I get my hopes up a lot, and when they don’t go how I envision I often have a difficult time dealing with that reality. I recently had what I would call a failure in my book. Something that I worked and cared about didn’t amount to what I had hoped for. I don’t deal well with my failures, and after the news I felt disappointed in myself and abilities. How do I better deal with my failures and build upon them instead of letting them tear me down?
Distraught and Let Down
Dear Distraught and Let Down,
When approaching failure, the first thing to remember is to not let the failure define you as a person.
Failure can be a tough pill to swallow, but it could also bring you one step closer to figuring out an approach that works.
Many famous inventors are known for having ideas that needed tweaking multiple times before they came to the end result they were after.
Thomas Edison’s attempts at re-envisioning the light bulb were a prime example of this.
“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work,” Edison said.
Give yourself time to feel disappointment about the circumstances, but if you find yourself fixated on it, try giving yourself a set window of ‘disappointment time’. The set time-frame can be a few hours to a day, and after it is over you should review exactly what happened.
This keeps you from getting stuck in a rut and refocuses you on improving what skill you might have been lacking in.
You could also try looking at the situation as an opportunity to learn and improve upon your current methods.
Reviewing the situation logically instead of emotionally allows you to determine what could have been changed to provide a different outcome. As you do this, also make a list of things you did properly and things that need improvement.
This will help you celebrate the good and not just focus on the bad.
At one time or another, you will fail at something–everyone does. Whether you fail or not isn’t the important thing, it’s how you handle the hiccups in life.
Contact Athena at firstname.lastname@example.org