Self-compassion During Entrepreneurial Failure

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Self-compassion During Entrepreneurial Failure


It was my first event as an organizer: a talk show with a hyped-up speaker and a great topic. But the only thing missing was the AUDIENCE! At that point, I and my friend panicked and were not in a condition to take any step, until a senior came and advised us to go and request an ongoing class to come and attend the event.

Here, a story of a successful entrepreneur would have inspired you. But no! The problem is not that we haven’t realized that after failure comes success. Rather it’s about how we don’t choose to accept our failure and live fully during failure. We forget to love ourselves. We don’t show ‘self- compassion’.

Self-compassion is “extending compassion to one's self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering.” A dictionary meaning of course. But what can be some possible steps we can take while experiencing failure to internalize the meaning of it?




The first place to start is to analyse your own thoughts. You might think, “Thinking might make us weak.” But such thoughts make us rush through hard times and stop us from thinking about the problems we go through. We try to deny the fact that the time we are going through is hard for us. It’s important to understand failure as the natural part of the process and live it to the fullest. We should acknowledge our pain. Sometimes you have to pause to take a step forward, and this is where you through the recollected memories of your problems and face the reality. Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thích Nhất Hạnh says, “When you learn how to suffer, you suffer much less.” This Buddhist practise of pause can help a lot. You can think about "Why did it not work out?" and wonder aloud, "How could it be made better?". It will help you understand the shortfalls of your idea. It will give you an opportunity to rethink, and thus restart.


Self-worth over self-esteem

We should learn to release our sorrow. When we are reaching the highs, our self-esteem makes us share our happiness with others and makes us seek for words of praise. But during times of failure, the same self-esteem doesn’t let us search for words of empathy. Many of us may have started our dreams to become entrepreneurs by rebelling against others’ point of view. This rebellious beginning surrounds us with shame during failure and stops us from speaking about it to others. Kristin Neff, author of ‘Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself and Leave Insecurity Behind‘, says, “Recognize we all suffer and therefore foster a connected mindset that is inclusive of others.” Your business partner is not just there to share the profit. He is there to bear the cost as well as the problems. So it is better to share our feelings and thoughts about our failure because this will help us deal with the situation in a much easier way.



When you analyse your thoughts, you might over-think about the problems. Thinking and overthinking are two different terms. When we overthink, we start worrying about our failure; we start questioning our capability which makes us lose our spirit to restart. Adapt says, “Success comes through rapidly fixing our mistakes rather than getting things right first time.” Let’s realize that to start your own startup you need to have high courage. But to restart your startup, you need to have both courage and self-esteem. We should use our self-esteem in a positive way. As the saying goes, “Dust yourself off and get back to the horse.” Restart your startup if necessary, but you need to do in an improvised version. Otherwise, you are falling in the same circle of failure.

These steps may sound difficult to practice. But as Teal Swan, an internationally recognized spiritual leader, says, “All spiritual practice is the art of shifting perspectives.” Change the gear. Change the perspectives. And start practicing self-compassion.



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Guest Wednesday, 01 February 2023