How to handle failures and learn from them?

by Ashvini on August 23, 2010

in Motivation

Everyone has seen failure in their lives. People either have failed in their business venture, broken up relationships or failed in their career. A failed person is the one who has not achieved the task that he had planned for. Failure can cause mood swings, irrita
bility and feeling of hopelessness. No one in the world is immune to failure. It may be big or small but it has a long lasting impact on psyche of a person.

So how does anyone deal with a situation like this ? There are people who are risk takers and are not scared of the failures. They may be genetically blessed to have such traits but most of us learn the hard way.

Let me elaborate some of the techniques I used when I suffered failure. I hope you also can apply them to your situations. They are not substitutes to any professional help and you should take it when you require.

  1. Accept the situation that a failure has occurred in life:
  2. Sometimes accepting that we have failed, we can take a step back and look at the things in perspective. Being in denial means that suffering the effects of failure even though the situation has changed. Failure does not mean THE END. It is just the opposite of success.

  3. Analyze the reasons of failure:
  4. Try to determine, why did you fail? Were your efforts sufficient? Were you lacking in something? Did you do something wrong? It is very human to make mistakes. We only tend to punish ourselves a lot. Write them down if necessary and think about them without being emotional.

  5. You cannot do much if it was beyond your capacity:
  6. Did failure happen because circumstances were not right? Did your business fail because customer did not respond? Did nature played havoc on your business? There are plenty of reasons on which you have no control. So no point fretting about them.

  7. Try to learn from the failure:
  8. Could you have done something that could have prevented the failure? If yes, would you do it differently now?

    Would your ethics allow you to do what you did not do last time?

    Did you have any options?

    What was the best route? Why didn’t you take it?

    Has failure changed you? Why?

    Learning from failure and analyzing it will give you enough strength to face it. If for e.g. you lost out in career because of training that you did not take, do it now and try again.

  9. Remember at any time, you can only take one decision:
  10. Many times people say ‘If only’. You cannot take two decisions at a moment in time. And once you have taken a decision, be ready to bear the consequence. No one complains about success that happened because of a certain decision that they took. But one failure is enough to break them down.

  11. Try to gather the small pieces of successes in a failure:
  12. Nothing that ever happens is a complete success or a complete failure. There are pieces of successes in failures and vice versa. Try to find them. For example, if you were able to sell only a few products from your business instead of a million of them, it still is a partial success. And failure does not look very bad now.

  13. Try again:
  14. Nobody stopped you from trying again. You have learned a lot from the failure and you will not repeat the same mistakes. Failure has actually set you up for success. Only that the first time things were not so perfect. Know it and move on .

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