None of us wants to fail, but sometimes we can’t avoid it. Failure is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it is often the very catalyst that can lead to turning failure into success.
Knowing how to cope with failure is the first step. If you understand how to deal with it, you can remove some of the fear of failing. Here are some suggestions to help you cope with it.
1) Failure is always accompanied by a variety of emotions.
These can include embarrassment, anxiety, anger, sadness, shame, and others. Don’t try to shut off these feelings. Instead, think about your emotions rather than the failure itself. This activity can be most helpful.
Go ahead — allow yourself to feel bad. Sometimes such a feeling can be motivating. You may work harder to find a solution, so this failure won’t happen again.
Therefore, acknowledge your feelings. Label these emotions and allow yourself to experience them. Be curious about the emotions. Think about the experience, and ask yourself what you have learned from the failure.
Give yourself permission to feel the pain related to failure. If you cover it over immediately, healing may not occur. Learn to be present with the pain, as this is critical to healing and is not a sign of weakness.
2) Use failure as a signal that you need to assess your direction.
In such circumstances, it is not always possible to feel positive. It’s okay to get upset about feelings, as long as you remember that the failure is a signpost that may tell you that you need to change your direction in order to succeed.
3) Be willing to learn the lessons you need to get past the obstacles.
Learn a new way to see your situation, as you may find the key to your success in these lessons.
When you learn, you become aware of what you did not know. Seeing these lacks in your knowledge can bring you the opportunity to grow and change.
Don’t prejudge the teacher. You may find you learn from unexpected sources. Don’t discount their teaching.
4) Now you must be willing to change.
Change will bring growth, at times at all levels. In order to embrace such positive growth, you must first change yourself.
Think about what mistake or mistakes you made. Such rumination can provide you with a life lesson that helps you learn something.
5) Develop realistic thoughts about your failure.
Don’t sabotage yourself by thinking a mistake or two means you are a complete failure. Instead, re frame your thoughts to be more realistic about your situation.
Here are some affirmations to use when you are reminding yourself to look at your situation clearly:
a) I can handle failure
b) I can learn from my failure
c) Failure is a sign that I am challenging myself with a difficult task
Accept an accurate level of responsibility for your faults. Don’t take on more responsibility than you should because then you will blame yourself unnecessarily.
However, don’t blame other people or circumstances about your failure, because then you won’t learn from it. Look for explanations, not excuses.
6) Create a new plan.
Think about what you will do differently next time. Repeating the saga of the failure in your mind over and over won’t help you. Instead, make your plan for moving on.
7) You can’t erase mistakes.
However, you can change the future. Constantly dwelling on past mistakes won’t help you move forward into the future. Don’t live in the past.
Do not take failure personally. We all deal with some kind of failure in our lives, now and then. Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula said, “Give yourself at most 24 hours to celebrate or brood…then put your focus on preparing for the next game.”
8) Use a sense of humor to cope.
Often humor can heal wounds by combating fear. Humor will make you feel more relaxed. It will reduce stress and spread happiness.
9) Reach out to your support system.
Here at Wealthy Affiliates we are very fortunate, because we have a magnificent support team of other members who can give us advice, inspiration, or a push that’s needed to get over this hurdle.
Do make sure your support system will build you up, not tear you down. Sometimes close family or friends can be your worst critics. If that is the case, do not go to them for help.
10) Move on to your next project..
Hard work will keep your mind so occupied that you can’t dwell on the past. Learn from your failures to make your next attempt stronger. You might find you’ve acquired a better path than the first one you chose.
Don’t get stuck in the irrational belief that, just because of your failure, you will never succeed. Such thoughts can prevent you from doing the things needed to move you forward.
Instead, focus on what you can learn from your mistake. Let your failure be a life lesson that helps you learn what to do differently next time.
11) Face your fear of failure.
If you have worked to avoid failure in your life, you may find your mistakes can make you totally uncomfortable.
However, facing your fears is the key to reducing discomfort. Make it a point to step out of your comfort zone. Do something that might bring you rejection, or try something new where you might fail.
My challenge involved learning to do videos. I avoided them for a long time because of fear. Finally, I gave it a try, and discovered a whole new delightful way of putting my ideas forward.
Once you step outside your box, try a new thing, and discover it works and was not that bad, you will learn that failure just taught you a new lesson — that you don’t need to fear it.
Here is a list of the references I used for this article: