How You Can Overcome a Crisis: 2 Compelling Techniques to Transform Failure into Success

Nov 1, 2020

Failure hurts.

Are you sure what failure is? Are you sure it hurts?

I’ve been working on marketing for more than 20 years. Thanks to that, I’ve been able to verify something I was convinced previously. Human beings live within patterns of perception.

Reality doesn’t exist. That’s why we create an internal image of what we are living, based on many different components: emotions, feelings, education, experiences, values…

In our marketing agency, we are used to work on perceptions. There are many cases in which that’s the only difference between our client and its competitors. They sell the same product, the same services, the same prices…

How can you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Working on how the market perceives you.

Perception will make it possible to seem professional, cool, experienced, engaged… Many different values make it possible to pay attention to your message, products, or services.

Thanks to my admired coach Tony (I highly recommend to follow him because he’s a pragmatic guy, like I am), today I’ve read a fascinating article (“How to Build Your Positive Framing Muscle”), written by David Kirkpatrick, the famous American film producer (yes, he writes on Medium).

I couldn’t agree more with what the article advocates. Working on perception is key to have a successful and meaningful life.

I don’t believe failure hurts. I just think the opposite. Depending on your perception, that’s what you are going to feel. As David’s article says, “there isn’t a situation where you cannot see a positive frame and a negative one”. The good point: it only depends on you.

That’s how we can transform failure into success.

I perfectly remember March, 13th 2020. It’s when all this Coronavirus situation heavily started in Spain with a lockdown. Lots of contracts began to be canceled. I received dozens of e-mails and calls from our clients’ lawyers canceling services due to the Coronavirus situation.

I think that was the moment of my life I lost the most significant amount of money ever in just one day.

I will never forget March, 13th 2020. It was Friday. The perfect storm.

Failure, crisis, disaster, end of the world? It depends on you (in that case, on me).

Life is beautiful when you interiorize everything depends on you. That gives you security, confidence, faith, motivation, peace, calm, relaxation.

Whenever a scenario turns to be a failure, crisis, or dramatic, I use these 2 techniques that make it possible to move from tragedy to success quickly. These 2 techniques were the ones I used to overcome that “horrendous” Coronavirus situation.

1. Accept the fact

No matter how critical the situation is, move quickly forward with this mental step: “accept the fact”.

The sooner you accept that happened, and nothing’s going to make it change, the sooner you can start responding to that situation.

The sooner you respond, the closer you are to take action towards a solution. At least, the best you can do in those “negative” circumstances.

Kirkpatrick perfectly defines how you should cope with this situation, quoting Joseph Campbell:

Whatever the hell happens, say, “This is what I need”. — Joseph Campbell.

This quote is based on Frederic Nietzsche’s concept of “the love of your fate”.

It’s true. You should better love what matters to you, whether good or bad, because that already happened, and it’s not going to change.

I can perfectly understand it’s hard, but if you look at it from the outside, it’s pragmatism in a pure state.

I always like to say that pragmatism is the basis of being resolute.

There’s no other way to focus your energy towards a solution, handle the situation, and start working, step by step, to a better scenario.

2. Think of how you will see it 1 year from now

No matter how dramatic the situation is, just do this mental exercise.

How will you see this situation…

– … in a week?
– … in a month?
– … in a year?
– … in a decade?

Sooner or later, there will be a temporal distance in which this scenario will be a simple anecdote.

Think about all the “terrifying” scenarios you have lived in your life. The worst ones. Those you still remember today.

  • Do they look as severe as they seemed in their day?
  • Don’t you see them as something remote that it didn’t even happen to you?
  • Aren’t you still alive?
  • Didn’t you survive?

Then, why do you think “today’s catastrophe” is the end of the (your) world?

Do that exercise. Think precisely how you will feel in a decade. But feel it. Work on that sensation. Make it happen today. It’s stupid to wait for 10 years to feel exactly the same feeling. It’s today when you do need to feel like that.

That’s what I did the night of March, 13th 2020.

After that spiritual/mental exercise, I slept perfectly, and I spent the whole weekend focusing my energy on managing the situation, thinking about actions needed, priorities, financial solutions…

But the most crucial point, from my perspective, was changing my mindset from a defeated loser to a winning fighter.

Today, September, 18th 2020, here I am, still fighting… but alive.

Life goes on.

Photo at the top courtesy of Lucian Alexe on Unsplash.

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