It's hard to bounce back from failure, as the acknowledgment of not meeting expectations and the anxieties of what to do next can be debilitating in keeping us from moving on and finding greater success. Thus, it's important to use positive-perspective tricks to keep confidence and motivation in check and bounce back from failure with renewed energy and drive.
As a certified health coach, I help my clients not get sucked into negativity when they do not meet a goal as quickly as desired or have a lapse in judgment and perform an action that is not in line with their desires and promises. I always explain to them that as humans, we're not perfect, and there will be times when we do not have enough willpower, time, energy, care or any other requirement that might apply, to follow through on our goals or find success regardless of our attempts.
When we feel disappointed, it's important to not dwell in the poor results, but rather to use problem-solving and re-routing of our paths to determine a new way to approach the predicament and find greater success. By keeping in mind these eleven ways to stay positive despite failure, we can keep our hopes high and aim for better results.
1. Define What Failure Means
What is failure really, and when is the point where "failure" is reached? "Ask yourself, 'Have I actually failed?' suggests personal trainer and owner of South Loop Strength & Conditioning, Todd Nief, over email correspondence with Bustle. "Failure itself isn't quite that bad - it's the lead up to it that creates suffering," he adds. Figure out what anxieties really constitute failure, and determine how best to reduce the suffering and not let the idea of failure mess with your head.
2. Don't Let Failure Define You
"We are exactly who we are - both in success and in failure - which can be either comforting or terrifying to someone staring down failure," says Nief. If you let a mistake or unsuccessful moment define who you are, then it's likely that your confidence with plummet and you'll be less able to move on and try and progress in a healthier way. Keep your actions separate from your essence, as that's the only way to find success elsewhere. Think of the positives you have achieved to bounce back.
3. Shift Your Perspective
By using failure to your advantage, you can find even greater success than you had hoped for. When met with failure, shift your perspective to consider the failure as a gift, as if it were a sign that you were going down the wrong path. By thinking of the failure as a way to progress, rather than stay stagnant, you can form new solutions to do even better.
4. Accept It For What It Is
If you deny failure or pretend that it doesn't exist, you won't be able to channel it into newfound, creative energy and you won't give yourself the necessary closure to accept that one path has been proven ineffective and that a redirection is in order. When you dismiss fears, results, thoughts and desires, you stall the ability to do something productive.
5. Know That You're Not Alone
By acknowledging the fact that failure is common and can occur for mostly everyone in the world, we can feel comforted and supported in knowing that we are not to blame and we are not abnormal in this process. You could ask anyone if he or she has faced failure in life, and you will definitely find a whole batch of "yes" answers. Consider yourself human and alike to the rest of the world, and move on knowing that you are not alone.
6. Forgive Yourself
If you hold a grudge, you'll in turn hold yourself back from accomplishing your goals and going after your past failures with renewed purpose and method. Learning to forgive yourself is so important, and unfortunately experts have found that forgiving yourself is challenging and can take time to become a habit. Let go of guilt, gain confidence and love yourself to move forward.
7. Let Out Your Frustration
Outside of public eye, letting out your frustrations can be quite cathartic and can help you come to acceptance of failure and determination to find a new route with more potential faster. In the comfort of privacy, or to a close family member or friend, vent out your emotions, whether you are angry, sad, disappointed or confused, and seek support and comfort in whatever outlet you choose.
8. Understand That Great Ideas Take Time & Patience
Knowing that great ideas and ambitions are hard to accomplish is the best way to not get too bummed out when met with failure and to still stay on the driven path, in search for a new strategy to put into use. Things worth working hard for in life are never easy, so it's unproductive to beat yourself up if you don't find success on the first couple of attempts.
9. Don't Let Criticisms Deter You
Other people might not always see your vision in the manner that you hope, and if you are met with failure, there's even more reason for them to try and deter you from working towards towards goals. However, negativity from others can demotivate us, so it's important to tune it out and not share step-by-step details of our processes, especially regarding our failures.
10. Build Yourself Up With Positive Mantras
Keeping positive mantras on hand can help bring us up and revive our energy stores when we are faced with moments of failure, loss, insecurity and frustration. Experts suggests that repeating positive affirmations can improve mood and self-esteem, which is definitely needed in light of failure. Say, "I can do this," "It takes time, and I will succeed in the end," or "I am a rockstar. I got this."
11. Don't Think In Terms Of Generalizations
Do you alway fail? Probably not. Though it might feel that way in the moment, it's unproductive and unfair to tell yourself that you are always bad at something or always find disappointment. Not only is this not distinguishing fact from fiction, but it also can lead to insecurity and unwillingness to move on with force, passion and strength. Remind yourself that this moment of weakness is just a moment, and it does not represent all your endeavors.
Whether you find yourself failing once or multiple times, and for smaller tasks or larger, more important tasks, know that failing happen to everyone and should be taken as a learning experience, rather than a demonstration of your essence, performance, and life's destination. Think of the process as a journey, one that will encounter a few construction sites, blocked pathways and perhaps the occasional deer.
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