What to Say to Yourself When You Fail

"Non-negative thinking sets the best apart from the rest."

If you're human, you will experience failure. Period.

Serena Williams experienced a huge failure in the Miami Open a couple months ago, an early exit in round 1.

Unheard of, right? Not really. She was a new mother, not back in her best shape, and it was her first tournament since the birth of her daughter.

We fail too. Maybe we lose a competition, a prospect says no, a presentation goes south, or we get rejected after a promising (so we thought) interview.

According to Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, founding father of the new science of positive psychology, there is a power in positive thinking, but it "pales in comparison," says Seligman "to the importance of what we think after we fail." Our “non-negative” thinking sets the best apart from the rest.

Serena, packed up after the Miami Open, understood that she did not in fact fail. She needed more time to prepare. She was optimistic about her...

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