How To Deal With Failure

How To Deal With Failure – 16 Effective Ways We often set goals for ourselves, however, it’s not always possible to meet the desired outcome. When this happens, it’s referred to as failure. We may not like it, but it happens to all of us. Each time we attempt something we have never done before, we expose ourselves to the possibility of failure.

While failing can lead to painful emotions that most people would rather avoid, knowing how to cope with failure in a healthy way not only takes some of the fear out of failing,but also allows you to spring back much faster. Here are 16 effective ways to handle failure.

1. Accept What Happened
Acceptance is the first step to handling failure. Don’t try to ignore it or hide it. Instead of languishing in self-pity, regrets, and hopelessness, accept the situation. Come to terms with the failure. The faster you accept it, the quicker you’ll get over it. That’s the only way you’ll be able to move on and do something about it.

2. Embrace Your Emotions
Failing comes with a flurry of negative emotions - feelings of defeat blended with anger, frustration,shame and anxiety. It’s easy to fall into the valley of depression under the slippery influence of these kind of emotions; and most people would do anything to escape their feelings of discomfort. But you shouldn’t try to shake off feeling bad after a failure.

Studies have shown that it is more beneficial to think about your feelings than to stayworried about the failure. Letting yourself feel the pain can be a source of positive stimulus. It can push you to work more fiercely to avoid such failures in the future. So appreciate the feelings you have; recognize the bad emotions you experience. But know where to draw the line and do not remain in that state for too long. Simply label your emotions and allow yourself to experience them.

How To Deal With Failure

3. Recognize Unhealthy Attempts To Reduce Pain
While you may be tempted to distract yourself with alcohol, junk food or other unhealthy coping mechanisms - these things will only provide temporary relief. Minimizing your pain won’t make it go away. In fact, trying to diminish pain with the wrong approach only worsens the situation. So recognize these unhealthy approaches and do your best to stay away from them.

4. Practice Healthy Coping Skills
It’s important that you adopt healthy coping skills, like practicing deep breathing, listening to music, taking a bubble bath, or going for a nice walk. Figure out what works best for you. If you find it hard to resist the urge of turning to unhealthy lifestyle practices when failure hits, then write out a list of healthy coping skills and put it somewhere where youcan see it.

It could be an ordinary sticky note on the fridge, or the wallpaper on your monitor. Use this list to remind you of healthier strategies when you’re facing adversity.

5. Surround Yourself With Support
Success in life is rarely achieved alone; you need some help at some point. The same happens with managing failure. It’s good to have someone to lean on. Be it friends, relatives, or a trusted workmate - talk to people who are there for you. Their support may help you get back on your feet faster than you could on your own.

6. Acknowledge Irrational Beliefs About Failure
Most people develop some irrational beliefs about failure. You may think that once you fail, you will never be able to succeed; or you may feel that you would be stigmatized for failing. Whatever it is, acknowledge any irrational beliefs you may have about failure. Know that these ideologies are totally unfounded and not true; and they will only prevent you from doing things.

7. Develop Realistic Thoughts About Failure
When people are convinced that they are a total failure because of a mistake they made, they are more likely to sabotage themselves. Let’s say you’re dieting, and you go out with your friends and end up having pizza with them. After your third slice you feel like you’ve completely blown your diet, and you think to yourself  “I’ve failed anyway, might as well have that ice cream too”.

If you believe that your mistakes are beyond repair, you need to reframe your thoughts. Remind yourself that failure only signals that you are challenging yourself to do something difficult. Craft a phrase or affirmation to tell yourself - to motivate you. That way you stay above your failures and remain focused on success.

8. Accept Responsibility
Take some responsibility when you fail. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should blame and condemn yourself. At the same time, refrain from blaming others for your misfortune - as this will only prevent you from realizing where you need to improve. Try to draw up the logic behind your failures - and look for explanations, not excuses.

9. Analyze What Happened
You cannot go back in time and undo what’s happened, but you can prevent it from happening again. The way to do this is by analyzing the sequence of events that led up to the failure. By doing this, you gain more insight into what went wrong. This will also help you from making the same error twice in the future. By analyzing what happened, you can revise your strategy, work on your weak points and improve your performance. Understanding failure gives you sufficient confidence in yourself to rise up and keep going.

10. Find Reasons To Keep Going
If not managed well, failure can put a real damper on motivation; it can crush hope and enthusiasm. Success often requires a lot of work, time and effort. Having it all suddenly just crash to the ground seems unfair. The harsh truth is, life doesn’t always reward you for your efforts. However, failing at something doesn’t mean all is lost. You just need to find reasons to keep going. After all, success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

11. Develop Mental Toughness
Failure can be disheartening, but you shouldn’t let it crush your confidence. Train yourself to take bad hits that come your way. In chaos lies opportunity, and in failure lies the chance to be strong and to grow. Retain this positive outlook toward everything. This way, you develop a mental toughness that is immune to the whims of failure.

12. Focus On Bettering Yourself
All of us face failure at varies points in our lives, but the difference lies in the way we respond. For some, failure leaves them stronger, for others, it leaves them devastated. There are a lot of things that can lead to failure - from lack of planning to unfortunate circumstances. But most situations can be mended. So diligently note down all the factors that you think contributed to your failure, and gradually start working toward improving them.

13. Research Famous Failures
Success is often linked with failure; it’s hardly a smooth sail. Actors get rejected for roles all the time, athletes get cut from the team, and there are certainly no shortage of business owners who regularly get turned down from deals. Many big names have some story of failure in their history; from Thomas Edison to Walt Disney, Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs, just to name a few. Spend some time researching some famous people who’ve failed, and study what they did to overcome failure. By reading about their stories, you may learn skills that can help you overcome failures in your own life.

14. Develop A Sense Of Humor
Try to have a sense of humor about the situation. I know, it’s not always easy, but it can be tremendously helpful. Just have a look at James Dyson’s story…He created 5,126 prototypes of his vacuum cleaner before he created the one that would ultimately become a phenomenal success. Now, that must have really “sucked”! If he can create that many prototypes and go on to become one of the richest men in the world from his vacuum cleaner business, you can keep going too!

15. Create a Plan for Moving Forward
Failure is “a temporary detour, not a dead-end. ”It only lasts until you succeed again. Instead of dwelling on your problems and mistakes, think about what you will do differently moving forward. Create a plan and start fresh. Put the information you gained from failing into practice. Envision the possibilities you have, and do not deny yourself the chance to make your dreams a reality.

16. Face Your Fear Of Failure
Harboring a fear of failure could mean disaster when it actually strikes. However, facing your fear of failure can greatly reduce the discomfort. Make it a point to regularly do things that scare you, things that can lead to rejection or failure. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. With time, you will become more comfortable with the possibility of failing, and you’ll learn that failure isn’t all that bad.

Perspective is key to managing failure; for some it’s a source of emotional and mental paralysis; for others it’s motivation and strength. Don’t view failure as the end of the road, because it’s not. See failure as a possible source of motivation for you, and inspiration for those that would hear or read your story. Let failure make you tougher and more resilient, not only just to survive it, but to bounce back stronger than ever before! What do you think? What lessons has failure taught you? And how did you bounce back? Share your experiences below.
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