How to Deal with Failures

Our first perception of failure is shaped, when we get bad grades in school. Our parents, friends, relative and all the other relevant persons under the sun, expect us to be sorry about it. Many of the weekend plans are cancelled; birthday gifts are withheld. Our perception of failure is shaped when we fail to make the ball pass through the hoop and the fellow mates as tiny tot as we are, laugh at us. We don’t want that. We don’t want people scoffing at us; we don’t want to feel undeserving. We are cornered into being glum over it, unless we climb notch by notch to get out of it. After all how can we possibly be happy after scoring poor grades or being pathetic at anything?

And this is it. A notion is engraved in our mind. It goes something like, “I couldn’t get a job. I’m worthless” and a lot of similar conceptions. But hold on, who said that? Why are we supposed to be sad just because we failed?

Failures are stepping stone to success, reads every kid. But I never saw it written anywhere that when you toil to that next step you have to be bleeding with sorrow because you had failed before. Many would argue that glumness comes with the realization and happy after failing are those who haven’t yet figured that something has charred their life. What is the key then? How do we deal with it?

Get over the perception that you are supposed to be sad

The first thing to do is to stop agonizing over it and accept that it has happened. And it is the hardest of all. Its like, “How can it possibly happen to me?”, “What did I do wrong?” or simply slipping into a melancholic mood, blearily listening to “Why does it always rain on me” or any such song that fits your bill. Failing doesn’t mean that you destroy your liver or growl over every single soul you find for not understanding your pain. Or maybe just plop on the floor, in the corner of the room dark as charcoal and cry your eyes out, just because you are supposed to be as glum as an oyster, because you failed or because that is what is expected out of you from your peers and society, to mourn over failure.

Smell the Coffee. What has happened has happened. There is nothing on this earth that you can do to change it, not unless Fairies and Superman are real, last I heard, they were not.
As is a quote from Maya Angelou, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
How to deal with failures then?

Build your castle all over again

I read somewhere, present is outcome of past action and thoughts. Guess, you don’t want to destroy the future by pouring over those outcomes in present. You got to learn your lesson and move on from there.

How would have you reacted if you would have succeeded in the thing you failed in? Imagine that. Like really write it down. If you want that raise in salary which you didn’t get last time, write it down every day before you sleep, “I’m happy for the raise I got.” What you want is to Have- It and generally the thought process we indulge in after failing is of Not- Having- It, how on earth we will ever have it, if we keep thinking about not having it. You have to have your faith intact that you are going to get it.

As Steven Wright said, “If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried. And try it all over again.”

Do you have any suggestion or comment on how to deal with failures? Feel free to drop it in the comment section.

  • Ankur Anand

    Nicely written Srishti .. 🙂

  • Sara Karlsson

    Our success(as well as failure) is largely determined by the choices we make!
    Beautiful article!

  • Anil Bhat

    A nice article, would like to add a little more to it:

    Failure and success come later, first a person should understand the entire journey of life is comprised of what? And among those components, how many things he is on the receiving end and how many he takes control of. What I’m trying to say is when we come to this world, we are not asked which family we want, which social status we will be given, etc… So, life is a journey of happy and sad moments and when we face any failure in life, its obvious that we didn’t want it to happen but it happened because that was a prefixed component in our life and moreover we feel more sad because we’re afraid of the questions being raised by our friends and relatives, otherwise if, for a moment, we assume there is no other person who knows about our failure, we definitely will be in a better mood and happy. This is a dangerous perception we keep that we are controlled by the society. If you are not doing anything wrong intentionally then why should we feel disheartened and sad. Remember, our thoughts should be controlled by us only but nobody else.

    -Anil Bhat

  • Dr Amitabh Ghosh

    Shrishti well done.

    ‘I will fail’…is a fear. so when we take actions with fear it is not effective and hence increases the chance of failure all the more. in fact this fear is actually not because one fails but is because of what others will think if I fail. so the best way to get rid of fear is 2 simple steps- 1. Give your 100 % in your actions without bothering about the results

    2. Stop bothering about what others will think….Right NOW

    [email protected]

  • Mayank Kishore

    “what abt the failure that only an individual himself knows ..??and dare not to disclose …how to fight with a question “how can i fail?”…a failure that shakes his confidence…
    its difficult to start afresh after such things …a failure every time hurts may be in love may be in life may be in your expectations …”
    your article answers it partially …it was great reading it..u ll go a long way of luck