen complexes. He’s also begun construction on 51 single-family, waterfront houses.

Career slumps and setbacks are an inevitable fact of life. If you’re suffering disappointment from a failed venture, the following suggestions can help you change your attitude:

Allow yourself time to “mourn.” Process your emotions, but don’t wallow in them. Take only the time you need to heal, then move on.

  • Seek support. Bury your ego and get guidance from family, friends and, if necessary, a qualified professional to determine where you went wrong.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, figure out if subconscious negative programming may have set you up to fail.
  • Invest in yourself. Commit to continuous self-improvement efforts that can change your ways of approaching your job or business.
  • Acknowledge your own power. You are endowed with mental and spiritual powers. If properly developed, they can lead you to levels of success beyond your wildest imagination.
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