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How to handle failure



Handling failure

Image Source: Behrooz Nobakht

In order to handle failure successfully you need to understand one thing: failure is a part of life and the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people don’t give up when they encounter failure. The general argument goes like, “You don’t fail if you don’t try.”

This is precisely the reason why many people don’t take risk: they fear failure. It takes courage to face failure and still try. You may encounter failure in business, in sports, in performing arts and in love and relationships, but remember one thing, at this very moment, millions of people are already in your position, and billions of people have already gone through similar experiences. So it’s not something like fate is targeting you and everything in the world is acting against you.

How to effectively handle failure

  • It is not the end of the world. Really, and we’re not talking about you being a pilot and failing to control your aircraft (there is a great chance you won’t be reading this post then). You failed yourself, and you failed others, OK, no big deal. Feel bad for a while and then move on. Mopping around the whole time ain’t gonna do any good neither to you nor somebody else. In the morning when you get up, just look outside. See? The world is still there.
  • Turn failure into a learning experience. Thomas Edison once commented, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Learn from your failure and don’t shrug away from reality. Those who don’t learn from history are cursed to repeat it (OK, many cliches here, but you get the point, right?). So jot down all the things that might have led to your failure and be sincere if you really want to succeed. What were the things you had and didn’t have? What did you do and didn’t do? What were the things that you could control and couldn’t control (an earthquake when you were constructing a building couldn’t have been controlled). Don’t obsess and over-analyze, but do give it a proper thought.
  • Distract yourself for a while. Spend some time with family members, friends or the loved one, and do something fun. Hit the bar, go for a long drive, track for a few days. If you love water then spend some time on the beach. If you like physical activities then do something related. The idea is that you should get away from the situation or place where the failure took place, for a while.
  • Take advise. There is nothing wrong in taking advise. Remember consultants earn millions just for giving advise. Seek good advise from whenever you can and see your issue from a new angle. Don’t fear people’s reaction. If they mock you or refuse to help, it’s their problem, not yours.
  • Empathize with others. Understand it’s not only you who have a load of problems or who are facing a daunting failure. Imagine the state of a father who sees a child dying of hunger because he cannot get food for a child. What could be a bigger sense of failure? Millions of people all over the world are facing even bigger challenges. Get out. See how you can help people. While you’re wallowing in your misery this might seem odd, but helping others really works.

Do you have some thoughts on how to effectively handle failure? Please share them in the comments section.

3 thoughts on “How to handle failure

  1. Faiz_ashes

    Hi…
    I need some serious counseling…. I have started a small venture. And I was confident of making it big…. I have given every thing what I can to see to it that it dont stop….
    But I have not addressed one critical issue…. The Family N Relatives…..
    My relatives said I can not do it…. My wife's family said I should not do it…. N my wife said I should not do it because I can not do it…. Finally the competitors have seen to it that I dont do it……
    After 2 years of struggle…. struggle not for result… But for convincing my near and dear…. I have to call it off….. My worry is not the losses… I was prepared for those things…. BUT my worry is…. What should I call it…. A business failure OR a defeat….
    And what should be my priorities in getting over it…..

  2. MS

    thanks sarah. i failed a client. i feel bad… sad… ashamed… but i wont give up. ill do better next time

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