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.