Dealing with Failure

Dealing-with-Failure
Meeting with failure after putting long hours of work and full attention into the task at hand could be a big blow to one and his ego. Nobody begins something with the intention to fail but everyone face setbacks and failure for many reasons, be it at work or in their personal lives. We may be passed over for an interview or we may fail to clinch a deal. Or we may be recovering from a bad break up. Here, we take a look at some common responses to failure and steps to deal with it.

#1 Excuses

Didn't clinch the interview? Well, they wanted someone with more experience. Besides, I wasn't really interested so I didn't give my all. And that stuffy old woman. She has an obvious preference for a male applicants. Sounds familiar?

Making excuses and shifting the blame might well be one reflex reaction we have when dealing with failure and setbacks. Unfortunately, if this is the case, we would not be able to learn from our failures and make the most out of it.

Solution: Share the experience with a friend you can count to tell the truth tactfully. Be objective in sharing your experience, and be open to feedback and suggestions.

You could then use failure to motivate you. Even though you may have failed, you can learn something from the experience and make amendments. For example, if you have been passed over for a promotion, find out from your boss where the problem lies and how you may improve. It is wise to remember the experience and learn from it, but foolhardy to repeat the same mistake twice.

#2 Escape

If we avoid the situation or the problem, we will never have the need to face failure and hence escape failure. Besides rejecting the task, one way of "escaping failure" is also to lower your expectations, which when set too high may cause you unnecessary pressure and affect performance. However, while causing some stress, expectations drive ambition and are the fuel for your passion.

Solution: Check if you should adjust your expectations. Are they suitable? Just because your friends are doing it doesn't mean it's good for you. Remember: the grass always seems greener on the other side.

Also, are your expectations reasonable? Take incremental steps towards success; don't expect to get it right the first time but instead learn from experiences and mistakes.

#3 Face It

As the saying goes, "If you can't change it, change your attitude about it". Adopt a positive attitude about the cup (the challenge that lies ahead) – is it half full or is it half empty? Choose instead to think that it is half full and be motivated to fill it up further. Similarly, instead of viewing the challenge in question as an "obstacle", you could view it as an "opportunity". That is, an opportunity to learn from failures, which are unavoidable in life.   

In every success story there are always setbacks or failure. Only upon overcoming their failures have they become successful in their lives. One classic example would be Thomas Edison. He failed over 10,000 times before he succeeded in getting the light bulb right. So learn from the genius – find out why you failed the first time round and do not commit the same mistake again.

Remember, failure does not equate to stupidity or weakness. It is a necessary process towards attaining the ultimate goal. So, rather than dwelling in doubt and wallowing in low self-esteem, move forward a step. Dealing with failure and learning from it starts with you.

You might also like: Six Steps to Simplify Your Worklife, Basic Stress Relievers, Fight Fatigue at Work

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