Personal Development Hack 125: How to Deal with Failures?

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How to deal with failures is a crucial life skill because we all experience some bad days or weeks when we feel like nothing seems to go right or we get stuck on thoughts of our failures. It can be as small as missing a deadline for a small project or as big as losing a great sum of money in the stock market.

Even though the perception of failures is different as everyone has different priorities, the key thing is failures are universal as most of us have to go through them every once in a while. The important aspect is how we perceive and work on them, which shows the character and attitude of a person towards life.

But, sometimes certain failures may overwhelm a person and make them feel defeated, and coping with it becomes difficult. This not only makes them sad about themselves, experience a loss of confidence, but also demotivates them for future tasks. 

So, why do we sometimes get stuck on our failures? One possible reason could be that we personalize our success and failure, so after experiencing a setback instead of focusing on the situation, we blame and trap ourselves in a self-defeating loop

Now, how does one deal with their failures?  A simple hack would be to create a map to translate failures into success. To do this, first, accept that you failed and that it’s okay to fail sometimes. Secondly, go to the beginning of where you started with your task and chart out each of your small decisions or the actions you took that resulted in your defeat.

Ask yourself, “Which one’s work?”, “Which ones were unsuccessful?” And “Which smaller decisions or steps you would have changed to get in a better position for your goal or task”. Once you have identified what all didn’t work out, you can begin to replace those actions with better ones which would translate into success.

A crucial prerequisite for this hack is to depersonalize yourself from your failure, hence, instead of thinking about yourself as, “I am successful or I am a failure” think of yourself as “I did my best and I succeeded”, I should be proud of yourself for both your wins and failures, and post each failure tell yourself, “I might have lost today, but that does not mean I won’t win tomorrow”.   

Bonus tip: Remember your past failures and how you overcome those situations whenever you feel like it will be hard for you to bounce back. Tell yourself, “You have done it in the past, you can do it again”.

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker”

Denis Waitley


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