Get back in the saddle again!

You can have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down, Mary Pickford once said and it’s so true. And only you can do it. If you wait for others to lift you up, not only will you be disappointed – you will stay down.

Get back in the saddle again and look at your problem in ways that will allow a solution.

Get back in the saddle again and look at your problem in ways that will allow a solution.

Now it’s time to make an effort and make sure your life and/or business benefits.

Are you brave?

Fear is hard to overcome. And so is taking huge risks. But frequently the choice is between a risky and adventurous life or a safe and boring life. Not sure about you, but I personally thrive on the former. If you would like to get out of a dull life you have to get the courage to move on. And it has to come from within you.

Opportunities disguised as problems

Being positive is crucial and to look at your problem in ways that will allow a solution. Maybe you have to look at possibilities you never considered before? But no matter what, it will be a question of persevering until you succeed, and not allow yourself to feel down. And don’t forget that we are often faced with great opportunities disguised as insoluble problems

Are you “problem friendly”?

How creative are you? Ever thought about the fact that creative people are “problem friendly”? Don’t get me wrong, nobody is delighted to deal with problems but now is the time for you to roll up your creative sleeves and find opportunities to improve your life. How? The solutions will be different for each of you. We all have problems that need to be solved every day. Even if it’s just that we got dirty and have to wash. There’s no running away from problems since everybody has them. If someone says they don’t, they are simply not telling the truth. So the important thing is to try to find solutions that will enrich your life.

Don’t discard your ideas

Don’t discard the ideas you have, value them instead and take the challenge of developing them. If you are creative you will be persistent and optimistic until you succeed. If you, or others around you, dismiss your ideas too early you will never get anywhere. Many of the ideas that I have had would in the beginning have appeared crazy to others, but nobody called them crazy after I succeeded. What would have happened if I had talked about them to early? Maybe criticism would have killed off my ideas? Be flexible as well. The fact that you are developing one idea doesn’t prevent you from working on other ones as well. In fact, I think you should work on several possibilities at the moment because so much is changing in our world. Covering your back is always a good idea. Have noticed that when I don’t, things go wrong. Still stuck in the rut? How about re-framing your situation by looking at it from different angles? It has the power to change your entire perception of the problem and finding new solutions.

And always, always remember that the only thing that’s certain in life is that everything is uncertain. That’s a fundamental fact of life and you have to get the strength from within to handle it, because whatever happens to you in life, it’s up to you how you perceive it. Positive or negative? Your choice. Or as Lincoln once put it “You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves”. Remember that failure happens on the road to success, which may be just a step away.

(Photo: Photo Xpress)

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80 Responses to “Get back in the saddle again!”

  1. David Dunworth Says:

    It is always acceptable and recommended that one "Reframe" when things don't necessarily go the way we intended them to. YOu are dead on point; it is senseless to seek blame, anger, resentment or dispair when an issue out of one's control occurs.

    Glad to see the saddle still is comfortable, as I know you are in for a long ride.

    Best regards,

    David Dunworth

  2. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad we agree. We are all in for a long ride since we will always encounter problems that have to be dealt with.

  3. Stirling Says:

    Great article Catarina- thank you! There is a great quote from Albert the butler in Batman Begins – "we fall down so we can learn to get up". If I've told that to you before – apologies! The film is rubbish but that quote is amazing.
    There is also a line from an old Stealers Wheel song – "stay young, keep your wheels in motion". I think you have to adopt that philosophy in all that you do. Stirling

  4. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good quotes Stirling!

  5. Paul Says:

    Catrina, your words remind me of my own philosophy ststement about life for those who sit comfortably in their homeostasis pod. The only constsnt in life is change and the only guarantee in life is death (change). I am therefore not intimidated by chaos, which is change that is occuring all around us at a rate beyond our comprehension – it is at those times that one need only reach out and grab whatever bull's horns are going by, saddle up and ride the beast out of the eye of the storm.

  6. catarinaalexon Says:

    Well put Paul. My late father always used to say that the only thing that's certain in life is that we are all going to die.

  7. GuyW Says:

    Every problem in life presents new opportunities. If you take a positive approach to the obstacles that arise and learn from them you'll succeed. Those that give up fail – those that pick themselves up after the proverbial fall will ultimately succeed.

  8. catarinaalexon Says:

    Guy I heard about an immigrant in Sweden who wanted to become a taxi driver. He failed the test to get his licence 15 (!) times, somehow managed to get hold of $10,000 to pay for it, refused to take other jobs and hence lost social security. But now his dream has come throught and he's a taxi driver.

  9. Karim Says:

    Hi Catarina,

    Life is full of problems and we must face them no matter what! As I am sure that you will agree, most times we seldom get what we want in life and often times get disappointed and dejected. We must not be despondent thinking that we have failed. It is not for us to decide how things will turn out but all we can do is live each day to the fullest and strive to do our best. Remember that in every crises lies an opportunity and we must seize it make the most of that opportunity. Turn the negative into a positive!

  10. catarinaalexon Says:

    Karim agree with you apart from the fact that I get what I want, it's just a question of how and how long it will take me.

  11. Luis Vidal Says:

    Thank you Catarine… it is refreshing reading about this topic.
    It remainded me of one of my favorite quotes:
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts"

  12. Heather Fonseca Says:

    As a person who's been looking for a job for a long time, and thinking about reinventing herself simultaneously, this article was really helpful. Sometimes I do get so depressed, the job market just seems impossible these days. It never occurred to me when I started looking that I would still be looking a year later, and re-writing my resume, and working on my portfolio etc etc.

  13. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good quote Luis! Glad you like my article.

  14. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad the article was helpful Heather. Don't forget that currently it's nothing to be ashamed of to be unemployed. Times have not been as bad since the great depression almost a hundred years ago.

  15. Laura Sherman Says:

    Wow, I couldn't agree more! You must out create any problem or barrier that comes up. A few years ago I hit a serious financial crisis. I was in mortgages and heavily invested in real estate. I didn't realize my error (too many eggs in one basket) until it was too late. I lost heavily.

    I had a choice. I could have given up in despair or pick myself up and create solutions, fast.

    I chose to build up two businesses. I had been doing freelance writing, but I had never really tried to turn it into a business. So I found more clients (and some found me). Today I have a thriving business.

    I also learned that one shouldn't count on one business (or area) for all your income. I started a chess instruction business as well, teaching young children how to play. I had been one of the top 50 women chess players in the US, so I figured it was time to give back and teach the next generation. Today we have about 45 students in four schools. I hope to double that soon!

    You are right that it is just a matter of attitude. If you want to succeed you must get out there and do it, take the steps necessary to make it.

  16. Sherryl Perry Says:

    Thanks for the inspirational post Catrina! It is so important to stay optimistic and persevere. If something isn’t working, it may not be the idea that needs tweaking but the execution. I can totally relate to the risk of being discouraged by people who have negative comments. Don’t they say that one of the keys to success is to surround yourself by positive thinkers and stay away from the nay-sayers?

  17. Julia M Lindsey Says:

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~Thomas Edison

    I agree that if we fall down we need to pick ourself up and try again. Most successful people have failed over and over. The only difference is that they never give up.

    Great thought provoking post.

  18. Susan Oakes Says:

    Like the post Catarina especially the reframing. Also I have found breaking down the problem into what I call tiny pieces then look at each piece, possible actions and take one step at a time.


  19. catarinaalexon Says:

    Laura you are a wonderful example of what I wrote about. Well done!

  20. catarinaalexon Says:

    Agree with you Sherryl! Avoiding them however is difficult since they are everywhere. Easier to just ignore what they say.

  21. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes Julia, look at Henry Ford for instance. He went bancrupt but kept on trying. And who doesn't know who he was?

  22. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes Susan, that's useful isn't it. Once I was up in the Himalayas talking to an old Hindu wise man. He said to me "whatever happens to you in life Catarina, it's up to you how you perceive it". So true, isn't it.

  23. Heather Fonseca Says:

    Thats what everyone tells me! Thankfully my husband is employed and makes enough money to keep us going. Work used to literally land in my lap, but not anymore. But maybe it's good? A little adversity never did anyone any harm.

  24. catarinaalexon Says:

    What can I say. These are really difficult times. Know people all over the world that are super qualified but cannot find a job. On top of it people have less money to spend so that's having a negative impact as well.

  25. Stacey N. Says:

    Great post! I think another great way of staying positive is by surrounding yourself by positive people. I know when I am around negative people, it's just such a drain of energy. I really try and surround myself with positive people that are always looking for solutions.

  26. catarinaalexon Says:

    Agree with you Stacey!

  27. pegroup Says:

    Well, I think labeling people 'negative' is sometimes just a way of not dealing with reality.
    Most (but not all) so-called 'negative' views are are nothing more than very harsh, but
    realistic views based on either a past or a present bad circumstance/situation.

    I have found that the self-anointed, self-help guru's tell their disciples to
    ignore the realists (aka- negative, energy sapping people) and the reality of
    the bad or negative news/situation. Negativity exists. Just as positivity does.

    It's like emotion, most of society encourages almost everyone to express their emotions
    EXCEPT, anger/disappointment. Society wants you to suppress that emotion.
    Which is typical progressive liberal behavior.

    What ignoring or shutting out the 'negative' person or situation teaches someone,
    is that when confronted with terrible or bad news or circumstances.
    One now may be more inclined to run away, rather than face the problem
    head on.

  28. catarinaalexon Says:

    Interesting and different points of view, "Pegroup". By the way, I really hope you don't believe I consider myself a self help guru. If you do, please read the articles on my site and you will find that I write about any subject I find interesting that could be of interest to people no matter where in the world they live.

  29. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad to hear that Geo. Presumably that's your name. Am also tired of self appointed gurus, not least their arrogance. But then again, they have to make people need them.

  30. pegroup Says:

    Yup, Geo or George. Either one.LOL! So true Catarina. If they didn't…they wouldn't make any money!Keep up the good work.

  31. catarinaalexon Says:

    Honestly don't understand why people for for them. It's so obvious what they are doing.

  32. Slim Says:

    Great piece, Catarina.

    Perhaps it is because I am jaded, but I agree with you completely.

    Witness the politicians who have reinvented themselves and resurrected their careers. Nixon comes to mind. Okay, poor example. No, wait. Excellent example. If he can do it….

    However, I've often said, "I learned more about management from novels than from text books."
    Captain Rhett Butler. Now married, with a child, can ride through Atlanta on horseback with the nice ladies beaming their approval. (Oh, fiddle-dee-dee!)

    Forget what the opposition has to say. "Never listen to the other guy's lawyer." Slim Fairview.

    Edison? Columbus? And need I point to Hollywood? (Edison invented the light bulb by candle light.)

    Thank you, Catarina.



    PS. I used to be respectable. I shall be respectable again. ;-)
    My recent post China! Economics! Diversification!

  33. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good and amusing points Slim.

  34. Mindful Drawing Says:

    To me your best line is: 'And don't forget that we are often faced with great opportunities disguised as insoluble problems'.

  35. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you Paula.

  36. Susan P Cooper Says:

    I really needed this inspirational post right now Catarina! I working hard to stay optimistic and persevere through my many challenges. I do know that these things will pass… Big sigh! For me all was working well but now it would seem everything is braking. BIGGER SIGH! I can totally relate to the risk of being discouraged by people who are negative. I am now working on extracting my self from the negative influences in my life and getting back that balance I so love. :-)
    My recent post Homemade Whole Wheat Bread For Any Cook: #Recipe

  37. Jeannette Paladino Says:

    Sometimes failure opens new doors to even greater success. We're all imperfect. We don't always get things right. The thing is to keep going and don't give up. It will get better.
    My recent post You Don’t Build an Audience With Great Content, Says Jon Morrow

  38. jacquiegum Says:

    COMPLETELY agree with you Catarina! It's all about the getting up, because sooner or late we all fail at something and we'll do it again Very inspirational quote from Lincoln…You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves”. Wish the politicians would take note of this :)
    My recent post Busy…Where’s The Justice?

  39. catarinaalexon Says:

    True, Jeannette. With enough determination and perseverance we succeed, no matter how long it takes.

  40. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad it was good timing, Susan. Be determined and persevere and you will get there. No matter how long it takes.

  41. yearwoodcom Says:

    So well said Catarina, I particularly like the point about seeing the positive in events. If there is morning traffic on the way to work, play favourite songs and see it as an opportunity to relax. Having a hard time finding a new work challenge? Take on a new personal challenge that enhances your professional capacity. Working with a difficult colleague? Take a interpersonal skills course and use that person as practice. I have done all of the above and have been so much happier as a result and I dare say, more successful.
    My recent post Running to the future

  42. TheGirl Says:

    I like this term that you created "Problem Friendly" I guess we sometimes forget that this is an important skill to have when dealing with "Life" (as well as on the job). Even today, when a friend and I were on the beach and we decided to go out and walk on these large rocks. It looked scary at first but with some breathing and we did it. We took a chance, and enjoyed a great view of the ocean. A small victory in my book of overcoming obstacles.

  43. catarinaalexon Says:

    Excellent points you make, Debra. And, chapeau! Taking an interpersonal skils course when you have a difficult colleague should be done by more people.

  44. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes, being problem friendly is important. But sometimes that's hard, to put it mildly. And the worst part is that we always manage, as your example shows.

  45. lenie5860 Says:

    Hi Catarina – terrific post and one I totally agree with. I love the last line “Remember that failure happens on the road to success, which may be just a step away.” That’s perfect.

  46. Welli Says:

    I thrive on a risk and adventurous life as well, dull and boring never works for me. Uncertainty is a certainty I have become used to in life. Fear is there to be dealt with and will always be there as a shadow of faith. Greatly inspiring.

  47. Michele LoBosco Says:

    Wonderful article, Catarina! It’s so easy to throw in the towel when things don’t go our way. So many good hints and reminders here to handle obstacles in more resourceful and positive ways…thank you for such a thoughtful article! It was a good way to start my day.

  48. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you, Michele.

  49. catarinaalexon Says:

    Welli, when you, like all other human beings, fail, do you get back in the saddle again?

  50. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you like, that line, and the whole article for that matter, Lenie.

  51. akandrewwriter Says:

    Bizarrely, Catarina, as has happened with us before, my blog today deals with failure! It's true that failures can be opportunities, and I also liked your point about not throwing out your ideas. They may be wrong for the current project , but keep them as they might lead somewhere at a different time. Good post.
    My recent post How Can you Convert Failure into a Learning Experience?

  52. catarinaalexon Says:

    How funny, AK. Wrote this article a long time ago and posted it again because I didn't have time to write a new one.

  53. Tim Says:

    That is definitely true Catarina. It’s not the fall, it;s the recovery and as you say, covering your back. So many times have I been in a situation where I left myself too exposed and got burned. Mitigating exposure is a cornerstone to risk and problem management..

  54. Sally Says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I often feel like I am surrounded by people who fear the risks I take and would prefer to live small. It often seems like such an up hill battle which is rooted in the core of who I am on outwards! It's such an encouragement to know there are others in the world who are willing to take risks, to fail and to keep trying.

  55. Laurie Hurley Says:

    If we don't ever fail, we don't ever learn. Like you, I thrive on risk and adventure and putting myself out there, even if I don't succeed. I pick myself back up and move on, thinking about the lessons I learned. I am stubborn – so giving up isn't really something I easily do. I'll find a solution before I totally write off the situation as "undoable!"
    My recent post Why You Should Nurture Virtual Relationships

  56. William Butler Says:

    Hi Catarina,
    I like how you've encouraged your readers to value their ideas and the the challenge to develop them which lead to growth. That's a very positive idea… one that would make anyone want to get back in the saddle again. Have a nice week!
    My recent post The Wisdom of Suffering…

  57. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes, Tim, covering your back is essential. Frequently when you do you don't need plan B. But when you don't things have a tendency to go wrong:-)

  58. catarinaalexon Says:

    Agree with you, Sally. Risks are an essential part of life. Unless we want to be bored of course:-)

  59. catarinaalexon Says:

    Great, Laurie!:-)

  60. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me, William.

  61. Audrey Williams Says:

    There are so many wonderful nuggets of wisdom in your post. I think that one of the biggest obstacles to success for most people is overcoming fear in the many forms that it can manifest itself. I don’t know any successful people who haven’t failed a few times on the road to success. Your beginning Mary Pickford quote is so very true. Failing at a task doesn’t make you a failure…….but not trying again after learning from your mistakes does.

  62. patweber Says:

    So appropriately motivating for me right now Catarina. You mentioned one thing that is taking me so long to develop and another that I learned many years ago, that most of the time still works for me. Still working on – flexibility: sometimes I get in my own way being so stubborn. Always works even if in a little way – reframing: this is one of the best ways of being able to continue to move forward when things go wrong.
    My recent post 5 Tips To Understand and Get Out of LinkedIn Group Posting Jail

  63. William Rusho Says:

    I like this blog; we really concentrate on our problems when they occur without seeing the opportunity that the problem may open up. This reminds me of the story of the elephant that is being tied up with a tiny rope. Once they had to use a thick chain, but once the elephant knows he cannot break free, they can use a simple rope to restrain him. The elephant never realizes he could break that simple rope and become free.

  64. JeriWB Says:

    A truly timeless topic. I have a good bit of perseverance in me, but it does tend to get a bit more difficult to adjust to change as we get older. At least it seems that way to me. All great learning opportunities stem from failure and making mistakes. We don't know what we are truly capable of until we dust ourselves off and keep at it. I spent a lot of time feeling like a failure for making the conscious choice to leave the classroom. Funny how we can be so hard on ourselves when it's not warranted.
    My recent post #AmReading: What are your guilty pleasure books?

  65. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you have a bit of perseverance, Jeri. What human being isn't sometimes hard on him/herself? Not productive, but human:-)

  66. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad my article was timely, Pat.

  67. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes, we have to keep on failing an learning for as long as we live, Audrey. Fear is a natural part of life that we cannot avoid. The trick is to accept that and instead challenge ourselves.

  68. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good points, William. Concentrating on our problems without seeing the opportunity that the problem may open up is spot on!

  69. Leora Says:

    I do like the encouragement and the tone of this post, Catarina. If I eat for lunch, will I really ingest it? I was kind of having a bummer of a day. I will blame part of it on the humid heat, which I hate.

  70. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thanks, Leora. Also hate humid heat. We all have days when everything seems to go wrong. But we know that's part of life so, next day it's back in the saddle again, isn't it?:-)

  71. ilariagagliardoni Says:

    It's a matter of courage, and it's up to us to choose how to live our life, to find our path to happiness, satisfaction and success. Very inspiring post Catarina, it's really coming in the right moment for me. "If you wait for others to lift you up, you will stay down." So true.
    Some people wait for the others to do something to make them happy, but there's nothing more wrong in my opinion.
    My recent post A dream called Santorini #preview

  72. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me, Ilaria. If you wait for someone to make you happy you will always be unhappy:-)

  73. Pat Amsden Says:

    It's an intersting way of looking at problems and I think you're right.It takes creativity to solve problems and it does make life more intersting.
    My recent post TEN BRIDES FOR TEN HEROES, An anthology

  74. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you agree with me, Pat.

  75. cheryltherrien Says:

    Very appropriate post for me right now. Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes it is a matter of perspective. You are so right.

  76. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad my article was timely for you, Cheryl.

  77. Arleen Says:

    Catarina this is great post and I do agree with you. The only person that can make things happen is yourself. I have learned over the years I am responsible for my mistakes and work on fixing my problems as I own them, and no one else does. A good way to stay away from negative people because they are toxic, no need to compound your problems
    My recent post Connecting with a Global Audience: Best FIFA World Cup Commercials

  78. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad, but not surprised, you agree with me Arleen.

  79. Sue Hines Says:

    I love the “don’t discard your ideas” part. Rinse, re-purpose, and re-use!

  80. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you, Sue. Re-framing ideas are important.

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