Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

November 14, 2017


It’s a horrible feeling to know that you have failed. It’s debilitating. Deep in your soul. 

You want to keep pushing — keep trying — but you feel stuck. You feel lost. Sad. Miserable. And a bit hopeless.

The truth is that you’re never going to be entirely rid of failure. If you have big dreams and a bunch of ambition, then you are going to have to figure out how to keep your head straight in spite of the obstacles that get thrown in your way.

So when you are feeling crushed by your results, here are a few powerful ways to get back on your feet and headed back towards success:

  1. Ask for help — You are so close to the action that you are probably an unreliable (and overly emotional) resource for yourself.  Ask someone else for their opinion.  Advice is free.  Can’t hurt to ask.
  2. Admit that it’s a failure — Stop the mental paralysis around convincing yourself that you might not have “really” failed.  You did.  It stinks.  You’ll do better next time. Let the healing begin.
  3. Try to fail fast — Do a lot of rapid activity fast.  Plan to fail and bounce down the paths where you end up being successful.  As long as you’re flexible, you’ll find yourself winning. It’s all based on you trying though.
  4. Use a different angle — What you last did did not work.  Don’t give up your goal.  Just try a different process.  Look at the situation from a different angle, and then execute a different plan to get you there.
  5. Be brutally honest — You did this.  No one else.  If someone has to “suck”, it’s you.  The good news is that you are the best person around to get yourself out of this mess. Stop selling yourself short.  You’re actually kind of a bad-ass.
  6. Double-down on your effort — It’s either what you did or how hard you did it.  Most of the time, it’s the latter one.  Do everything you were doing before just put in 5 times as much effort — literally. Show some intensity.
  7. Learn from your mistakes — There is something wrong here.  Maybe it’s the timing, the goal, reality, or just the scope of your vision.  Why did you fail in the past?  There’s something you can learn from all of that right now.
  8. Throw a fit — Curse, swear, and get emotional about your success.  There is something cathartic about focusing your emotion on success.  It reminds you that you really “want it”. It takes the sting out of defeat. 
  9. Shrug it off — Get over it.  Seriously.  And fast.  The longer you obsess about defeat, the longer you waste not being successful.  We all lose.  It happens.  Stop focusing on your fears and be thankful you are smart enough to fail in the first place.
  10. Go fight a ninja with nunchucks — Blow off some steam.  Do something crazy.  Run. Hit the gym. Go for a walk. Let your mind clear.  Pursue another passion.  Be extreme.  It all reminds you why you want this success in the first place.
  11. Create a task list — Start small.  Write down what success looks like and then work backward from there.  Turn that list into chores that you put on a calendar and execute. This will be especially helpful when you look at what is working. 
  12. Find a better support group — You are, or soon will be, the average of the people that you spend the most time with. Find a better group of awesome people to hang around with. Seriously. Go get involved in places where winners hang out.
  13. Write it all down — Your thoughts.  Your passions.  Your fears.  Write it all down.  That process allows you to be in control.  It’s no longer in your head.  It’s on paper. And for some reason, when it’s alive on paper you can improve. You feel empowered.
  14. Decide to smile — You are alive. And you are a winner.  You care about success. And are working towards it. That’s something to smile about.  And if you follow the other 13 items on this list, you are about to be successful as well.  Why wouldn’t you be happy?

Success isn’t automatic or easy.


When you are feeling stuck, the answer isn’t to back down and blame others, to quit on your dreams, or to let yourself fall into a dark place mentally. 

Take a few of these steps and put them into practice. Make changes. Dig deep into the areas in your life that you care most about. 

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.