If there’s anything that each and every human being on this planet can relate to, it’s that we have all experienced failure at least once in our lives. Each person experiences failure differently. Some of us get mad, others get salty and most of us look up some crisp and fresh memes to laugh it away which is my preferred way of handling most things.
However you might experience it, there’s bound to be a time when life deals you a series of bad hands and things just aren’t going right. Now this ain’t exactly shocking and I’ve talked about this before. What is important is that many people let a series of failures start to define them. It’s a slippery slope that can be hard to crawl out of, that’s when they start thinking “If everything around me fails, that must mean I’m a failure, right?”
No. Just because you have failed does not mean you are a failure. I know I’ve felt like that a few times in my life, and I’m relatively sure you have as well. If you haven’t then write a book, I’d love to have that godly level of confidence.
Now this isn’t just going to be a post about me rambling about failure, instead I’m going to share a few tricks and tips that I’ve learned and picked up over the years to just bring things into perspective a little bit and keep the doom and gloom just out of reach.
- Failure is natural:
The most obvious and fundamental law in reality is that nothing will always go 100% your way all the time. Think of it as roller coaster ride, just as there are ups there are bound to be downs. It’s not a weakness, it’s just a part life that even though you don’t have to enjoy, it’s one you need to learn to accept.
- Learn a lesson:
It only feels like you failed if you walk away with nothing, even though there might be a way to get something out of it. Spend time analyzing it. Try and identify the key reasons things didn’t work. Were you properly prepared? Did you overlook something? What was missing? Ask questions, learn from it and take away something that will help you the next time.
- Take responsibility:
Learn to give and take responsibility for what happened. This isn’t to be confused with assigning blame. Assign responsibility on to yourself if it’s appropriate to the situation. If you’re the reason thing’s didn’t work out then own up to it. Be open to self criticizing to help you improve yourself. If it was somebody else then address the situation with them constructively, don’t attack and make them feel like a failure.
- Don’t dwell:
This is probably the biggest reason people can spiral. We dwell on what we think are failures. Hours, days, even weeks can be wasted reliving the event in our heads and that just makes it worse. Spend a few hours at max thinking about it. Allow yourself to keep it in mind but don’t let it consume your thoughts for the rest of the day.
- Allow yourself to feel:
Failing sucks, there’s no way around that. It’s tempting to just suppress it with work or other distractions or try and force yourself to be positive and think it’s all fine. Don’t do that, you’re just bottling up those emotions and sooner or later it’s going to come out in the wrong place directed towards the wrong people. Anger, sadness, frustration, let yourself feel whatever it is that you’re feeling and ride it out and learn to process it in a healthy manner.
- Remember better times:
Living in the moment comes with its perks but when you’re feeling down after a bad event and start feeling like life’s conspiring against you then slow down. Take a deep breath and think back to the first good memory that pops in your head. Just play that event for a few moments in your head and enjoy it. Do that from time to time as a friendly reminder to yourself that everything isn’t always bad and that there’s bound to be something good down the road again.
- Talk with a friend:
This can be hard, especially for people who don’t like to display vulnerability to other’s. Firstly I want to say that being open to your friends isn’t a weakness, it’s a compliment to them if they feel that you trust them with such things. Each of us need someone in our lives that we can confide in. Don’t be afraid that you’ll bother them because a real friend and family wouldn’t think you’re bothering them in the first place.
Sometimes they can give you clarity and guidance as to what to do next or how you can improve the situation. If not then at least they’ve offered you a chance to vent and share in your frustration which is incredibly valuable in helping you recover.
Those are the 7 tips I have for you on facing failure. It’s easy to be swept away by the crushing tide of such negative emotions but always remember that there are ways to deal with these things.
There are dozens of other ways to deal with Failure and I encourage you that if it’s something you struggle with then you find methods and strategies that work for you. It can only be for your benefit.
One thing you can take away from this is that failures are just cruel ways to teach us lessons from the most ruthless teacher there is: Life. So instead of throwing a tantrum, yelling at the teacher and storming out of the classroom, slow your roll, take a seat and take notes. You never know when you’ll be tested next and your ability to pass is entirely up to you.