Did you know? Thomas Edison made thousand unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Once a reporter asked Thomas, “How does it feel failing thousand times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail thousand times. The light bulb was an invention with thousand steps”. What is important here is, not his success, but the fact that he never gave up.
Failure is universal. It’s impossible to live our life and not face failure. Every day we face failure in some or the other way, it can be a job failure, financial failure, relationship failure, failure to overcome an addiction, exam failure, failure to learn something new, or a failure of any other goal. Each one of us has failed while taking our first steps as a child, haven’t we?
So why are we afraid to fail, why are we unable to deal with it, why it hurts so much to fail? Because our society has made a perception that failures are bad. Every kid in the school is expected to get good grades, they are not taught to deal with failures. The problem with failure is that, it is not managed properly. If left uncured, it can lead to serious consequences leaving you both, financially and emotionally bankrupt.
So, let’s get started with few steps that can help you overcome failure.
1. Let the mind settle
Our brain is like water, when it is disturbed, just let it be. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. We can judge and take best decisions of our life when we stay calm. So, do not think about the past nor the future, just be in the present.
2. Accept the failure
Our initial tendency is to blame others or uncontrollable external factors. It is very rare that, failures in our lives are, entirely the responsibility of someone else. Until we take personal responsibility, we can never move on. If it was due to factors outside our control, simply let it go. Find courage to let go of what we cannot change. If it was partly due to someone else’s failures, then find freedom in forgiveness.
3. Talk to people around
Nobody successfully navigates life alone. Turn to people around you, a counsellor or even a person who had a similar experience in the past. There will always be few people in your life to share not only the good days but the bad days too, so do not hesitate. There will be times when you will be left alone on the road, but remember the sun always shines after the storm.
4. Don’t let others affect you
There will always be people to celebrate our demise, discourage us, intentionally or sometimes even unintentionally (the ones who see the half glass empty). We must neither get affected, nor blame them, because it is their way of looking at life. True friends will always be there to celebrate your successes, and push you from failure to achieve your goals.
5. Do not justify your failure
Many a times when we fail, we justify it and give ourselves a reason to give up.
A very famous example, A fox goes in the woods, he sees some grapes and jumps to get them, after a couple of failed attempts the fox gives up. To justify his failure, he states “the grapes were probably sour anyway”. To overcome failure in life, we need to be firm and stop making excuses for ourselves.
6. Understand reasons for failure and learn from mistakes
Socrates once said “unexamined life is not worth living”. True holds for success and failure. Determine the cause and the steps we can take to learn from experience. Failure provides the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Once again get up and look for opportunities, make a better plan keeping in mind the mistakes made earlier. Do not forget to celebrate your smallest of victories, this not only gives happiness but also self-motivation to keep going.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” - Samuel Beckett
Let's all come together and change the perspective towards failure. Try to change the mindset of at least one person in your life.
Would love to hear your opinions.