4 Steps to Overcome Failure - By Sandeep Maheshwari I Hindi
How to Overcome Failure
Overcoming failure is all about finding it in yourself to start again. First, you must overcome the sense of failure. The failure of a project, relationship, or other goal might initially overwhelm you, but if you acknowledge your disappointment and accept your mistakes you will be able to move on. Realistic optimism will help you form a new plan without setting yourself up for failure. Remember, your long term goal is resilience: the ability to adapt and thrive.Each failure is a chance to grow stronger and wiser.
Feeling Your Way Through Disappointment
Feel your emotions.When you feel you have failed, you may be overcome with self-recrimination, disappointment, and despair. Holding in your painful feelings can have negative effects on your health, your relationships, and your future success. Notice each emotion as it comes to you. Take time to name the emotion, be it anger, sadness, fear, or shame.This will enable you to work through it without turning it on yourself or others.
- Take time to process your feelings. If you try to fix or move past your disappointment before knowing how you feel; you may act rashly.
- Suppressing painful feelings can lead to health problems, such as chronic pain, sleep deficiency, and even heart disease.
Accept what happened.After the first shock of disappointment wears off, work on accepting what happened. It will be harder to move forward if you blame yourself or others, or pretend that what happened didn't matter or didn't really happen. Write down or reflect on everything that happened, what lead to it and what the consequences were. State only the facts, without blame, judgment, or justification. Write in a journal if you have one, or write yourself a letter.
- If writing is not a helpful form of expression for you, find someone you can talk to. A trusted friend or family member, or a counselor, can help you move past denial.
- Solicit the perspective of any involved parties who were not emotionally invested in the situation. For example, a friend might have seen early signs of fissure in a failed relationship.
- If you find yourself unable to move past denial – for example, you refuse to discuss or acknowledge what happened, or look at how you may have contributed to the failure, or you ignore the repercussions of what happened – examine what is holding you back. What are you afraid will happen if you acknowledge a failure?Maybe you feel like a failure because your child has a substance abuse problem, and instead of dealing with it, you remain in denial and give her money to buy "clothes" when you know she's spending it on drugs.
- Identify fears that are irrational or excessive.Do you worry that failure calls your intelligence and capability into question? Do you imagine that you are the only one who has ever experienced this setback and that you are being judged? Are you worried that everyone will be disappointed or lose interest in you if you don't succeed?
- Reflect on the consequences of action and inaction. What can you achieve with action? What might be worsened by inaction?Maybe you feel your relationship failed, and to avoid going through the pain of another breakup you refuse to date or examine what went wrong in the relationship. Inaction might allow you to protect yourself from rejection or the emotional pain of a breakup. It also means you are missing out on the fun and companionship of dating, and might be turning away from a potentially great relationship.
Part 1 Quiz
If you cannot move past the denial stage, what should you do?
Thinking Your Way Through Failure
Practice positive reframing.Positive reframing is all about discovering the positives in any situation, even failure. Look at the situation in which you feel you failed, and contemplate different ways of describing it. "Failure" is a subjective term. Instead of saying "I failed at finding work," say "I haven't found work yet" or "I've been looking for work longer than I had hoped." Don't attempt to whitewash your mistakes, but state them without judgment, and look for the best.
- Another way to reframe the situation is to understand why your attempt wasn't successful, then use that information to try again. The only way anyone discovers what does work is by also finding out whatdoesn'twork.
- Failure presents you with an opportunity to learn until you get it right.
- Consider all the athletes, scientists, and other successful people who have tried and failed, only to persevere until they achieved their goal. Michael Jordan was famously cut from his high school basketball team, only to work hard and become one of the greatest players of all-time.
- Try using humor to encourage yourself when you are down: "Well, I haven't found a job yet, but I have gotten really good at writing cover letters."Seeing the humor in your situation helps you take a step back and see things in perspective.
- Humor is a key component of resilience: laughing kindly at yourself will help carry you through your greatest trials.
Identify negative thought patterns.With failure often comes the tendency to beat yourself up over it, even calling yourself names. Learn to identify some common negative thought patterns so you can diffuse them. These thoughts may include: all-or-nothing thinking ("I have to do it perfectly the first time or I might as well give up"); catastrophizing ("This is terrible. There's no way I can come back from this"); or negative self-labeling ("I'm a failure and a phony.").
- When you notice these kinds of thoughts arise, question them. They are coming from an a negatively biased, critical place. Instead, ask yourself, "Is this really true?" Look for evidence for and against these claims.
- Write down an affirmation that goes against he negative self-talk. If you keep thinking of yourself as a failure, write something like, "I am a capable person" on a sticky note and put it on your mirror. Say it aloud to yourself and you can begin to change your negative thinking.
Stop ruminating over the failure.Do you find that you can't stop thinking about what happened, replaying it over and over in your head? This is called rumination, and instead of providing insight about what you could have done differently or ways to improve, it just amplifies your negative feelings.
- Try journaling to put your obsessive thinking to rest. Getting it out of your head and down on paper can give you some relief from rumination and help reveal any underlying fears.
- Instead of doing a play-by-play, stop and ask yourself, "Okay, what have I learned here?" Maybe you learned you need to leave 30 minutes early for appointments so that you don't show up late to your next job interview.
- Use mindful meditation to bring you back to the present. Mindful meditation helps you stop worrying about what happened in the past and focus on the here and now, and you can start asking yourself: what can I do differentlytoday?
Part 2 Quiz
What is an example of "rumination"?
Address the cause of the failure.What happened to throw your goal off track? Could it have been prevented? Think about possible solutions you could have put into action, and what their consequences would have been. Were your initial expectations unrealistic? Try discussing your expectations with loved ones and teammates to measure their realism.
- If you failed to get an expected promotion at work, ask for a meeting with your supervisor to discuss where you got off track. Wait until you have moved past the first, most emotional stages of disappointment. Come in with some idea of where you may have failed, and with questions for future improvement.
- If you have failed to find the sort of job you had hoped to find, try reading the online profiles of people who have that job. Do they have a different educational background than you have? More years of experience? Did they enter the workforce at a different time?
- If you were disappointed in love, ask yourself if you were putting unusual pressure or expectations on your romantic partner. Did you understand how they were feeling throughout the relationship? Did you support their projects and friendships?
Set realistic goals.Once you have worked through the causes of your past disappointment, work on setting a more realistic goal for the future. What would you like to see happen next? What sorts of actions on your part could make success likelier? Check with people you trust to measure the realism of your new goal.
- For instance, if you just ran your first half marathon and had hoped to run 7 minute miles, you were probably overly ambitious. Try setting a goal for the next race that is just a little faster than your last time. If you ran 10 minute miles, try running 9.7 minute miles. Train toward that time.
- If your previous goal had been to publish a novel by the end of the year, make your new goal more moderate. Your new goal might be to get feedback on your draft. Sign up for some novel-editing workshops, or hire a freelance editor or writing coach.
Practice mental contrasting.Strike a balance between optimistic thinking and realistic planning by practicing mental contrasting. First imagine your desired goal working out beautifully. Let yourself envision a total success for a few minutes. Next, switch gears and imagine all the obstacles that might arise.Envisioning the obstacles toward achieving reasonable goals can actually make you feel energized and more capable of tackling said issues. If the goal is unreasonable, however, this exercise is likely to allow you to let go of that wish and instead focus on something more achievable.
- Recognizing the obstacles between you and your goals should not be considered negative or unhealthy thinking. The exercise of mental contrasting will help you learn not to cling to unobtainable goals or to dwell on what cannot be done.
Change your approach.Brainstorm ideas and select the one that seems sturdiest. Use mental contrasting to test the solution out in your head. Ask yourself if you have the resources to put your new plan into place. What new problems are likely to come up? How will you solve them? What needs to be in place before you begin?
- Avoid repeating the same mistakes. Your new approach should not include any of the strategies that may have caused your last approach to fail.
- Create a plan B. Even well-executed approaches can fail due to unforeseen complications. Make sure you re-enter the fray with a solid back-up plan.
Try again.With your new goal set, and your new plan solidified, set out to achieve your goal. Take the time to reflect on your progress as your steps take effect. Feel free to change your approach. You are learning as you go, and a natural part of this process is to adjust and tweak your approach. Whether you achieve your goal or have to try again, you will have achieved a higher level of resiliency.
Part 3 Quiz
What can you do to feel more energized and capable of taking on the necessary next steps?
QuestionWhat if some factors beyond my control contributed to my failure and they were actually affecting it, not that I was blaming other things for my failure. Then what?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis is a fact of life and unfortunately, there is a little too much self-help guidance out there insisting that everything is in your control, thereby suggesting if it goes wrong, you overtly or subtly influenced it to be so. It is far better to accept that some things are beyond your control, no matter how diligent, careful and sensible you are. You cannot control other people's behavior, betrayals and failure to come through with the promises they make and even though you can insure against some consequences, others truly are unforeseeable. Acceptance allows you to see what is without seeking to blame, it allows for a matter-of-fact analysis of what isn't within control. Work with what you do have real control over in future and start over with a renewed understanding.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I remember the lessons of my previous failures?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerKeep a journal. Write about what happened, what you did wrong, and what you could have done instead. The next time you encounter the same issue (or a similar one) refer to your journal.Thanks!
QuestionI failed an exam repeatedly, what can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAsk your teachers for extra help and/or extra credit. If you can retake the test, you should have a good idea what will be on it - study hard. If not, dust yourself off and focus even harder on the next lesson. Above all, be determined to pass. Go in with a positive mindset. The only thing that will separate you from a winner is when you choose to give up,so do not give up no matter what.Thanks!
QuestionWhat else can I do if this doesn't work?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou have to realize failure is a temporary state. Think of it as a stepping stone on the road to success. Be persistent, change a plan if needed, but keep moving forward.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I prevent failure, even if I try hard?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to view failure as a lesson and opportunity for growth, rather than as a loss or defeat. You can just try again, or you can try something new; perhaps what you failed in is not truly your area of expertise or talent.Thanks!
QuestionI am failing in my studies despite working hard. What should I do?MaverickZCommunity AnswerYour approach may be wrong. Consult other people and see how they study. See what is wrong with your approach. Try new approaches. Many people don't know the proper way to study and that's OK, you can learn that just try and know that you'll eventually find the best way.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I stop thinking about a guy I like when he is not interested in me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf a guy is not interested and you know it, just accept it. It may take time, but should not be seen as a failure, because you will move on from it.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I handle success?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should be thankful, sincere, and generous. Don't take anything for granted. Make sure you stay humble in your success.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I did not score according to my expectations?MaverickZCommunity AnswerKnow that it's okay and it happens to everyone. Just try harder next time. Take note of your weak points and try to find a solution to fix them.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do when my initial solutions to a problem fail?MaverickZCommunity AnswerYou can sit somewhere, think about the solutions, and analyze them to find out what went wrong. If you are not the "thinker" type, talk with other people who have experienced a similar situation. After that, it's all about correcting a previous approach or finding a new one.Thanks!
What do I do if I feel like I can't overcome failure?
I feel like I continually fail and can never achieve the success I need. How can I overcome this?
I have been trying to compete with someone and become the best student in the class since last year and I haven't found success yet. What can I do?
How can I accept my failures and overcome them when I put in a lot of effort?
What can I do if I used to never fail and have been doing poorly on tests recently?
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