Failure & How to Deal with Setbacks

Failure- Something I don’t deal well with at all! but isn’t it only human nature to make mistakes?

One of my biggest fears is letting people down by making a mistake. This is something I need to work on… not letting setbacks get to me and not putting that kind of pressure on myself.

The Problem:

I am the type of person that becomes fully invested in everything I commit to whether it’s work, friendships or other relationships. I have never dealt well with failing at any of those… and sometimes I forget that in the grand scheme of things small setbacks may not be as significant as they seem at the moment.

There is something that happens between the logical side of my mind and the emotional side that causes great tension when I am faced with something I failed at. Often the emotional side takes over and therefore I take failure very personally.

When it comes to work at least, emotional reactions are unacceptable as we learned from Kelly Cutrone’s book; “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside”. Having a higher EQ (emotional intelligence) is often even more important than a high IQ.

The Solution:

Let’s face it, we are all human and mistakes are a part of our growing process. When times of failure come and they naturally will, here are five ways to make peace with failure according to Forbes:

  1. Don’t make it personal.  Separate the failure from your identity. Just because you haven’t found a successful way of doing something (yet) doesn’t mean you are a failure.  These are completely separate thoughts, yet many of us blur the lines between them.  Personalizing failure can wreak havoc on our self-esteem and confidence.

  1. Take stock, learn and adapt. Look at the failure analytically — indeed, curiously — suspending feelings of anger, frustration, blame or regret. Why did you fail? What might have produced a better outcome? Was the failure completely beyond your control? After gathering the facts, step back and ask yourself, what did I learn from this? Think about how you will apply this newfound insight going forward.

  1. Stop dwelling on it. Obsessing over your failure will not change the outcome. In fact, it will only intensify the outcome, trapping you in an emotional doom-loop that disables you from moving on. You cannot change the past, but you can shape your future. The faster you take a positive step forward, the quicker you can leave these debilitating, monopolizing thoughts behind.
  1. Release the need for approval of others. Often our fear of failure is rooted in our fear of being judged and losing others’ respect and esteem. We easily get influenced (and spooked) by what people say about us. Remember, this is your life, not theirs.  What one person considers to be true about you is not necessary the truth about you, and if you give too much power to others’ opinions, it could douse your passion and confidence, undermining your ability to ultimately succeed.
  1. Try a new point of view. Our upbringing – as people and professionals – has given us an unhealthy attitude toward failure. One of the best things you can do is to shift your perspective and belief system away from the negative (“If I fail, it means I am stupid, weak, incapable, and am destined to fall short”) and embrace more positive associations (“If I fail, I am one step closer to succeeding; I am smarter and more savvy because the knowledge I’ve gained through this experience”).

Let me know how you guys deal with failure, in the comments section!



3 Comments Add yours

  1. painkills2 says:

    I like failure. It means I’ve learned something. And it also means I get to treat myself for having tried.

    (Just kidding, failure sucks.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. parparvan says:

      LOL but I think taking a positive attitude towards failure is key! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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