Failure Is Not An Option: How Not to Let Anything Throw You Off Your Game

Your coworker’s late again, putting you behind the 8-Bball. You’d like to wring her neck. You knew this was going to happen; you’ve talked to her many times, but nothing changes.

You’ve tried three times to get on the GoTo Meeting call. It’s 8:15; you’re late for the meeting. How you can’t figure this out?

Frustration with others, with technology, with yourself—it winds you up or sucks the energy right out of you.

If you don’t want frustration to get the best of you, fix it, tunnel through it or use it.

Learn your triggers
Does waiting for someone to get ready trigger you? Do people that disrupt your work drive you nuts? If either is true, you let those who don’t meet your expectations throw you off your game. The alternative – give them two changes and then problem-solve so their actions can’t derail you. For example, if a chronically late friend drives you crazy, don’t put yourself in situations where you depend on her promptness.

Be here now.
When you let frustration get to you, you measure yourself against a future not yet present. If you want to tunnel through frustration, be here now. Check in with yourself, focus your energy on what you CAN do and use your focus to power to your next step.

Frustration means you need to reassess yourself or the way things are going. If you’re spinning your wheels and what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time to figure out a way to change things up. That GoTo meeting you’re late for—if you waited until the last minute to get online or forgot to get a cell number to text if your connection didn’t work, set yourself up differently for the next meeting.  

Create a blast through
When it feels like nothing is working, search yourself. Dig deep and show what you’re made of–create the breakthrough you need. Deciding that failure is not an option takes you from “nothing’s working” to “what do I need to do to get there” and “I’m doing it.”

© 2020, Lynne Curry

Lynne Curry, Ph.D., SPHR, is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016, and “Solutions”, (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Send your questions to her at or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.

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One thought on “Failure Is Not An Option: How Not to Let Anything Throw You Off Your Game

  1. These are great suggestions. It is frustrating, having called into a meeting and being put into the “waiting room” and not able to hear the meeting or get into it. I’ve learned to have the host’s phone number handy to call in, but that doesn’t always work either. Sometimes there’s a general number you can call to, and the person who answer, if kind, will let the host know.

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