“Its not the end”

Blog Courtesy of Joanne Dowds MISCP

Failure, lack of success, not getting the outcome (athletic, personal or professional) that you want isn’t a pleasant sensation. Failing, even the word sounds like a let down, and to be blunt, it feels shite… How do you recover? Most are familiar with the RICE regime (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) for musculoskeletal injuries; I am proposing a different RICE regime for the injured soul, Resilience, Inspiration, Connection and Engagement for learning.

 ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’ Samuel Beckett

An ECG trace, the electronic signal of our heartbeat, known to all of us through Greys Anatomy, Casualty or even way back to ER, the blipping green line can be an analogy for life itself. The familiar pattern is constantly moving, ups and downs, cyclical, only static when we die. It’s not my idea, so I cant take credit but it makes so much sense. What follows failure, might be success or it maybe some more failure. The ability to keep on keeping on – resilience can be built. Learning to rest rather than quit is a skill.

‘Don’t stop believin’ Journey.

Hope is important; hope isn’t an emotion, it’s a way of thinking, it changes an individual’s mindset and therefore their approach to their goals. Having hope allows you to stay loose, flexible, adaptable, life is good as long as you are still moving forward. Being ok with disappointment, believing in yourself and your ability to work hard are the bones of being hopeful.


‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable’ Banksy

Art, music, literature, even an inspirational quote on Instagram; eloquently articulating difficult emotion.  Seeing, hearing or reading someone else’s lived experience of disappointment, athletic or otherwise helps. The recognition, I feel the same. Others feel this too.  That’s connection. Every single thing that has every breathed has had challenging experiences, some are just better at making it known. I am using this to justify my ever-growing stack of autobiographies!

‘the thing to keep a hold of is where to go from hereMarcus Aurelis

Picking out the subtle differences in that crack in your chest helps, regret can allow for a recommitment of effort, a refocusing of goals. Disappointment, that is harder, that not ‘I need to try harder’, its ‘I’m not good enough for this’. That level of honesty is hard.  It hurts, a lot. It might be true. To move forward, can require a more realistic appraisal of potential aims (the 3hr marathon maybe a stretch to far). Improvement is always possible but may not to the outcome you wanted.  Sometimes it’s not for you and that can be very hard.

 ‘I never lose, I either win or I learn’ Nelson Mandela

I am coming around to the notion that engaging with emotion, what ever it is and what it can teach me; 5yr olds do this much better than adults, they name it, express it, usually loudly with much flailing of arms and then move on. Most adults, myself included, tend to store them up for sleepless nights. Room can be made for all of those difficult emotions, to welcome them as best you can as teachers. There is value in their presence, few succeed first time round and just keep improving from there- look at  the number of one hit wonders. Success is often the result of hard work, talent and luck.

You may have guessed that I love a good inspirational quote, years ago I went to an art exhibit and scrawled on the wall was a quote attributed to John Lennon. It has stayed with me as I like the sentiment.

‘Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.’

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