Nobody likes to fail but failure is a natural part of life. As we live day by day, we experience difficulties in all aspects of our lives and not just in our career. We achieve successes and we also experience disappointment. Perhaps, life balances itself out this way. As science would teach us, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Based on this principle, if there is success, there should also be failure.
Why Do People Fail?
There are various reasons as to why we fail. Too often, we cause our own failures. There are moments when we get careless so we end up getting ourselves in trouble. We also tend to take on tasks that require more than what we can handle. It depends from situation to situation. However, there are also some instances where we try to do our best, yet we end up failing. It can be devastating because we feel that we did not deserve it.
How Do People Handle Failure?
We have two choices in handling failure. We can choose to handle failure positively or negatively. Unfortunately, many take the negative approach. They engage in self-destructive behavior to mask their disappointment. They feel temporary relief but facing failure negatively will only add more damage to injury. The best way to handle failure is to face it positively. It will be difficult at first but it is the most effective way. Here are a few ways to face failure the healthy way:
- Accept your mistakes
People make mistakes. Sure, there might be some people whom we consider as perfect because they don’t seem to make any, but the truth is they became that way because they also experienced a series of failures. The first and most important step in overcoming failure is self-awareness. You must be able to identify what you did wrong and accept your mistake. Do not get into the habit of not coming clean and blaming what went wrong on other people. Take accountability. This will allow you to single out what aspect of your life you need to work on. Once you are able to determine your weakness, work on ways to improve. When you accept your mistakes, it shows that you are responsible. Having a sense of responsibility allows you to manage your life effectively.
- Do not let failure damage your self-esteem.
When you experience failure, it is normal to question yourself. Actually, it is healthy to evaluate yourself first before you start to blame others for what went wrong. However, it is detrimental to let failure damage your self-esteem. When something goes wrong, we think we are inadequate and we think lowly of ourselves. “I am not smart enough.” “I am not good enough.” We even start comparing ourselves with others who we think are better than us. “I’m not talented enough like _____.” We should not allow ourselves to think in such a way. We may not know it all and there will always be people who are ahead of us in terms of skills but that does not mean that they are better than us. With determination, practice and the right attitude, we can achieve anything and be successful. It is just a matter of hard work.
- Control yourself. Keep calm.
Negative and unnecessary thoughts instantly flood our minds when we face failure. This causes us to panic and feel scattered. We lose control of ourselves as our minds constantly run off. When we are mindless, we are prone to lashing out at others. We get angry, scream or hurt the first person who gets into our nerves even if they do not mean to offend us. Taking it out on someone else will not solve our problems. Even if we hurt somebody, a failure is still a failure. What’s more, we may end up losing a friend or someone who is important to us. That will be the same as stacking another failure on top of what we are already facing.
- Laugh it off.
Laughter is the soul’s medicine. No matter how tragic a failure is, if you can laugh it off, you will instantly feel better. It will be hard to laugh at first, especially if your burdens are too heavy to carry, but we must try. Surround yourself with friends. Watch a funny television show or film. Force yourself to laugh at a joke. You will throw in many fake laughs at first but you have to fake it until you make it. Meaning, you have to keep faking until your fake laughter becomes real. Do not be conscious of what others may think. Some will pity you thinking that you are pushing yourself too hard to recover. Some may even think that you are already having a nervous breakdown. Do not mind what’s going on in their heads. Concentrate only on yourself and developing a positive attitude towards failure.
- Find the lesson in your failure.
To turn a failure into a success, you have to find a lesson in it. It will be hard to realize what the lesson is at first but review what happened carefully. As you evaluate the various events that led to your failure, make sure that your emotions are not clouding your judgment. Approach it with a calm mind and a positive attitude. Consider failure not as a hindrance but as a stepping block to success. Think of it as a learning phase for you to do better the next time around. “What if there is no next time?” You are overthinking. Focus on what is at hand and what you can do at the moment. For now, we can only work on improving ourselves and that is what we are going to do. Opportunities will come when we are already prepared.
Failures are the best teachers in the classroom of life. If faced the right way, a failure can bring out the best in us. We might even end up surprising ourselves of what we are capable of. It teaches us determination, hard work, responsibility and other values that are necessary to be successful. When faced with failure, do not be discouraged. Take it without fear and learn from it.
Visual courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kiwiwings/esteem, Laughter