28 Jan 2019
Learning to cope with failure is no easy task. Despite knowing that it is a reality of life, feeling defeated by our mistakes or setbacks is not a rarity – even though most of us are well aware of failure’s potential to help us grow.
The fear of failing should never dictate our future, as it could very well lead us to avoid opportunities worth enjoying. Here are some tips to help one deal with failure – particularly in our studies and workplace:
- Face your emotions
Feelings of shame, sadness or frustration are all justified when you have made a mistake or two. Be mindful of this – your emotions are normal, and nothing to shy away from. Avoid hiding away or making use of unhealthy ‘problem solvers’. Accepting your frustration and forgiving yourself for feeling this way is the first step to dealing with failure.
- Do not confuse the mistake with your identity
A failed attempt at something does not mean that you are a failure. One mistake – or a hundred – is often just that, a mistake. There certainly will always be room for improvement, but no single situation should cause you to think that you are the problem at hand, or that there will be no further chances.
People make mistakes, and many of those who are most successful have endured a series of negative happenings – namely their own past mistakes. Take Abraham Lincoln, for one. As Forbes writes; After failing business-wise at age 21, he was defeated in a legislative race at age 22, failed again in business at 24, dealt with several of his personal tragedies in the following years, lost a congressional race at 34, lost a senatorial race at age 45, failed to become Vice President at age 47, lost a senatorial rage at 49, and was elected as the President of the United States. Without perseverance, the outcome would have been completely different.
- Do not rely on the approval of others
Fear of failure often stems from a place of insecurity and the worry of being judged. Remember that you are living your life, and not that of others. Another’s opinion of you is not necessarily true, so one of the major points to work at is ceasing to worry about what other people think. It is worth noting that most people, if not all, have experienced failure several times – you just do not know about theirs. Do not let this blind you; nobody is perfect!
- Think positively
From now onwards, you should apply a different mindset to your problems. Stop victimising yourself and finding ways to put yourself down when things go wrong – instead, acknowledge your failures and use them as a stepping stone for greater things to come. It is true, after all – one more failure is an additional step closer to success!