By Lisa Rosen
Epic Failure & Ultimate Glory
Do you remember Superbowl XLVIII? The one where the Seattle Seahawks crushed our beloved Broncos, 43-8? With only one score for Denver-from start to finish, Colorado fans all suffered through the pain of a distressing and unrelenting game. If you are like me, you can still remember that sinking feeling; the game we all want to forget.
How about Superbowl 50? A different story- riding the league’s best defense, our hometown team stared down the favored Carolina Panthers and their MVP quarterback, Cam Newton. Never trailing, the Denver Broncos beat the Panther’s in a stunning defeat 24-10. Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset and all was well in the Mile High City.
One game, epic failure. Embarrassment. A day we would like to erase from the record books. The other, ultimate glory. Victory. A day that will live in Broncos lore.
Not so fast.
Learning from Your Mistakes
Without the first game, and the lessons learned (build the defense!), the second game never would have happened. Our lives are like that—at least they can be if we are willing to go through failure, learn valuable lessons, and soldier on to the next game.
Anyone willing to do anything worthwhile risks the possibility of failure. From being denied a new job, to asking someone out on a date and being rejected, to creating work that gets torn apart by critics…we all fail. That is a given.
We need to change how we view failure. It is not the end. It is not even unexpected. It is a necessary step on the way to success. Failure brings up tough emotions, which can lead to self-examination, self-improvement, and personal growth. What matters is getting back up, learning, and moving forward with determination.
When we experience a significant failure or disappointment, our world suddenly changes; its a physical and emotional shift. That feeling of being kicked in the stomach or your heart dropping.
By knowing that you will fail and go through difficult emotions, and that is healthy, you can avoid the negative thought process that keeps us stuck—the voice that says, “I am not good enough” and “this will never get better.” Like a match to dry wood, that emotion fuels our thought process and feeds our internal critic…”I can’t believe I did that!” “I am such an idiot!” “Why would anyone like me?”. These negative thoughts can be incredibly toxic and can occur even when we haven’t failed.
Slow those thoughts down and interject a positive statement…”I am trying my hardest!”, “I can do this”, “I am good enough”. Positive affirmations will take the steam out of that negative thought spiral. It is that spiral that can leave us overwhelmed and grappling with defeat and feeling worthless.
Moving forward also takes support and encouragement from others, and a sense of faith that reminds us of our capability to get back up again. Talk to a close friend. Seek out trustworthy and honest individuals with your best interest at heart. As Brene Brown states, “if we share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame cannot survive.”
Spirituality or religion may also bring an awareness that we are not alone. Having faith may foster a sense of peace in those challenging moments.
For the Broncos, and all their fans, the ending of Superbowl XLVIII was a truly miserable and historic loss. More importantly, it is an example of getting back up, taking steps forward, and continuing to fight.
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