Bounce back from failure


We have changed, we are happy: nothing more to say. But what if we regret it? And what to decide in case of failure or relapse? How can this experience be enriched? The answers of the psychologist Claude de Scorraille.

Sometimes change is a mixed success or a resounding failure. Sometimes we've fallen back into bad habits: we haven't set foot in a gym for at least three weeks. Or, we 've equipped ourselves perfectly to change, but nothing helps: we have everything tried to sleep better and we are still insomniac. Or again, we have started to change, but we haven't gone all the way: despite the strong desire to make a career”, we are stuck in the same position. Things moved momentarily, then resumed their shape. Unless they moved, but not enough. What to do then?

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Always a rewarding experience

When things didn't go as planned, it 's about learning lessons to get to know each other better.

If the project is really close
to hearts, what went wrong? Regarding this attendance at the gym , for example, where did we have difficulty? Did we miss something, or did the environment hinder us?

Change is based on several dimensions: cognitive , emotional, behavioural, relational and conceptual,” explains Claude de Scorraille. It is these five dimensions that must be questioned. At the cognitive level , did you have any doubts, ruminations? On the emotional side , did you feel scared, frustrated? As for behavior, did you go too fast, or on the contrary too slow? On the relational level, did you lack help, support, recognition , did you feel in your place? And finally, where is your conception of this change? Is your idea still relevant? »

Let's try to lead this introspection by moving away from guilt as much as possible - quite understandable, that said. This is how you will get answers and be able to consider another way forward , to take risks again, but this time rich in an unparalleled lesson.” Like those mountaineers who have not reached the summit and have turned back , but who, now aware of the difficulties they have gone through, find the means, inside and outside, to try the experience again. Why not go back a few pages, re-read this dossier with fresh eyes, and think about a new path?

And why not give up?

However, we may also realize that the intended goal no longer makes much sense. We have changed ourselves over the course of this change, and our values, our desires, our needs... too. Perhaps we developed this project to respond to injunctions (“ At 45, I must progress in my career!”) or to please others (“ I prevent my spouse from sleeping”).

Better to be honest than obstinate: do we really need to prove that we were right? It would probably be wiser to give up than to camp on our positions. What we call attempted solutions, that is to say everything we put in place to change a situation that we perceive as painful, can paradoxically maintain the problem. For example, if you have insomnia, you force yourself to sleep. Or if you hate your job, you do everything to evolve. Without success. So why not choose an opposite action? Forbid you to sleep for example, or find good sides to your current job.

By trying to adapt to the situation as it is, you deploy other resources. Sometimes change is impossible. But the problem is less the said situation than the way we live it. But we always keep the choice to live it differently. Carl Rogers, famous American psychologist at the origin of the person-centered approach , already said: There is a curious paradox: when I accept myself as I am, then I can change. »

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Back to square one

Last scenario: disappointment. On paper, we managed to take a crossroads and arrived at the goal. Only, in reality, we are not happy. We left Paris for the countryside or a spouse for a lover. And now a kind of disillusion sets in; it is the time of regrets. " Perhaps you idealized this change " . " Beware of the arrival ," said Paul Watzlawick, American psychologist, founding member of the Palo Alto school. No new situation or new me is perfect. We must learn to combine with the limits of the new situation which, ' like the old one, has advantages and disadvantages ', analyzes Claude de Scorraille. And, if the latter overtake the former, admit that this turn was probably not the right one. Going back can be considered, of course, but with just as much attention and reflection as going forward. The same questions must be asked: for what, for what reasons, for what purpose, how, with whose help and support? It would not be a question of taking one step forward, then two steps back without ever finding a life that really suits us.