“Failure is part of life, embrace your mistakes and move on.” – I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times. Everyone seems to know it and say it, but in reality, moving on from mistakes is one of the hardest things to do especially because failure has a way of making you feel REALLY bad about yourself.
I used to get so disappointed in myself whenever I failed at something, I would cry about it, over analyze the situation and then cry some more. Thankfully, things are not the same anymore and a lot of it has to do with personal/spiritual growth and also experience. These days, I hold on to the belief that eventually everything will come together and as long as I’m alive, I have an opportunity to try again.
Life will come at you with all kinds of challenges and disappointments – from failed relationships or businesses to wasted investments and opportunities; through it all, it is important to remember that failure is only normal and so you’re not alone.
I’m at a stage in my life where I see every day as an adventure. Failure no longer scares me – if anything, it motivates me to put in my best. When I put in my best, failure becomes easier to take because it’ll be obvious that either my perspective was wrong or the opportunity just wasn’t for me.
I’ve learned a few lessons on how to deal with failure in the past year and I hope that these lessons encourage someone to overcome their fear of failure.
1. Repeat this: I am not a failure – The fact that you failed at something doesn’t make you a failure. I really need you to believe this! Some of the world’s greatest innovators and leaders have all failed in ways that you can never imagine. If you don’t believe this, think of anyone really successful and check out their story. Failure can make you more resilient, curious and hungry for knowledge. It can also make you extremely depressed. It all depends on how you handle it. Affirming that you’re not a failure will help you bounce back faster. Remember this: failure is never personal. Everyone fails! What matters is your attitude towards failure.
2. Don’t dwell on it, learn from it – Talk about it, write about it, or cry about it if you have to, and then let it go. We fail to win – without failure we wouldn’t know what to improve on or where to focus our energy. Every experience is a learning experience. Failing puts you in a position of strength and makes you far more experienced than those who weren’t brave enough to try.
3. Forget what others think – There will be people who will attempt to rub failure in your face, don’t pay attention to them. Your journey is your own – you should never be embarrassed by it. Also, don’t waste your time looking for anyone’s sympathy instead focus on rebuilding or trying again.
4. Try something new – Sometimes, repeated failure occurs when you keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. What have you learned from your mistakes? How can you do better? What haven’t you tried? Go in a different direction to find a solution. If your job applications keep getting turned down for instance, find out if the problem is from your resume; if you suspect that could be the problem, try re-structuring it. It could also be that you’re looking in all the wrong places. Stop beating yourself up and start focusing on your strengths, passion, or life purpose.
5. Stay Grateful – I know it sounds crazy, but being grateful even in the midst of failure is a true test of faith and character. Just because you haven’t seen things changing doesn’t mean it won’t happen for you. Stay joyful and thankful to God despite what you’re going through and your grateful heart or optimism will definitely attract amazing people and new opportunities.