Dealing With Failure
Failure is nothing more than a reality of life. Everyone fails at some point in life – it’s just how things are. While it’s completely normal to fail from time to time, it’s how you deal with it and the things you do to move on that really matter in the end. When things go sideways, you shouldn’t be hiding in shame. Instead, you should step up and seize the opportunity to turn failure into your advantage and use the experience as a worthy lesson in life. Here’s how to do it.
1. How Do Different Personality Types Take a Failure?According to some studies and research done in the area of personality psychology, there are 11 personality types that are more prone to having dysfunctional reactions to failure. These all have different reactions to failure and the way they deal with it. These 11 types are:
- Extrapunitive – overreact to failure
- Sceptical – over-criticize everything
- Bold – become hurt or angry when facing failure
- Diligent – blame themselves for minor mistakes
- Cautious – too defensive to learn from the aftermath, always expecting failure
- Leisurely – instead of taking the blame, they blame the others
- Mischievous – always looking to avoid blame
- Reserved – aren’t interested in blame or failure
- Colourful – pretending failure is normal and expecting forgiveness for it
- Imaginative – always have explanations for failures
- Martyr – over-blaming themselves for the failure of others
2. Understand that EVERYONE FailsWhen the reality of life takes the best of you, it’s quite easy to wallow in self-pity. However, this won’t help you cope with failure, it will only make things worse. It’s even worse if you allow yourself to think about how others lead a perfect life, while you’re nothing but a failure. Well, the first step in overcoming your self-pity state is in understanding that no one is perfect and absolutely everyone fails. Failure is common for all people, there is no failure with your name on it. What separates successful people from failures is they know how to pick themselves up and carry on.
3. Look for the LessonWhen you fail, you shouldn’t look at it with regret, blame, frustration, or anger. Instead, try to get analytical about it. Try to analyze what led you to fail, so that you can learn from that mistake and adapt to whatever may come from it. Think about the things that could contribute to doing better and ending up with a better outcome. Gather the facts and take some time to understand the cause behind the failure. Instead of locking your mind in a mental prison of blame, learn how to use your failure to your advantage.
4. Allow Yourself to Process the FailureOne of the essential steps to overcoming your failure and moving on is to allow yourself to be sad by processing the event. It’s vital that you acknowledge your feelings. Emotions and feelings play a crucial role in overcoming your failure and using the experience to become a better and stronger person. Putting on that false bravado won’t help you move on – it will actually make things worse. Smothered feelings will eventually escalate into real mental chaos and something beyond your control. So, allow yourself to feel disappointed, sad, and angry. It’s all part of the healing process.
5. Both Failure and Success Open New DoorsAll successful people had to deal with an immense amount of failure before they realized how to achieve their goals. The greatest stories of success are also stories of the greatest failures. Instead of looking at failure as something that makes you look incapable, weak, stupid, and simply destined to achieve nothing, you should accept a more positive view. By doing so, you’re putting your mind in a positive state associated with seeing an opportunity in your failure. You have failed now perhaps, but that doesn’t mean that your failure will not have led you to greater things. There’s no success without failure and both success and failure open new doors. The trick is to be aware of how to seize these new opportunities.
6. Don’t Overthink One FailureDo not dwell in the past of things or overthink one failure. Accept the things for what they are, be aware of them and keep them close as a reminder of the things you won’t do again. If you obsess yourself with your failure, you won’t learn anything from it, but, more importantly, you won’t change the outcome. Instead of rising stronger, you’ll end up hitting rock bottom.
7. The Fail-Fast PhilosophyThe fail-fast philosophy refers to developing a smart approach to dealing with failure by trying something completely new. The philosophy essentially takes your failure and classifies it into four steps:
- Communication – gather intelligence to understand why you failed.
- Reflection – understand how your actions led you to fail.
- Contemplation – create a habit of thinking before acting.
- Assertion – the act of learning from your mistakes by searching for a lesson.