No one likes to fail. I know I don’t. Whether it’s at school, at home, or in another area of your life, failure hurts, and it can also cost you time, money, or both.
But what we have to remember is that failure is a normal part of life. If you never, ever suffer a failure, then you’re probably not pushing yourself to your full potential. It’s often through failure that we eventually meet success.
Thomas Edison once stated that “[he had] not failed. [He had] just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Now what if he hadn’t gone for way #10,001? Would we all be sitting in the dark right now?
So now that you know it’s okay to fail, here’s how to pick yourself up after you’ve failed:
1. Limit the damage caused.
Once the realization of failure has sunken in, take steps to limit the damage caused by that failure. That could mean selling that bike that you never got around to using, or apologizing to someone who you hurt by saying something thought or unkind.
Whatever the situation is, being proactive is always going to be a better option that wishing it never happened.
2. Remember, other people fail, too.
Most people don’t talk openly about their failures. They’ll tell you about the test they aced… not the quizzes they had studied for all night, only to sleep through it the next day.
But failure is normal, and lots of people fail time and time again before meeting with success.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ~ Michael Jordan
“I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
3. Remind yourself of your past successes!
Failing doesn’t mean that you’re worthless or that you’ll never achieve the things you want. Think of all the times in the past when you’ve succeeded.
Write down a list of successes, things that you’ve accomplished over the past 3 months, BIG or small.
4. Make a decision.
Whatever went “wrong,” you’re probably facing some sort of decision.
Look for a forward path. Take your time making hasty decisions. You can help yourself by getting some extra advice and support from someone you can trust in your life, reading and learning more, or talking/journaling through your options.
“Doing nothing” is certainly an option… but it’s a decision in itself, and often one that won’t lead to anything positive.
Whatever failure you’re struggling with right now, you can learn from it, and move on.