You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

7 Mindsets for Overcoming Business Heartbreak Even the most severe disappointment is just a passage that you can navigate to reach your goals.

By Sherrie Campbell

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Heartbreak is woven in and out of every crevice of life and business. How you transcend failure and heartbreak is largely determined by how you think and what you force yourself to do, be and have while in the throes of it. If used correctly, heartbreak and failure become the springboards to a better life with increased success. Heartbreak has the power to make you stronger, more powerful and more resilient. It essentially raises your basic level of training. Heartbreak feels debilitating, and for a time it often is, but it is not the end of you. You are not finished yet. Heartbreak is temporary. It is a temporary passage through time which serves to deepen your capacity to count on yourself and to learn to think on your feet and thrive.

1. Make peace with hardship.

Hardship, failure, and rejection; the pitfalls along any road to success. When you resist the trauma occurring in your life or career you work against accepting the lessons being offered within the heartbreak. It hurts when you fail, it hurts to be rejected and it hurts to face daunting obstacles. However, the more you work against something the longer you perpetuate it. Remain open to learn.

You will never be more fully introduced to yourself and the places within you which are in need of attention, reinvention and repair then when you are in the eye of the storm. It is normal to feel a temporary, but deep loss of your sense-of-Self in reaction to failure. Hold the mindset that you are designed to be resilient. It is when you are in your deepest suffering that you develop the capacity to hold onto yourself through challenge without acting out in negative, impulsive or destructive ways.

Related: 7 Challenges Successful People Overcome

2. Let go of self-recrimination.

Whenever you fail it is normal to turn against yourself and fall into the trap of self-abuse, which ends up being more painful and enduring than the failure, rejection or hardship itself. The inner dialogue you have with yourself will either lead you into a place of healing or destruction. Beating yourself up serves only to extend your time in heartbreak. Hold the mindset of acceptance. Open up to accepting your situation for the reality that it brings.

In truth, when you reflect back on failure you will see the aspects of yourself which contributed to the problem, and you will also see there were elements which had nothing to do with you or your flaws. When you stop self-abusing you become more able to differentiate between what was you, and what elements of your situation you had no control over. When you see the elements you had no control over your feelings of heartbreak will decrease, allowing you to move forward.

3. Take charge of your life.

You are the only person responsible for yourself, therefore, hold the mindset that you are the one person who can get you back on your feet after failure. When you're hurting make decisions which serve to get you through the hurt. You cannot remain stagnant and grow. Take time to process and digest, write your feelings out, talk it out with friends, colleagues, coaches or therapists. Examine how you got to where you are, so you can avoid getting there again. Failure is a time to dig in and find that inner grit which guarantees you will continue moving forward. If you don't take charge and make decisions in benefit of your growth you will remain stuck in a state of failure and unhappiness. Do not let this be you. There is no lazy or easy way out of failure. Do the work to fail forward.

Related: 50 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate You

4. Focus solely on you.

An unfortunate but natural thing most of you do in any type of failure or heartbreak is compare yourself and your situation to that of others. This only serves to keep you in a negative mindset. When you compare, you either judge yourself to be not as good or as capable as others, or you erroneously view others as luckier. This type of mindset is defeatist.

The failure and heartbreak you are experiencing is yours alone. Adjust your mindset to focus on you, what your path has been, what you can do now, and forecast what you want your future success to look like. Silence all mental chatter based in comparison. Trust that when you focus on yourself you will find the power and resources necessary to fundamentally change your vibe, your trajectory and your overall state of mind. In your failure you learn exactly what you need to do. You discover who and how you need to be to proactively move forward.

5. Time heals.

Whenever you are in heartbreak give yourself space and time. Time is the element of healing we dislike the most because we want heartbreak to move quicker than it does and want it to hurt less than it does. Heartbreak is what it is. Hold the mindset that with time you will heal and thrive. Sit in this painful pocket of slowed time with a sense of patience. Accept your situation as fully as you can. By opening your heart to it, the heartbreak will pass more quickly. This does not mean sit, wait and hurt. It means feel, be and do. Heartbreak is a full time job. While you are in this pocket of delayed time work to move into yourself, into processing your situation, and work to focus your mindset on solutions not problems.

Related: How Successful People Stay Productive and In Control

6. Avoid over analyzing.

The natural thing to do after loss, failure or rejection is to obsess over how, what, when, where and why the hardship happened. Going over it and over it will not change reality. It's important to know the facts, but at some point it is more important to focus on what you can do, be or become in order to move from this failure into your next success. If you over analyze your situation it creates deeper feelings of loss which doesn't allow you to move beyond the pain. Hold the mindset that every heartbreak is a new beginning. Work to let go of recycling the old story or the triggering event. Get to the facts of the failure and use these facts for your benefit. Allow the facts to reset your trajectory.

7. Be flexible.

The lesson in any failure is to let go and remain flexible to the ever changing flow of life. The bigger your ego, the more of a desire you have for control, the more painful and enduring your heartbreak will be. To thrive through hardship choose to adopt a growth mindset. Believe this failure is only one moment in the grand scope of your life; it is not your life's defining moment unless you allow it to be. You have much to gain from heartbreak. Hardship catapults you into the next place in your career where things can only be good or better than before. Heartbreak brings information and knowledge that you never could have received in any other way, leading you more directly towards your vision of success.

Heartbreak, in essence, is the backdoor to success. Every elite successful person will tell you they have failed far more than they have ever succeeded, but that it was their failures which made them who they are today. Heartbreak molds and defines your character. Embrace heartbreak. Open your mind and heart to its teachings. The positive thing about challenging times is that as you stretch in your capacity to feel bad and fail, you also grow in your capacity to feel good and succeed.

Sherrie Campbell

Psychologist, Author, Speaker

Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. Her new book, Success Equations: A Path to an Emotionally Wealthy Life, is available for pre-order.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


Get Your Business a One-Year Sam's Club Membership for Just $14

Shop for office essentials, lunch for the team, appliances, electronics, and more.

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Microsoft's New AI Can Make Photographs Sing and Talk — and It Already Has the Mona Lisa Lip-Syncing

The VASA-1 AI model was not trained on the Mona Lisa but could animate it anyway.

Business News

Some Costco Stores Are Now Selling a Frozen Item That Looks Just Like a Trader Joe's Fan Favorite

The Frozen Kimbap is a Trader Joe's cult favorite, and now a version can be found at Costco, too.