Failure – that one word that makes us feel not good enough. Not trying something in our heads is better than failure. But what we eventually realize is failure at something is inventible. If we want to achieve our dreams instead of avoiding failure we have to learn how to deal with it.
So let’s learn how to deal with failure so when we do fail we get up and stand up again instead of thinking it is the end of the world. If you are a grade-A student and then get into a good college and then a good job you haven’t had a chance to fail. So, if for example you lose your job and take that as failure it will be something you haven’t dealt with. At that moment to learn how to deal with failure can seem impossible.
That is why it is better to learn to deal with failure as soon as possible.
How to deal with failure
Learning from failure
The one thing failure teaches you is what doesn’t work. From what doesn’t work you can try to figure out what does work. If you fail a test you can ask for feedback on how you can improve. From that feedback, you can change what you were doing and become better
Accepting failure is something inevitable
You are bound to fail at something. We as people are so ashamed of failure. As if we are the only ones who have ever failed. We hide our flaws and failure and other people do the same. So, it seems as if no one is failing but in reality, everyone is failing at something. I failed my first-year Psychology Course. At that moment it seemed as if I just couldn’t do it. It was a compulsory course to get a Psychology degree. My brain was completely blocked. When I failed the mid-term it demotivated me and I studied less for the exam. I thought I couldn’t do it. It seemed like at the end of the world at that time. Things to ask yourself when getting stressed with failure.
- If you die tomorrow will the failure be something that will impact your life?
- If someone else told you they failed at the thing what advice would you give?
- 5 years later will that failure make a negative difference to your life?
- Is there anything you can learn from the failure?
We are too harsh on ourselves. Instead of looking at how far I had come all I could see was what I couldn’t achieve. I was at one of the best universities. I had moved across oceans and living a completely new environment. So look at how far you have come.
When the next term came I had to give the same course. I tried a new strategy. I practiced more and spent more time on the subject. I didn’t come out with an A but I did get a B that was sufficient. I was proud I had passed.
Think back at something you had failed at. What did you think in that moment? Now when you look back was it as big a deal. Remember this example when you fail again. It is evidence that can overcome failure.
Did you learn anything from your past failure?
Practice and effort
We aren’t born with skills we practice and put effort to achieve them. We see the end result of everyone and think oh they have it too easy. I used to look at kids who I considered smart at school and think oh they were born smart. I never bothered seeing how many hours they put into studying. If you want to achieve something put in practice and effort. Try new strategies and keep at it. You will get there. It takes everyone a different amount of time.
If you start believing practice and effort can make you learn a new skill it will become easier for you to deal with failure. Because failure won’t be the end it will be the start. You can try again practice more, put in more effort, and try new methods. Eventually, you will manage it as it is learnable.
Like the idea of applying practice and effort? Have you heard about growth mindset?
Acknowledge your feelings
If you are feeling sad about the failure and want to cry take it out. Acknowledge the feelings you don’t need to suppress them. If you let your body deal with the emotion eventually you won’t feel it anymore. If you try to suppress it you will keep ruminating about those feelings.
I failed at something today and I cried and I cried. When I feel powerless that is the one emotion that comes out of me. It was okay for me to cry. I knew it wasn’t a big deal I had failed and I could try again but that was the emotion I was feeling and I let myself feel it. Give yourself the time to feel.
Talk about the failure
If you are having financial troubles, lost a job, or feeling like a failure talk to someone. Share it! You are not alone. Talk to someone who won’t give you advice but just listen. You can even tell your friends that I don’t want advice I just want someone to listen to me so I can vent. Sharing your problems
Sometimes for me when I fail it’s not that I think it is such a big deal but having someone else find out I feel ashamed about that. As if I will become lower in their eyes. Is there evidence for that happening? There probably isn’t. Your loved ones will love you despite any sort of failure. Are you feeling ashamed of yourself? Look back and see what you have learned from your previous failure.
It is not the end
Failure seems like a dead end but it not the end it is the beginning. You can rise from the ashes and be a phoenix, a better version of yourself. So have the talk with yourself that this is not the end. Change your self talk! You are not a failure, you just failed at something and that is okay.
Wake up in the morning and tell yourself this is a fresh start and it is going to be a great day!
Step outside your comfort zone
Practice something new. This will allow you to practice failing as well. Sounds funny to want to practice failing doesn’t it? But that is how we improve. It might still be hard to deal with failure but we can practice how to become better at dealing with it.
Have you been avoiding something because you were scared of failing at it?