Developing The Right Attitude Towards Failure: 10 Premium
I think my first failure as an adult was failing an exam I had prepared for; cliché, but painful. I had sweated my guts out for this, pulled consecutive all-nighters, done study groups with friends and even attended tutorials. I was a brimming pot of confidence writing the exams, and I even slipped a few answers to my friends (I wasn’t caught, don’t worry).
So, when the results were released a week later, I smiled at my friends as I walked to the board. I saw my name and saw a big fat “F” next to it. I looked around at my friends and they had varying amounts of pity on their faces. Needless to say, I didn’t get out of bed for a week. That, with other similar experiences, I think I can write a full book on how to overcome failure.
The Colors of Failure
Failure expresses itself in various ways: not getting into the university of your choice, not racking the As like you know you can, not winning scholarships, living in a little house and not the mansion next to Buckingham palace that you imagined (that’s a figure of speech, I don’t know which), your marriage ending, your kids not turning out right, you getting the sack at work, not getting the deal you were hoping for,…
…your business crumbling (despite your quite desperate efforts to save it), your friends asking you to be the matron of honour at their weddings (it begins to grate on your nerves after the fifth time, and aunt Gladys won’t stop talking about how dear cousin Antoinette is getting married to the nice banker, trust me, I know), not having kids (and the adoption process seems to hate you), and the list goes on and on and on.
It is hard and sometimes you want to end it all, or if you are stronger than most of us, feel really worthless for a long while. I get the feeling, believe that. Well, in an attempt to unravel how to overcome failure, I made an attempt (and I think they’re the most important steps) to put together ten steps towards developing the right attitude towards failure. Let’s work through them together.
How To Overcome Failure
This seems like mission impossible and I reckon you’d rather wrap yourself in poison ivy. Accepting failure is not giving in to failure. Rather, accepting failure is the first step to knocking it back down. How do you do this? Some people tend to lash out, burst into hysterics or withdraw into a deep, dark silence, not quite believing that they failed at something. Such people see failure as for lesser persons (God knows, there is no such thing as lesser people). Unless you realize that failure is something that happens to many persons, you’ll lack the wherewithal to bounce back from it. Remember, Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old. I bet you didn’t know that.
Do not hide from the pain
We’d rather keep going on with life like nothing happened. Smiling, volunteering, eating out with friends, some of us would do the extreme and drown ourselves in alcohol, drugs and mindless sex (pardon my French). Hiding from the pain allows a scab to form atop our wound, a tiny prick and it bleeds as new. Embrace the pain, alienation doesn’t work. Yell, shed big, fat, ugly tears, guzzle tubs of ice cream while watching your favorite TV show, hug your favorite stuffed animal, take a sick day if you can. The most important thing is to let out the pain by embracing it. Keeping it bottled up is like a volcano waiting to erupt.
Take responsibility where you can
It is very easy to blame someone else for our failures. And while it is true that certain individuals are responsible for some mistakes, we should learn to take responsibility for our own mistakes. Most of the time, when things do not go as planned, when we think about it in retrospect, we often neglected a sign that things were about to go wrong. Social psychology calls this the “i-knew-it-all-along phenomenon”. Admit your mistakes and they’ll likely stop hunting you.
Do not label yourself a failure
While failure is something you’ll have to deal with in its many varied forms as you live life, never ever think that you’re a failure. That mindset will sooner put you in much trouble than you think. Think positive and box the hell out of failure when it dances your way. Remember Tiger Woods?
Fall into warm, open arms
Talk it out. Accept the warm hugs, drink gallons of tea, take a walk, but ensure you talk it out. Find someone you can talk it out with and get some good quality advice in return. Do not hit the pub and chat up a total stranger, you’ll wake up with a bad headache, I bet you.
Get your head back in the game
Now that you’ve done all of that (I call it the cleansing process), you’re ready to bring your A-game. Sit down and critically analyse the failure. Take note of where you did things wrongly and how you can correct them, because you’re going to get back out there and bring the world to its feet.
Take baby steps
Formulate a plan. And then stick to it. Do not rush your plans, be cautious. Your plan may not be perfect in the beginning, and may need some tweaking as you go, but the important thing is that you have a plan and you’re walking with it.
Celebrate the little victories
As you get past each stage where you previously failed, give yourself a treat. Laugh out loud and long and have a drink with friends, you’re doing good, dear friend.
Cross the finish line
Victory is delicious, maybe the sugary ingredient is failure. You’re finally getting it right and it feels so good. This is your big moment and everyone is cheering for you, you’ve beat the odds!
Winning starts in the mind. When you succeed mentally, the battle is half-won.
Thank you so much for reading!
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