If you follow me on Instagram then you’re probably already aware that I recently attended the ACDN Cake Decorating and Baking Industry Awards.
I was a top three finalist for the Cupcake Award, making it my THIRD. TIME. becoming a national finalist #humblebrag. I was super stoked!
My nerves were at a peak by the time the winner was due to be announced. I was cheekily hoping for ‘third time’s a charm’, but I also felt like it was truly ‘my time’.
My bestie grabbed out her phone ready to film my win #sosweet and I took a deep breath as the presenter opened the envelope to announce the winner…
In a split second it was over.
I didn’t win.
And. It. Sucked.
In an instant I suddenly felt like a failure and started to second guess myself - ‘am I actually even good at this??’.
I think everyone can relate to that feeling of failure and second guessing.
Maybe you lost out on a cake order because you were “too expensive”. Maybe you received a complaint because your cake was too dry? Or maybe your fondant flowers started to sag on delivery and you didn’t have a back up plan?
Whatever the no-win scenario, it’s a sucky feeling - right? And it’s easy to get caught up in these failures, feed our fears and spiral.
We tend to feel like we’re alone in our failure, which makes us feel 100x worse. We feel stupid, embarassed and feel like we’re never going to succeed. Unfortunately, we get ‘stuck’ dwelling on these mistakes and not moving forward to our potential.
What we tend to forget is that SO. MANY. PEOPLE. experience the same failures. You wouldn’t know it - because things like social media are always showcasing the glamour - but that famous cake decorator you follow? She probably tried and failed 10 different recipes before finding the right chocolate cake. And I’m willing to bet they’ve experienced the ‘leaning tower of piza’ effect just before a cake delivery #worstfeeling.
‘Failure’ is actually a normal and natural part of life. No one likes to experience it, but we need to have a healthy approach for dealing with it and treat it as an opportunity to learn and grow #clichebuttrue.
Here’s one more important thing to remember...
Don’t let decisions or comments from other people determine your worth. And an accidental one-off mistake on your end, does not reflect your incredible talents and skills. Many successful people fail regularly.
When you experience a failure, here’s the best way to deal with it:
- Embrace your emotions
- Give yourself some self-love or call friends and family for a pep talk
- Re-frame your thoughts and develop a realistic perspective of the situation.
- Accept responsibility
- Learn from the mistake - what could be done differently next time?
- Create an action-plan for moving forward
It’s honestly the best thing you can do for your continued growth and your mental well-being.
After the winner was announced, I gave myself a few moments to wallow. It sucked. And I ended up turning to my friends and family for a pep talk and some positive support.
My mum told me that ‘award shows are full of losers’.
I was kind of taken aback at first, but quickly realised she was right!
There are only a small handful of people who take out the top prize, while the rest of us - the majority of us - are left empty handed and feeling disappointed.
Her comment really helped me to reframe the situation and see it from a different perspective. Not-winning suddenly didn’t feel like such a big deal anymore - so many talented people didn’t win - and it snapped me back into reality.
I’m allowed to be disappointed that I didn’t win an award. But I know it’s not the end of the world - I’m one talented cupcake lady and I don’t need an award to prove my own worth.
And you know what's even better? This failure has given me the motivation I needed to get stuck into new ideas and projects for the business in 2020. A massive win!
P.s On a related note, click here to read about my *almost* cake fail (it was a close one!)