Losing a job or a match, failing an important exam, or being rejected from your dream college even after trying so hard—all of these are disheartening moments of failure that many of us have experienced at some point in our lives.
These setbacks are typically followed by sheer pain and not long after, the negative thoughts come rolling in, including things like, “it’s all over now.” Then comes the dreadful mornings wherein you are reluctant to get out of bed and face the day, all because you feel like a total bust.
Failures take a toll on our self-esteem and can easily demoralize us. Regardless, the sordid reality of life is that failures are inevitable. Big or small, failures are a part of each of our lives; they are what helps mold us into who we are Honestly, it is impossible to make it through life without experiencing some sort of failure.
What might hit even harder is the fact that the ability to weather these emotional storms is not meted out equally between all of us. While your friend might be better at getting up and dusting themselves off to start fresh, you might still be hunkered down under your covers, wasting tissues wiping away those seemingly everlasting tears.
I understand how painful such situations can be. That said, I have decided to bring to you some of the most effective ways to rise after a failure and put yourself back on track.
1. Find the Lesson in Your Failure
Most of us are reluctant to believe that failures are not entirely negative. But, in all reality, failures can also have their own silver linings; no kidding! We also don’t like the unending stream of tears and truckload of stress; but to be honest, our failures are great feedback mechanisms. Though they can be harsh, they bring us closer to reality, reminding us that our strategy needs reformation.
When you’re already suffering, then why return with empty pockets, right? You can take failure as a learning opportunity and try to figure out the hidden message of truth that failure is trying to convey to you.
If you learn from your failures, you might even naturally avoid making the same mistakes and tripping because of the same obstacle in the future. Searching for the lesson within defeat can provide you with a fool-proof plan in advance to deal with the situation if it decides to show its face again. Alongside steering clear of setbacks, this trick can also increase your chances of success.
2. Understand the Root Cause
It goes without saying that all failures have a reason, though they may be difficult to face. Failures do not appear out of the blue and then disappear into thin air. It’s important to understand the root cause of the failure to prevent stumbling in the future. You might find that the problem was your own overconfidence, insufficient preparation, or plain misjudgment.
Understanding and analyzing the causes behind failures is the first step toward the healing process. You can reframe the situation in your mind and figure out what contributed to your failure.
Not to say that you should play the painful situation on loop and become more disturbed, but rather, it’s helpful to think objectively and reach the underlying cause. What you can do is try analyzing the situation as if it happened to someone else instead of yourself. This can help you judge the situation and save you from any digressive pipe dreams and an “if only” way of thinking.
3. Learn to Forgive Yourself
Remember the first time you fought with your best friend? Didn’t you find that you forgot everything after a few days and forgave them in the end? It seems like it was a simple thing to do when looking back on it!
There are many situations in life where we disagree with the people we care about, but we eventually end up forgiving and forgetting. Ironically, when it comes to forgiving ourselves, it is a tough grind; it’s much easier for us to forgive others—especially our loved ones.
We are more likely to blame ourselves for any failures, leaving us to define ourselves by our supposed mistake. We go on a trip of blaming and cursing ourselves, which can have lasting impacts on our personalities, and down the road, we might even begin to lose our self-worth.
To move on, it’s fundamental to learn to forgive ourselves. Even if we were the cause of our failure, it’s important to understand that we are not perfect; no one is. So, forgiving ourselves can ultimately help us gain enough confidence to arise and start fresh.
4. Focus on Your Strengths
Failures have a way of making us believe we are insufficient. Being unable to accomplish your goals might point to a weakness in some aspects of life; however, it should never make you believe that you are a hopeless case. A failure in one scenario does not prove your inadequacy in all others.
Do not forget that you still maintain your key strengths. Recognizing your strengths will help you chart a path to move forward in life and prepare you for potential successes in the future.
Diverting your mind towards your personal strengths can give you the courage to get up and fight all your negative thoughts. It may also boost your self-esteem, making you more optimistic and assured.
5. Talk to Your Loved Ones
Friends and family are the ones that we can rely on to stand by us through thick and thin. That said, when you’re experiencing a setback, your loved ones are the best people to approach.
Closing yourself off to the outside world is not only disadvantageous but can also upset you even more. Thus, opening doors and windows—in both your heart and house—is a better plan of action and can keep things from escalating to an unmanageable stage.
When you open up to someone, it can help you divert your thoughts from any upsetting moment in your past, while at the same time, help you to get things off your chest. Secondly, your loved ones may offer a valuable, objective perspective on the whole situation; often, their assessments can be better as they may not be clouded by emotions.
Along with infusing you with optimism, your loved ones can also remind you that this failure of yours is not the end-all and be-all of your life. They might even have anecdotes to share with you, which may be a beneficial tool in helping you feel better.
6. Take Action
Failures foster immobility. They oftentimes can make you feel tired and drain your energy, among being demotivating. Trying new things and taking a stand after a major failure may seem like a Sisyphean task. But remember, Sisyphus did roll back the boulder even after it kept falling over and over again. So, don’t chicken out; be your own Sisyphus!
As mentioned above, try to focus on your strengths. After this, you should come up with a plan to capitalize on those strengths. Lastly, you should implement that plan and take a step forward toward your goal. Also, ensure that this plan that you design incorporates the lessons that you’ve learned from your mistakes.
Beware! You will be tempted to procrastinate, but regardless of how hard it may seem, you can conquer and prove to yourself that you are strong. At the same time, don’t focus on making things perfect; perfection is a farce idea. Just do your best and you’ll certainly see progress.
7. Do Not Lose Hope or Stop Dreaming
Failures can make one lose all hope and faith in themselves. In such a condition, remind yourself of all of your previous wins and milestones. Tell Mr. Failure that it was the skilled and talented you who achieved all of those past accomplishments, and no one can make you believe anything else.
You may even feel enclosed by darkness at times like these, but let me tell you, the bright, comforting sun is still there, it’s simply hidden by dark clouds; nonetheless, the clouds of negativity will eventually scatter to let the sun of happiness illuminate your life once again.
Additionally, never let this one-time fall make you stop dreaming. The thoughts of embarking on another new journey to fulfill your big dreams might seem crazy, but do not let go of your ambitions. On the contrary, imagine yourself successful, leading your life on the path that you hope for it to go. Your dreams will surely help you make up the leeway.
I’ve spilled all of my beans, friend! These are the very secrets, which, I’m sure, will help you get things back on track after a significant failure. Having all of these tips under your belt will make you more powerful, and all of your fears of failure will hopefully cease.