Failure hurts. It hurts especially when we have worked so hard to meet expectations, have high hopes for success, but we end up falling short. Despite our inherent drive for perfection, failure remains an unfortunate inevitability of the human condition. It is, in fact, what makes us truly human.
But how do we deal with failure and how can we use it to our advantage?
For me, the secret to dealing with failure is a matter of perspective. Everyone experiences their own personal failures, but how we view them can vary from person to person. Some might see failure as a pure reflection of their own intelligence, ability or character. Some however, see it as an opportunity to grow.
Failure really is a test of resilience. It’s important to understand that failure is never the end, but is rather simply a part of the journey to success. The story will always continue after a failure (unless it is the end of the world of course) – however, if one chooses to dwell on a failure, it can naturally become a block in the road, rather than a stepping stone or bridge to the next chapter.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore failure; by all means, ruminate on and live through your failures. Learn from them. Use them to build a better version of you. Don’t take failure personally – it is important to know that failure does not define who you are. You must not let it affect your drive to learn and improve – two things which are ultimately more important than anything else in life.
I know what you’re thinking. Way easier said than done. I know that too; trust me, I’ve been there before. It’s never easy. It takes a lot of energy, practise and reinforcement of a growth mindset, and even then, I believe no human has truly mastered it. It all starts with:
- handling your immediate emotions and reactions
- understanding that failures are not a reflection of you or who you are
- they are instead events on a timeline that always lead to self improvement and success
When you look at the image at the start of this post, what do you see?
I don’t know how that plate was broken – maybe it was dropped accidentally, or maybe it was thrown by someone in a fit of rage. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t really matter much. I will tell you what I see: a plate that is broken, but can be pieced back together, to serve its purpose once again.
How are you going to deal with your next failure?
Till next time!
Featured image by Jared Rice on Unsplash