Tips for Overcoming Failure

Sometimes things don't go the way you planned - here's how to move on from setbacks
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Created by K

Published on Sep 20, 2022
A man standing on top of a cliff with his arms raised in triumph

Most days, things go well. However, on certain days, they do not. You make a blunder, have a setback, or just fail. It's not enjoyable, but it’s a part of life. When I fail, I become down on myself, feel guilty, want to forget about it, and would prefer to keep it hidden from others. It's awful to fail at things. Despite this, I get up and try again.

Once in a while, when I try again and over again, I succeed. So, what's the catch? There isn't any. All you have to do now is keep trying and not give up. That being said, here's what I've discovered to be effective:

  1. Develop a more adaptable perspective. 

When you're trying to stick to a plan or reach a goal, and things don't go as planned, it might feel like things are falling apart. However, you may be able to avoid disaster if you have a more flexible perspective and say, "I might not be able to proceed according to plan, but that's OK because things change,". Sometimes the path to a goal isn’t always as you expected it to be.

  1. Realize that every attempt is an opportunity to learn.

When you fail, you often get a lot of useful information. You assumed something would work before you failed, but then things didn’t go according to plan. Now you know something you didn't previously know. That's fantastic. Now you can tweak your strategy, figure out something new, attempt a different approach, and continue to learn.

  1. Don’t be afraid to seek help. 

When I'm having trouble with something, I know that I have two options: give up or think of a better approach. But it's not always easy to come up with a better solution, so I ask my wife, friends, and trustworthy family members. They could provide me with great tips or even hold me accountable to help me succeed. Whatever happens, my friends and family never fail to support me.

  1. Give yourself permission to take a breather. 

When I'm having trouble, oftentimes, my mind or body simply needs a break. So I'll take a day or two off, perhaps even a week or more. Because there is no one-size-fits-all break duration, I've been learning to go by what feels right for each situation. I've even taken a month or two off from working towards a particular goal in some cases.

  1. Remind yourself of the importance of what you’re working towards. 

It's simple to give up on anything because it's always easier not to do it. But giving up often means losing something valuable. In some cases, the goal I am working towards not only benefits me but other people as well, so if achieving something doesn’t solely impact me, remembering the impact it has on other people helps me regain my commitment to the fight. 

I recognize that I'm far from flawless and that my guilty secrets are no different than anyone else's. You folks are just like me on the inside, and while we all have the same problem of failing to live up to our better nature sometimes, we also have the same ability to start over. So don’t be afraid to start anew.

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