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Overcoming 'failure'

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The first step to overcoming your failure and rising to success is to accept the fact that you were not able to achieve the goal you had set. Whatever it is that you did not succeed at,that is in the past. This is the time to learn from your failure. Do not let feelings of inadequacy and desolation set in. Acceptance of failure in a project and yet retrying can be a very difficult thing to master, especially if you are in the habit of being very hard on yourself. Unfortunately, most of us are, and this can prove to be detrimental to our emotional, and sometimes mental, health. That is why it is so important to come to terms with the failure that is getting you down since those feelings can be very consuming, especially when you were very invested in the project. But remember that many of the greatest successes in life occur when all hope seemed lost but a suggestion by a friend motivated the one that failed to try something different and this time it was successful.

I recall when I was in junior high school and I was very discouraged because I was always the last one to finish running a lap around the track. My gym coach took me aside and suggested that I work on running longer distances. He said he was going to challenge the class to see who could finish running four laps around the track first at the end of the spring semester and for me to start running around the block in my neighborhood to increase my stamina at long distance running. Sure enough at the end of the school year, although I did not come first in running four laps around the track, I came in second and was proud for some kids did not even finish the four laps..

This reminded me that success comes not only to those who seem to lose weight effortlessly in a short time, but also to those who are motivated to go the long route for the duration of the time needed to lose the weight. So when life seems difficult, it is time to examine what happened to you and try to find an objective point of view about it. Do not make the mistake of believing that your apparent failure defines you. On the contrary, the only thing that defines you is the way you handle yourself in the face of adversity. That is when we find out what we are really made of. Unfortunately, many of us are programmed from an early age to believe that if something is hard or doesn’t come easy to us, or if we fail at our initial objective, then we are just not good at it. Perseverance is something that is usually not taught in most schools or households, except by example. And those examples can be sadly rare.

Do not blame yourself for feeling crushed under the weight of your challenge. This is a natural reaction to have. It is far worse to punish yourself for "failing" because we didn't meet self imposed standards such as the success of others. Instead, consider the event that has discouraged you from all angles. Try to journal about the way it has made you feel. If you need to, you could even consider speaking to a friend or qualified professional who can help you to sort out the difficult feelings related to this event. This can be especially helpful if you have experienced some variety of trauma. Sometimes, traumatic events can make it that much more difficult to succeed, so working through them can be a great way to equip yourself with the tools and fortitude that can sometimes need to be developed in order to succeed.

Once you have been able to make peace with your 'failure' and have stopped blaming yourself and feeling resentful and embarrassed about it, instead beginning to see the event as objectively as possible, you will begin to create the mental mind-space you need to move forward. Instead of wasting time and energy being stressed out about your past failures, you will be able to learn from them instead and begin to grow and prepare yourself for a life of success!
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