We’ve all probably heard the saying that failure is a part of life, and while this is true, we all know that it doesn’t make failing any less disappointing. Whether you get passed over for a promotion or come last in a competition, failure can be quite intense and painful. If you keep the adverse event on replay in your mind, it can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. That’s why it’s essential to find healthy ways of coping with failure. Of course, this is easier said than done, but not impossible.
Here are five proven ways of bouncing back from defeat.
Don’t take failure personally
The worst thing you could ever do is allow failure to define you. Yet, when we fail, especially several times, it’s easy to start feeling like a failure. Our self-esteem plummets, and self-worth plunges. However, just because you don’t achieve success doesn’t mean you are a failure. You will see many success stories in every direction you look, but what you don’t see is the number of times that person failed. The most successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Ariana Huffington, and Steve Jobs failed at least once. What this should tell you is that failure is a part of success. These people refused to let their failures define them and fought against all odds to reach their goals. Ultimately, it paid off for them, and the same perseverance can pay off for you too.
Embrace the pain
Failing comes with challenging emotions like sadness, anxiety, depression, shame, embarrassment, and more. These are not emotions any of us enjoy, and most time, we will do everything we can to avoid them. Some people will even opt for unhealthy coping methods, like indulging in alcohol or drugs to numb the pain. However, this only delays the inevitable, which is facing failure. I invite you to stretch yourself and make space to feel your emotions, as this will help you find healthier alternatives to manage your low mood.
Find the lessons.
Yes, you failed, you can’t change the past, but you can do something about the future. When you experience failure, see it as an opportunity to do it again differently. Sit down and reflect on what happened. Note it all down. Structure your thoughts positively. Recall each step you took and analyze it. Try and figure out where you went wrong. It may require you to dig deep, so give it time and don’t rush the process. Go back to the drawing board and set new goals and incorporate all the lessons you learned.
We all know or have probably met someone who never seems to take responsibility for anything. Whenever something goes wrong, the first instinct is usually to throw the blame at someone else. If this is something you tend to do, then can I suggest that you self-reflect instead. By taking responsibility, you acknowledge that you may have made some wrong moves, setting you up to make better decisions in the future.
Let go of the need for approval
One of the reasons many people fear failing is because they worry about being negatively judged. Nobody likes looking “dumb” in the eyes of others, but the constant worry of what others think can be paralyzing. Remember that it’s your life, so don’t let what other people think or the thought of what they will say hinder you from getting up, dusting yourself off, and moving past your failures to achieve success.
Remember, you are stronger than you think, and your failure should never define your self-worth. So whenever you find yourself obsessing over whether you are good enough, keep reminding yourself that you are.