6 Strategies For Dealing With Failure

All of us have seen it. Failure is inevitable. You cannot run from it. We fear it. Failure brings back bad memories. There is not a single person on the face of earth who has not seen failure. But most of us look at it as something which ruins us. We hate failure, don’t we?

Have you ever wondered – it is THAT very experience of failure that makes you a wiser, smarter person and leads you towards success. In other words, failure is good for us. Yes, it is. It is upto us to decide how we take it. Do we let failure take over us and surrender to it? Or do we get up and do something about it.

From how I look at it, here are 6 strategies (strategies that actually work) to handle any kind of failure in life:

1. Find out the reason for failure: Remember, if there are no obstacles on your road to success – your goal isn’t worth it. Life is not an easy ride and failures will come. Ask yourself, what did I learn from this? How can I improve? Don’t blame anything or anyone for it. Just with a calm mind, sit down, take out a paper and write down your plus points and minus points. Write down what went wrong and what should be improved. Once you have it all set, think about what you are going to do now. Forget about the failure in the past and think about the bright future you have ahead of you.

2. Give it another shot, learn from your mistakes, try harder than ever: Try again, with more passion, don’t repeat your mistakes, bigger goals, and higher determination. Give it your 100%. That way, you’ll know that you gave it your everything, you gave it your best shot, and leave the rest to God.

3. Don’t care what others think: This, is very important. We easily get influenced and affected by people around us and what they say about us. Remember, this is your life, and what others say should not matter. If they really care about you, they will not say hurtful things to you – especially aimed at your failures . People who stay by your side when you’re down will be the ones who will be genuinely happy when you’re high up! Never feel ashamed of yourself because of failure. Failure only means that success is coming next!

4. Make a plan: Plan everything out. Your strategies. Your goals. Your aim. And set time limits to them. Push yourself and concentrate. Success is comprised of four Ds = Determination + Dedication + Desire + Devotion. A well structured plan can help you to be more focused in achieving your goals.

5. Motivate yourself: Have faith in yourself. In times like these, it is very easy to consider yourself worthless and lose hope in everything. Don’t let that get to you. Motivate yourself. Stay around positive people who lift your spirits. Keep your distance from negative people. Think positive thoughts. Believe in yourself no matter what others say.

6. Listen to your gut feeling: Sometimes, failure can also mean that you’re on the wrong path. It can be an indication that your success lies somewhere else. In such cases, a detour can save your life! According to me, quitting doesn’t always mean losing. Sometimes, when you quit one thing and move on to something different and better, it can bring great happiness to your life too (Just like it did to mine!). But yes, quitting completely and NOT doing anything else, totally giving up hope is wrong. As the popular quote goes, “Follow your heart, but take your brain with you!”

I came across this great article  which shows how really successful people overcame failures in their life to become great!

Finally, as Zig Ziglar puts it: “Failure + perseverance = Success” Nobody succeeds in a big way except by risking failure!

Do you agree with this post? How do YOU handle failures? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Images thanks to:

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  1. Inspiring post, Nicky. Good, simple practical strategies. No one wants to fail. But it inevitably happens for a reason, for turning yourself from O.K. to great. I always see failure as a chance to come back strongly. It gives me an opportunity to enhance my skills. Failure is the new success as long as you’ve picked few lessons on the way!

  2. Nicky, I recently failed something which was a once in a lifetime opportunity – it will never come around again. The worst thing is, I deserved it, everyone thought I would get this ‘thing’ and my best friend actually got it(he did honestly not deserve it). Ever since then (June 2011) I have felt severely depressed, angry and confused as to what happened and what went wrong, but I am honestly too scared to ask the person responsible for the decision. I really don’t know what to do and it is killing me everyday, especially this is the most important year of my life. Thanks.

    • Hi John,
      I know what you mean and I have gone through a similar incident too. Let me tell you one thing – just because you failed in ONE thing doesn’t mean you won’t succeed in another. Whatever happens, happens for the best but you might not realize it yet. Have faith and don’t lose hope. There will be many opportunities coming your way! Positivity is key, my friend!

      • Thanks for your prompt reply. This is very true. I guess I just feel like everything I did that year was not recognised, my attempts were futile. The person that teased me for helping others was then given the role over me, and it just upsets me. I guess the worst thing is that I am reminded of it daily in my everyday life and unfortunately it has led me to a depressed state, and I am very good at hiding it do no one even knows! :'(

  3. I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes you can’t help but keep reliving your failure and wondering what could have been. If this is what you do, it is easy to get sucked into a spiral of self-loathing, depression and feeling sorry for yourself while being bitter at others success (I know how this feels too). But I guess this is life, sometimes you don’t get what you want, but it is what you do AFTER that really matters. Pick yourself up, re-organise and start again and get stuck in – sometimes the journey is better than the destination. And in life, the journey is rarely straight.

    Thanks Nicky, your blog did feel (im tempted to say empowering) but I feel like doing more and not letting failure get in my way.

    • Very well said! It is what you do after, that really matters! I completely agree with your point of view. I’m glad you liked my post~

  4. I have been working on a novel for years, it has been somewhat of a disappointment that I have not finished yet. I found this post very helpful. I especially liked the first strategy. And that graphic reminded me of the diagram for the rising action of a novel. In stories the characters always suffer failure and setbacks, but if you look at the big picture they are always progressing toward their goal. It is just encouraging to know that is how it is supposed to be.

    I am starting to think that I need to praise myself for what I do get accomplished instead of punishing myself for falling short of my goal. I think of my little son (I just became a father) and how I praise him for the little things he does, babbling and standing up, and that encourages him to do it more often. If instead I got mad at him for not meeting my expectations he would probably stop trying. I think psychologically we are all the same as a little baby, we respond well when our accomplishments are praised, even if we have to do the praising ourselves. I think we should look at the little accomplishments we make on the way to our goals and praise those instead of punishing ourselves for the one failure of reaching that goal.

  5. Hey Nicky,
    This is a very well written post. I must say that I’ve been in the dumps lots of times. I have in fact been trying to crack a really tough exam which would give me a better job and a better life.
    I have written the exam thrice so far and have written it the 4th time. Im still scared to face the result.
    Well looks like I got to face it no matter what. So what do think about this? Is this sort of fear normal?

  6. really inspiring.!
    yeah, what matters is on how you deal with that failure.After all, life is full of chances, It’s up with us to grab that chance, and prove ourselves for those people or person, who still believes in us.

  7. i think this is one of the best pieces i have read. I just failed one of my law papers and didnt know what to do. I believe with this info i can start all over again.

  8. Hi Nicky,this is a very good article. It helps me a lot. Failure normally comes our way but it depends on how we really deal with it because this might be the reason for us to attain our goals and aspirations.

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