We are all afraid of failure and defeat one way or another, prepared to do anything to avoid them. The truth is, it’s virtually impossible to succeed without failing from time to time. So how do you learn to cope with failure and make it count?
How is failure useful to us?
Can’t build character without it
Our failings make us extra tough. Constant success and luck relax us way too much, depriving us of the chance to keep our willpower well-trained and toned. Failing every once in a while gives us that chance to test ourselves for durability and strengthens our character.
See your mistakes
If you happen to fail, the chances are, something did not work the way it was supposed to. Cool-headedly analyzing the situation allows us to identify mistakes, learn a new lesson and make proper adjustments.
Reveal your vulnerabilities
Each failing is priceless because it unmistakably reveals weaknesses, offering a unique opportunity to work on making them your strengths.
Expand your possibilities
Strange as it may sound, failing helps us become better, stronger and smarter. Sometimes failing can open new prospects for us that we would never even think about otherwise
Turn over a new leaf
It’s virtually impossible to begin any task anew if it’s in any sort of progress, no matter how slow or insignificant. Failing is a different story. Having failed, you can turn over a new leaf with your conscience squeaky clean, zero blame for laziness and lack of willpower.
Value success more
Everything is relative — we all very well aware of that. The contrast between victory and defeat makes us work hard and value our achievements more. We’ll repeat it once again, constant luck not only relaxes, it also demotivates. Besides, it takes away the pleasure we derive from victory. Everything we achieve easily and with no particular effort is of no particular value. The things that require effort and hard work have a special value and meaning to us.
How to benefit from failure?
Analyze and try to find the reason you failed
Quite often we surrender to our emotions once we fail. Many of us lack simple cool-headedness required for evaluating the situation and identifying the reasons we failed. And yet this is the very point of any failure. For once, let’s try getting a new perspective on our failings and trying to realize what caused them.
Could it be your perfectionism?
The pursuit of perfection can crush a great number of initiatives and poison your life. Try following the 95% rule. Keep in mind that quite often normal is good enough. Especially if your job does not require high accuracy and extreme concentration.
Could nonconstructive criticism be the culprit?
We all just love criticizing others, often without any real reason and always quite meticulously. Surprisingly, there is always a reason to criticize someone. And quite often we ourselves become the object of nonconstructive criticism. There is no need to take it to heart. It’s important to remember what criticism is about, essentially. It’s not just about finding errors but also an attempt to fix the situation, make it better. In this case criticism is constructive and can be quite useful. In all the other cases it’s useless and does not deserve a moment of your attention. Keep that in mind!
So maybe it’s not failure after all?
There are plenty of those inclined to view their whole life through the lens of a problem. In every situation they see a difficulty, a problem, potential for a defeat. Quite often, however, the problem is either far-fetched or non-existent. Try thinking more positively and seeing the flip side of the situation. Quite often a sober perspective from someone close to you can change the way you see things.
Devise an action plan
In most cases, a cool-headed analysis of the situation allows you to understand the reasons for your failure. Having realized those, you can understand how to correct the mistakes made, as well as what to do to achieve the goal. Remember that acting is key to success. Don’t throw in the towel, look for self-justifications, or resort to self-examination and self-pity. Just keep moving forward, having adjusted your plan as required.
Try changing your attitude to failure
And if you think this is difficult, you are quite wrong. The truth is, failings and defeats come with a bunch of perks. One of them is the valuable experience. Making a mistake helps us understand how not to do things next time. By perceiving our failure as a total disaster we corner ourselves into despair. By seeing any failure as a springboard to leap ahead, we open boundless prospects for ourselves. Always do keep that in mind!
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