How to Cope with Failure and Move Forward in Life
Failure often comes with a lot of overwhelming negative emotions that many of us don’t know how to cope with. Our society has succeeded in making everyone believe that high achievements are the key to happiness and failure is associated with shame and misfortune.
However, failure and setbacks are far from the end of the journey. In fact, failure is an opportunity for growth and learning and a chance to become the best version of yourself.
Failing a test, an exam, being rejected, or denied a job position or promotion can be discouraging, which is normal. We all have goals and dreams we want to achieve, and living through failure usually makes us focus more on our weaknesses,
Dwelling on these negative emotions will only increase your melancholy feelings which will prevent you from overcoming the situation and moving forward.
Not properly managing these emotions can also lead you to avoid experiencing another setback by missing many great opportunities that might come your way in the future.
Nonetheless, as human beings we can’t pursue success and expect the road to be easy, we are bound to fall many times before reaching high achievements. It is important to know that even the most successful people have gone through many failures and setbacks, which can be inspiring and reassuring.
These are ways and tips that can help you cope with the emotions of failure and move forward from the situation.
Embrace your emotions
The first and healthy step you have to take to cope with failure is to recognize and embrace your emotions during this situation.
It is important to acknowledge that living through setbacks is normal in life. The faster we realize this, the easier we accept our emotions and eventually move on from the situation and realize its significance in our lives.
Failure hurts, it makes you feel all these negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, distress, shame, anger, hopelessness, uncertainty, and depression. It can be very overwhelming and you might feel isolated not wanting to burden others with your negative emotions or risk being judged for your failure.
You may want to distract yourself and push these emotions away. However, it is best to accept and embrace these feelings and avoid bottling them up so that you don’t let them out at unexpected times in the future.
However, not dwelling on your emotions for too long is just as important as embracing them. Remember that just because you had a setback, does not mean you are unintelligent or incapable.
Take your setback as a learning opportunity
Instead of seeing failure as a horrible experience that shatters our confidence and destroys our motivation, you should take it as a learning opportunity and a new chance to develop yourself and your skills and be more prepared to achieve your goals.
Ask yourself important questions that will help you understand your setback better and learn from it, so you can be able to avoid making the same mistakes.
This way, you will start seeing your setback from a positive perspective and an important factor in your future success, you will get to learn and have more knowledge and experience through it.
Think about what you can do differently and how can you improve your methods to achieve better results.
Practice healthy coping mechanism
Going through a challenging situation such as failure, it is easy to try to cope with it by using unhealthy coping mechanisms and destructive behaviors that can lead to serious consequences either directly or in the long term.
Some of the unhealthy coping mechanisms you should avoid are overeating junk food, smoking, overdrinking, staying up late, criticizing yourself, becoming aggressive.
These unhealthy coping mechanisms can become bad habits that are hard to break from and can cause bigger issues in the future.
Instead, you can indulge in healthy practices that will help you cope with failure in a better way and allow you to embrace your feelings as well without having to bottle them up.
Some of the healthy coping mechanisms you can practice are, talking to someone you trust, so that you get another perspective and feel less alone in that situation, or indulging in your favorite hobby or activities that make you feel better.
Don’t seek validation from others
Some of the negative emotions that come with setbacks are shame and fear of being judged by others, which can destroy our self-esteem and make it more difficult to move on from the situation.
If you associate your success and failure with what others have to say about you, you will live a vicious circle of pleasing others and living by others’ terms.
Your life is yours to live just like other’s lives are their own. You can’t control what others say and how they think, but you can change how you view yourself, which is way more important.
Once you start living your life the way you want and not how others want, you will feel happier because you seek to please yourself instead of others. You will also cope with your failure better, without having to worry about others’ judgments.
Another important note to remember is that everyone goes through failure and setbacks, even the ones you are afraid will judge you have gone through similar situations. No one is perfect, but setbacks help us be the best version of ourselves.
Surround yourself with motivated people
Surrounding yourself with good people who are positive and motivated will help you keep going and never give up. These people are also dreamers with big goals, people that are relentless and work hard.
Being around these types of people will allow you to adopt positive habits and attitudes that will help you cope with difficult situations such as failure.
Your positive friends and loved ones will also help you get back to your feet and inspire you to stay encouraged to follow your dreams.