Going through some tough times in life? Whatever we tell you may not lessen the pain you are going through. All kinds of positive messages/advice can seem hyped to you. Or it can be the last thing you like to process right now.
You might think, "Please, not another set of advice. I'm already not in the place". We understand it. And we're not going to do that.
This article is about sharing the best methods and practices that you and I can follow. Things that you and I can take it up to accept, process, and learn from failures!
These ideas can help us move forward. We're not trying to make you feel like nothing happened. Or tell you to move on as quickly as possible.
Yes, things have gone bad.
Yes, it is tough to process.
But, remember, staying there for long is unhelpful. You need to do the next best thing. You need to accept, process, and learn from failure. That's what you and I have to do.
The best alternative for a failure is to regroup yourself, move forward, and not forget the lessons it taught you.
Let's get started!
How to Accept Failures?
William James said, "Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcome the consequences of any misfortune."
You might ask, "Things failed. It's not my fault. I won't accept this. What to do now?"
Maybe it is not you. Maybe it is because of you. Maybe it's because of other reasons. Or things went out of your control. Whatever the reason, accept that there is a failure. Only then you can take the next best step forward.
Here are eight practical steps to help you accept failures.
You can't stop the Hurdles. But you can learn to jump.
We cannot take the journey of life without crossing few hurdles. Few bumps and speed-breaks will happen. They can halt us temporarily. What we can do is, we can learn to jump. We can learn to handle the hurdles smartly.
As Judy Greer said, "Sometimes when you are given hurdles, it makes you more creative in the end."
The first step to accept failure is knowing that life is a mix of hurdles and meadows!
1. Yes, failures can be ego-crushing. But don't give in.
Do you know why it is difficult to accept failure? It's not because of the mistakes that happened. It is because of our ego.
We fear what people will say or think.
We fear people judging us.
We fear people around us.
We doubt our capabilities.
The voice inside the head can say, What! "I" failed? I know everything. I did everything. That is why, when things go wrong, our ego crushes like crazy.
The inability to accept failure because of your big ego will bring downfall.
Don't give in to it.
2. Try to be a sport.
One trait that makes successful people stand out is, they are a good sport first. And all other things come second to them. Be a sport.
You can figure things out sooner with no confusion. You become impervious to negative intentions.
3. Failure is not a scale for self-validation!
Failure is random. Failure is something that goes on and off. It comes and goes. But self-worth is different. Our inner-self is different. It's permanent. Despite everything, good things in us will stay.
So why compare something permanent to something temporary?
The moment you connect your self-worth with your failures, things go wrong. Things can become doubtful. Taking a confident step becomes difficult. Don't compare or connect your self-worth with temporary things like failures and setbacks.
4. Handle Failures Gracefully:
You lost, and it's okay. Congratulate and respect the job well done by your opponent. Appreciate works that are better than you.
Show respect to whoever or whatever defeated you.
You all tried hard. But one tried or worked a little better than you. That's alright.
Respect their work. Learn the tradecraft from them.
Leave it at that. Let's not become petty. Keep your cool. Handle things with grace. It may not be easy. But it is the right thing to do.
5. Avoid these three things:
When there's a failure or when dealing with a failure:
❖ Avoid acting bitter.
❖ Stop pointing fingers.
❖ Don't resort to blaming, lodging complaints, acting petty, demeaning others, and such.
Avoid these three things.
They will not reverse your failure. But they complicate everything around you.
There's a failure. There's an unpleasant situation. We need to deal with it. Focus on what is necessary at the moment. Do that.
6. Ignore the "I told you so" gang:
You and I cannot stop the "I told you so" gang. But we can ignore them.
The "I told you so" people can break our confidence. They can make all our efforts mean nothing.
Stay away from them. You don't have to explain everything to them. Stay away from them till you want to. It will help us accept and process failures without remorse or self-loathing.
7. Get comfortable with career failures:
Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management conducted an interesting study.
The findings say, "people who carry on after suffering setbacks early in their professional lives are likely to not only succeeded later on but to surpass others who had early successes."
Getting comfortable with career failures is a necessity today.
With competitions and possibilities around every corner, it's good to stay in the race and see what happens than quitting.
Stay in the game. Learn. Master your tradecraft. You have high chances to succeed and outperform. So don't give up too quickly or easily.
How to Process Failures?
Once you accept failures, processing them becomes easy. Even if it is hard, we can confidently take a good step.
Here are ten ideas and ways to process failures.
1. Timeline of 24Hrs:
"Give yourself a mere 24Hrs to celebrate or brood. After the 24Hrs are up, it's time to put your focus on preparing for the next game." - Don Shula
Take some time and get back on track. But don't take too long. What if we suffer a major failure? What if things went so far?
Will the 24Hrs be enough to get back?
No. I guess not.
We cannot process some emotions and issues within 24 hrs.
The point here is, resume at some point. You cannot stay there.
It could be days, hours, months, or even years. But you "have to" get back and start functioning.
After a time, step up your game. Come back.
2. Four Things you need for Success:
Success has four things as the foundation.
❖ Willingness to accept your failure/defeat humbly.
❖ Improving flaws
❖ Try. And keep trying.
❖ Don't give up too easily after a failure.
Quitting is easy. That too, after we fail, we find all the reasons to quit. Don't give up too soon, is what we say here.
We don't know how close we are to success. That is why you need to keep trying.
Don't wither in failure. Humbly accept it. Learn from it. This is a good way to process your failure.
3. Keep your Failures and Victories in Check:
You can celebrate your success. But you don't have to exaggerate them. There is no harm or shame in accepting our failures. We all go through them. But you don't have to overstress it.
Both extremes of celebrating or worrying are bad for us. Try to keep your ups and downs in perspective. It's important.
4. Don't take failure too personally.
Failure is a chance to see what not to do, what to avoid. Take it as a lesson. Don't take it too personally. Not just the failures.
Taking anything and everything too personal can break all the good things like confidence, trust, friendships, and others alike. So don't take failures personally. It's the best strategy to accept and process failures.
5. Hope is a good thing.
"Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things and no good things ever dies." – Andy Dufresne.
Things will change. Failures and tough times you are going through now will turn. Nothing stays the same. So, have at least a little hope that things will turn out well for you.
Believe good things will happen. When your mind believes it, your thoughts and actions will reflect them automatically.
6. Monitor your Thoughts & Emotions
Monitor your emotions that come from experiencing failure. Check how you think and what you think after a failure. Developing anger, bitterness, hatred, fear, feeling of betrayal, quitting, revenge, or any kind of and such emotions are red flags.
We need to take care of them. Monitoring our thoughts and emotions is how we process failure smoothly.
7. It's perfectly acceptable to get upset after failures!
Accept your failure. Process your failure.
That doesn't mean you have to bottle everything up and act as nothing happened. You cannot be so.
Having a breakdown? It's alright. You can get it all out.
Want to cry? Do it.
Want to take some time off? Please do it!
Feeling frustrated, upset, and tired? It's okay too.
Have long conversations or discussions with your dear people. Pour your heart out to feel relieved. In all good ways, get all emotions out of your system. And trust me, it will help you accept and process failure gracefully.
8. Failure takes an emotional toll on you:
Naturally, we feel broken, tired, and frustrated to see all our efforts go unproductive. The feeling of embarrassment, anxiety, and fear to face people are common after failures.
Failure takes an emotional toll on all of us. But we don't have to let them. Depending on how we take it, these emotions can either motivate us to work harder or make us go down.
Be transparent about your failures. Accept the way you feel about failures. By doing so, you can identify the negative feelings and get rid of them.
9. Reboot your Mind:
It's like rebooting our laptop or cellphone. You reboot, and you get things back to normal. Same way, reboot your mind.
Reboot your mind by clearing out rejections, fears, and all other feelings pulling you down. Reboot yourself as quickly as possible.
10. Have a support system
It can be anything. It can be your good friends, family, hobbies, any passion projects, your bucket lists, books, spiritual paths, etc. Your support system becomes a great way to process your failure.
How to Learn from Failures?
Learning from failures is a wonderful phase. Here are six ways to learn from failures.
1. Improve your edge over time
Failure gives us a good time to improve our edge. It's the first lesson we learn from failure. You can master your tradecraft. You can develop new skills.
You can reinvent yourself in different ways. Seek new things. See where you can improve. Build your confidence back. Stay away from people who don't support you. Failing is okay. What matters is, make sure you come back stronger after it.
2. Believe in what you do!
"Just believe in what you're doing. And keep doing it." – Ricky Nelson.
If we don't believe in what we do, we give up in life. That is why the ones 'who believe in what they do' get back after failures. And the others stay down or quit.
Even the slightest belief of "I think I can make it" is all it takes. It is enough to rekindle the spirit to achieve your goals.
3. Progress = Spirit to overcome setbacks!
If you have the will to overcome failures, nobody can stop your progress.
That is why Your progress = your spirit to overcome failures. This is a practical lesson we learn from our failures and from people around us.
4. What is "Being positive" means?
We can't be positive all the time.
That is why it feels overrated when people come to us and say, "be positive." That, too, after an overwhelming failure, it's the last thing we like to hear.
We have all been there. Then, what is "being positive" means? How to take it the right way?
Being positive is "gathering all our experiences. Using them to learn, grow, and develop into a better state mentally and physically."
After a failure, take only the lesson. And leave the rest of the baggage. This is the best way of staying positive. And the best lessons you can learn from failure.
5. Moving forward is a necessity.
Staying down after a failure is not good for us both physically and mentally.
We have to regroup. Moving forward is a necessity.
6. Success is an iterative process. You can't get the answer in a single step.
One of the best lessons we learn from failure is this. Success is an iterative process.
You may lose. You try again.
You improvise. And it goes.
And you succeed.
Success comes when we handle our failures gracefully and grow above them.
Success involves accepting, processing, and learning from failures.
Success depends on the willingness to accept defeat, improve weaknesses, and try again.
We feel hopeful that you will find a handful of ideas to take from here. We have confidence that you will find "how to accept, process, and learn from failure" helpful. We are optimistic that it will be.
As a closing note, here's a quote for you.
"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit." – Napoleon Hill.