When we fail, it’s very easy to allow the emotions we experience to overwhelm us and cause us to stop doing what we’re doing. After all, we don’t want to feel bad emotions if we don’t have to, right? And since stopping our behavior seems to be the simplest way not to feel bad, we often decide that’s our best option and we quit.
It’s important when we fail to take a second to pause and analyze what we’re feeling and why we’re feeling it. If we can do this before we decide to let ourselves feel bad about what happened, then we can effectively give ourselves a chance to think about and process our “failures” before they cause us to stop taking the actions that will lead us to success.
This process of re-examining what happened and viewing it in a different way is called re-framing.
Re-framing your failures with reality means that you look at your failure not through the eyes or your emotion, but through the eyes of reality. You try to be realistic about what actually happened so that you can learn from it. In this manner, you open up your mind to learning instead of shutting it down because you’re upset and you’d rather guard your emotions than blame yourself.
Let’s take a situation, for instance, where you approach two women who have a guy with them. The girls are hot and the guy looks pretty cool so it takes some courage to walk up and start talking, and you do it anyways.
The guy is a complete asshole to you and within about 10 seconds you’re forced to leave. Now you feel like absolute shit.
What do you do?
Well I certainly can’t say what you personally would do, but I can tell you what I have done in situations like this in the past. I used to go back to my friends and pout or go back to the bar to get a drink and stew about my failure for the rest of my night. I’d usually still be mad about it the next day too. Of course I was powerless to do anything about it while I was in the bar, so that upset me too. Sooner or later I would just reason that the guy was a complete asshole and I’d try to block out that it ever happened, and the next time I was in the bar and saw a similar situation I would definitely not try again.
Soo…. what happened to me after that experience?
For me, I just went on thinking that guys like the were assholes all the time, and for a long time I learned nothing from it. It wasn’t until later on that I finally realized that I needed to get past my emotions.
So as hard as it was, I faced the actual reality of the situation and accepted it. I owned it, even.
The reality was that the guy who was an asshole to me was cooler than me… and better looking. He had two hot chicks with him and they liked him, not me.
New questions now flooded my mind now that I was okay with the fact that I was just a beginner and it was okay not to be perfect yet…
“Well, what can I learn from that guy? He’s obviously doing some things right or those hot girls wouldn’t be into him.”
“At what point did things seem to go wrong?”
“When he (or she) said _______, is there something I could have said that would have been a better response?”
“Did these people view me as someone they wanted to meet? Why or why not?”
“How drunk or sober was I and how could that have affected the situation?”
“Is there something about that guy’s body language I could implement into what I’m doing?”
“How much was he looking at the girls?” “Wait, do I look at the girls I’m with more or less than he did?”
All of these questions are great things to ask yourself when you have a tough experience, and once I started not hating the guy and instead admiring the things he was doing correctly, my mindset changed. Now my focus was on learning from him instead of guarding myself from pain. The reality was that on that particular night in that particular situation I simply wasn’t good enough, and that’s fine.
The point here is to allow yourself room to not be perfect in the beginning with women! Use your experiences to learn and grow. Make progress! Do not allow your emotions to shut you down just to guard you from some temporary pain. Remember, the pain of reaching the end of your life and having regrets will be much much worse than some temporary pain you might experience now on the way to success in your dating life.
This is what reframing is about. It’s about growing your personal power by looking at the reality of the situation and not blaming yourself for not being perfect.
Next time you have a tough experience, I hereby challenge you to feel more powerful and strong because of the way you handle it. Get past your emotions and look at how you can learn from the situation, and when you learn, support yourself for your new-found strength.