How to bounce back from crises and failures?

Guest article by ©Tallal Aswad.

Life does not come with a guide. We spend many years and decades, tons of money, energy and resources in formal education going to schools, colleges, universities and other professional awarding bodies in order to find a decent job and earn a living. But we hardly spend any time, energy, money and resources learning how to find ourselves in order to live our ‘happily ever after’. We have all experienced failures and crises at some point during our lives; however, no one ever teaches us how we can recover from them. The purpose of this article is to show you how you can move-on and bounce-back.

“There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.” – Brian Tracy

The first thing to realise is that there is no such thing as failure, there is only feedback. This is very important because from crises and failures there is always some feedback we receive that can be useful to us such as:

• What to do or what not to do

• Who to trust or who not to trust

• How to do something differently next time

• How to prevent something

• Where to go or where not to go

• What to avoid next time

In time of a crisis the last thing on our minds is to look for any scrap of useful information that we can use in the future, but it’s extremely important that we do so because it will allow us to channel all the negativity that we are experiencing to give us drive and focus so we can find a solution.

Be the ball, not the egg

Upon our encounter with failures we have to, despite our initial instincts, bounce back like a ball hitting the ground and not break-down like an egg falling on the floor. Hence, we must avoid breaking-down at such a critical time, it will only make the situation worse as we will not be able to find a solution quickly and minimise the damage.

A quote from Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, illustrates this beautifully. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”

To start to take back control we need to first control the intrapersonal dialogue that is going on inside. By controlling our thoughts and the inner dialogue with ourselves we can start to take back control of our lives. We can have more positive inner dialogue when we reassure ourselves of the certainty that time always passes and so this time of crisis will also eventually pass because it is temporary.

The great motivational speaker Les Brown says, “Know that your problems have not come to stay, they have come to pass.” This is a very powerful and positive quote that we need to remember during the difficult times that we face.

Furthermore, The Law of Averages states that “Every ‘No’ brings you one ‘No’ close to a ‘Yes’”. It means that with every step we take towards success the risk of failure increases and each failure gives us valuable feedback on how we can, in the words of Henry Ford, “more intelligently begin again.”

Sometimes a failure is the best thing that can happen to us because failure creates necessity and as we all know, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Therefore, after a crisis we are forced to find new original creative solutions which can sometimes fix other problems that we are going through and lead us to ultimate success.

The Bounce-Back Formula

When we fail, we feel like giving-up on everything, we may ignore our normal responsibilities and ‘let ourselves go’. However, it’s extremely important that we do not fall into this destructive cycle. It is critical that we really look after ourselves during times of crises and failures. Below is some advice on how we can achieve this.

• Eat well – We need to eat healthy, have our 5 a day and take our vitamins and minerals to ensure that our bodies are properly nourished so we can function at optimal capacity. Research shows that our brains use 20% of all our energy. When our bodies are properly nourished our brains can process more information, more efficiently in a shorter period of time. This will allow us to be solution orientated and find answers quickly.

• Exercise – Not only does exercise have general fitness benefits, but it also releases tension and increases the blood flow to our brains which fills our brains with oxygen and allows our brains to work at their optimal level and stay focused on the problem at hand. 

• Meditate – Meditation helps us to empty our minds and generate focus that we require to find the answers we need. I personally will advise guided meditation because during difficult times we can find it very difficult to stop the flow of negative thoughts without regular prompts and guidance. Guided meditation can help us to stop our minds from drifting-off. Headspace is a free app with excellent guided meditation that I use myself. As a bonus the basic L1 course is also completely free.

• Sleep – Getting plenty of sleep and rest is critical when we are going through failures because otherwise we cannot perform at our best to overcome the failures quickly. Next day when we are feeling refreshed, we can generate greater focus and improve our overall performance and productivity.

• Advice and Help – We must ask others for advice when we are experiencing adversity, instead of cutting ourselves off from the world and feeling sorry for ourselves. It would be especially useful to ask for advice from someone who has gone through a similar crisis. However, if this not possible then we can always research about people who have had similar experiences by searching online or reading biographies and autobiographies. Doing so will motivate us and reassure us that if others can make it through then so can we. Having said this, when someone does offer to help we must give them the opportunity to help us, instead of feeling unworthy of their help and advice. 

• Positivity Capsule – We also need to build a ’positive capsule’ around us by surrounding ourselves with positive people who care about us and genuinely want us to recover from our failures. Modern research suggests that up to 85% of our happiness is determined by the people we associate with. This is a really big number and so it must be our priority to surround ourselves with positive people.

• Brain Deadness – It is paramount that during a crisis we stay focused and not engage in ‘brain dead’ activities that are not useful in finding answers and solutions like watching lots of TV programs, binge watching TV series and playing hours of video games. These activities must only be used for entertainment purposes and only for brief periods of time to unwind and regain focus, but we must not allow them to take priority and become our ‘Masters’.

• Get a CMW – I have a saying that a BMW will get you from A to B, but a CMW will get you everywhere. CMW is a very powerful positive affirmation that we can post everywhere around the house, carry in our wallets and make it the wallpaper of our electronic devices to get a constant boost of reassurance and motivation throughout the day. CMW stands for “I CAN. I MUST. I WILL.”

• Ride on a COT – A Continuous Onwards Trajectory (COT) means that we must keep going even if we don’t see immediate results or make progress quickly. Just like when climbing a mountain, even if we can’t see the peak we must continue to put one foot in front of the other, until we reach the summit. Not everyone will experience progress at the same rate, which is why it’s not a CUT (Continuous Upwards Trajectory), but we must will ourselves to continue going until we overcome our crises and failures.


We have all heard the saying that most of us only use about 10% – 15% of our brains. Modern research suggests that this is completely wrong as almost all areas of the brain light up during brain scans even when performing simple tasks such as walking, talking and climbing the stairs. Mostly the 10% statistic has been used by certain people to sell news and reinforce existing beliefs.

Modern research also shows that the structure of the brain can change from day-to-day as the neurons make new connections, known as ‘Neuroplasticity’. This is amazing because it means that our brains are dynamic and are constantly evolving. It also means that by gaining new knowledge, insights, and ideas and by learning new skills we can adapt, grow and overcome anything.

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, was fired from two jobs because he was not “creative” enough and was told by his teachers at school that he was “too stupid to achieve anything”. When he was trying to create the light bulb he failed over 1000 times, however, when asked about his failures he responded with this quote, “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was invented in 1000 steps. I just figured out 1000 ways that it didn’t work.” This is the kind of mind-set that will enable us to evolve and arise to any challenge.

Psychology teaches us that ‘perceiving is believing’ and for Thomas Edison his positive perception of his failures allowed him to make one of the greatest inventions of modern times. His perception was so strong that he did not stop until he made his dream a reality, despite all the failures and setbacks along the way. Therefore, we must also have positive perceptions and positive beliefs that will allow us to create positive outcomes for ourselves.

Furthermore, our brains are designed to keep us safe which is why lots of us start to find excuses and even to exaggerate the risk, called ‘The Spot-Light Effect’, in order to stop pursuing something that our brains perceive to be potentially risky or dangerous. Researchers have found that the point when our brains start to make up excuses and magnify the risk is our 40% potential mark. At that stage we still have 60% of our potential in the tank if we make the decision to keep going and push through. This is a truly empowering statistic. This means that you can potentially achieve 60% more in every area of your life if you give yourself the permission to stay on the course.

Indeed, it is true then that we hold the key to our greatness.


With every word that we speak, every choice that we make, every thought, every action and with each passing moment, we create a new bit of reality. Each one of those words, choices, thoughts and actions are completely new and did not exist before that moment in time because even that moment in time did not exist before. This is the most powerful and beautiful realisation that a person can have. Each new moment offers us the opportunity to take charge of our lives and make a new and better reality for ourselves.

Life does not come with a guide and we cannot change the past. However, we do hold the power to make the rest of lives, the best of our lives.

Get in touch

To get in touch drop me an email on the address below. I would love to connect with you. Check out the YouTube channel for lots of breakdown videos and my exclusive weekly interviews with awesome people from around the world who overcame their challenges and struggles and are now doing amazing things. My goal with the interviews is to dissect their minds and lives I get them to dig deep and share openly. Stay awesome!


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