Every single person on this planet experiences failure in the course of their lifetime, whether it’s in business or personally. Yet, it is not our failures but the way in which we bounce back from them that defines us. Here are eight simple but important techniques to follow when you find yourself in this inevitable situation:
1. Be honest.
Never blame someone else. Always look for your own involvement in your failure, because it will be there. Shifting the blame shifts the responsibility, and from that, you learn nothing. Be open to understanding why this happened and accept where you were responsible. This will be the method from which you build the resilience to continue on.
2. Look for lessons.
Failures and mistakes are learning opportunities. How does a child understand not to touch things that are hot? By touching it, of course. It is in that way that they learn not to do it again, and as we become adults we really don’t deviate much from that method of learning.
“Sure, there are obvious mistakes that are to be avoided, but everything else in life is really just trial and error. Do spend a little time seeking out the reasons why you failed this time, and learn how to avoid or change those little activities that led [you] there in the first place,” advises Chris Templeton, a business coach at BigAssignments.
3. Don’t dwell on it.
There is a time for introspection, but don’t drag it out. There is no hard and fast rule that says how long you should spend analyzing and considering your mistakes, but society didn’t develop into what it is today but focusing too much on the past. Ultimately, that holds us back. Be honest, take the key learnings and move on.
4. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
There is a fine line between being honest with yourself and seeking to learn from your mistakes. The blurred middle ground is an area where you can overanalyze the reasons why and, ultimately, point the finger at your shortcomings. Of course, self-realization and self-discipline are important, but being overly critical of yourself at the same time is counterproductive. It may be you lacked the necessary skills and experience to get there this time, but that doesn’t mean you lack the ability to succeed in the future.
5. Begin again quickly.
When a baby is learning to walk, he or she may take a few steps and plop to the ground, and the parents will encourage them to try again immediately after. Beginning again quickly is a tactic that we use with children and it works equally as well for adults in any aspect of their lives. The worst thing you can do in the aftermath of failure is to run and completely avoid trying again.
“When it comes to failure, it’s natural that you won’t necessarily want to throw yourself straight back in there, but avoiding the issue is not the answer either. Get back on that bicycle before it’s too late,” advises Teresa Summers, a mental health blogger at State of Writing.
6. Seek help and give it where it’s needed.
One of the best ways to overcome failure is to collaborate with others in its aftermath. Seek advice and help from those who offer it. Don’t be too proud or stubborn to seek help; be gracious enough to accept whatever you can get because important lessons can be taught by others, many of whom have probably been in your shoes before.
7. Always seek to better yourself.
Part of overcoming failure is to constantly seek ways in which to self-improve. Don’t wait for the failures in order to learn. Keep improving all the time. Doing so will not only limit failure but create more resilience when you do fail from time to time, as everyone does.
8. Don’t stop dreaming.
Perhaps the most important of all the points here is to not let failure change what drove you to try in the first place. The worst thing that can happen is failure sends you into your shell and you lose the confidence to keep trying. As a result, you lose the dream you once had. Never lose sight of what your dreams are. Don’t give up. Steve Jobs didn’t. Jeff Bezos didn’t. Michael Jordan didn’t. Be inspired by those who overcame adversity to achieve their dreams.