How to Learn from Failure
Failure as we all know is inevitable, and failure occurs in different degrees and at different levels or phases of life. That a person has a smooth sailing from childhood to adult age does not guarantee a life of unending bliss. For instance, there are students who were Straight A’s from grade school to high school. But at their university level, their gravity starts to falter. Another example is relationships. There are marriages that started strong, romantically, and economically strong, but later on things begin to fall apart. The same thing also happens in business. Nobody plans to fail, notwithstanding, we can all learn from failure when it happens.
So, whatever the experience of failure is, be it a lost opportunity, sports competition, relationship failure, business failure, bankruptcy, academic failure, political, or spiritual failure, to experience any of these feels so uncomfortable. Failure feels awful. It cast doubts on a person’s ability or competence. It deposits fear and withdraws confidence. It generates, anger, and embarrassment to some people. Failure leaves a person with emotional pain. It is one thing to experience failure at any point in life; and yet another for one to think of himself or herself as a failure. Labeling oneself a failure after or during any of life’s setbacks is a wrong approach to learn from failure.
I have heard some people express such words as “Oh no I’m a failure.” This is not what I expected for my life.” Making such statements, increases or magnifies the embarrassing feeling. So, I believe that it is very important that we teach ourselves, children, or friends and families, that there is always a better way to cope with failure. How to Avoid the Stumbling Blocks for Success
The Effects of Failure
Without any doubt, we know and have seen and even experienced firsthand that failures can lead to negative emotions. To some people, it can be an embarrassment, sadness, shame, guilt, fear, bruised ego, sleepless nights, low energy, and degenerates into depression. Our emotions should be observed when dealing with failure. Let the mind be redirected to what is positive and healing. No wonder Paul advised the Ephesians to think only on what is of good report, what is excellent, loving and uplifting, etc. (I paraphrased). However, some psychological studies, are touting the idea of failure as a good thing, in the sense that it provides a motivation to do better next time.
This is because, for the person who failed, he or she will no longer take chances, instead the person will be determined to work harder, study harder, and seek better ways of getting a better result in the future. In other words, if we tune our minds to learn from our mistakes, we will discover why and how we failed and a better way to handle things better next time by paying close attention to some areas neglected before.
3 Simple Ways to Handle Failure
Often time, some failures are caused by negligence, bad decisions, and choices, and by being over-confident. Failures can also be caused by another person’s mistakes or intentional acts of wickedness. Whatever be the root cause of the failure, it shouldn’t be overlooked, minimized, or rationalized, if not the lesson to learn from the failure will be lost, and that can cause another failure to reoccur. Often time, some people seem to downplay some serious issues in their lives, business, and relationships that require close attention. For instance, I know of a girl, call her Bertha, who has been in university for the past 7 years now. This is just for the first degree. Bertha got herself so conflicted, that going forward is as hard as going backward.
For this beautiful lady whenever you ask her about her schooling, and when she is finishing, she will just give her already packaged made-up replies. And every year no evidence of her academic progress because she is not being honest to herself and her family, as to find the cause of her not completing her degree program within the normal 4 years.
Currently, she seems to have run out of excuses, about her academic setbacks. Because of her lack of transparency, and other personality traits, she’s been struggling, and as you know one thing leads to another, success begets success so can failure begets failure if not properly handled. Bertha’s school experience with a poor way of managing her setbacks led to her frustration, isolation, and depression.
The point here is to be truthful to yourself about what caused or is causing your failure in any area; then find a way to fix it. They said if you’re inside a hole, you don’t suppose to keep digging, instead find a way to get out of the hole first. So being transparent, self-aware, and ready to learn how to improve is the right step. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/widows-guide-healing/201606/5-ways-cope-failure
Cultivate a Teachable Mind
Life is the best university with free admission for everyone. It is our willingness to learn and be thought that will determine our rate of success and failure. Some of us, I say some of us, which means plus me, have some personality traits that we consider harmless but along the process through learning, and being self-aware we suddenly realize that they are contributing to our setbacks or our opportunity to succeed as we expected. So, the way to recover is to be teachable. Being willing to learn from our past failures, mistakes, and shortcomings. Unfortunately, many people have not learned or know how to learn from our failures. Hence many fail now and then.
Avoid Blaming Others When Things
Turn Out the Way Not Expected
How many of us have the humility to admit mostly in our relationships, career, that one way or another that we contributed to the failure, or problems being faced? Instead, we behave like my grandchildren will react when you asked them, who pushed the flower down Daniel, “it’s not me”. It’s who then? “It’s Liz”. Then Liz will scream, “grandma it’s not me it’s Daniel. Blaming and lying to ourselves, doesn’t help our situation at all. Instead telling ourselves and close people the truth will help. Why we should avoid the blame game, is to give ourselves a clear mind to learn, to understand what happened, where we stayed, what we missed or included that weren’t supposed to be included or left out.
Also, in as much as it is not a good idea to blame other people for our failures, it is also not a good idea to upload the whole blame on yourself. Some do this by calling themselves names, punishing themselves, and by avoiding making further efforts with learning how to improve their situation. They feel like throwing in the towel by labeling themselves as failures. She is very good at blaming others and often time calling herself some mean names. Self-blames lead to guilt feelings. We have to realize, that Failure is not the end of life.
When I was growing up, one of my slogans was “the fall of a man is never the end of his life.” And that is true. Whenever anything turns out the way we didn’t anticipate, we should try our best to reinterpreted what happens in such a way that we give us room to regain our balance without having a double fall. Learning what to do next, how to prevent a recurrence should be our goal whenever we suffer any kind of failure. Never give up!