In my previous column, I briefly touched upon failure in context of building resilience. This one is an insight into failure itself and how we choose to deal with it.
When we talk about mental health and stress and managing it, a big chunk about it has to do with how we deal with bad days, dejection, rejection and what we do to get back up and running and not give up or give in to the pressure.
I lead a chaotic life, I have had multiple instances of epic failures and looking back, on many instances I have felt like life was not worth it and any effort was useless. In the hyper-competitive world, we live in, it’s hard to hold on to sanity and it can be tough to keep the neck above water.
When we see success and come face to face with it, we forget to see what got us there and we are so enamoured that we forget to see beyond it.
Rejection is more real than acceptance, judgement is more real than objectivity, failure is a lot more real than success, happiness and bliss are temporary, there will be a lot of resistance, there will be critique and negativity, there will be despair and anger, but then there will also be calm, and we don’t learn to take it in our stride.
The world has a fear of failure and its fed to us both consciously and unconsciously fear and be bogged down by it.
While organisations are striving hard to get people to fail more and many of them are introducing ways to incentivise and reward failure, we still have a long way to go… We believe that failure hampers success, but in fact failure sets the stage for success and helps gain insight and learning in the process.
The failure versus success rates are always skewing towards failure and its good to be prepared to fail and build strength and resilience to deal with it rather than giving up. When you know failure is inevitable, its better to be ready to fail and have back up plans.
Here are some ways to deal with failure and come through:
- Being and staying positive
- Listening to people’s stories and reading about lives and struggles
- Live with failure and learn from it
- Accept failure as a normal thing and use it to improve
- Having a setback is not the same thing as failing
- Any journey has by natural design failures built into it
- Find inspiration and motivation
- Don’t stay stuck to the problem, learn to move past and move ahead
- Act on it and have plan b and plan c ready
- Cut yourself some slack and use the insights of failure to steer you towards success
It isn’t good to be condescending when we have attained some form of success. It’s good to remember that success can fail or stagnate whereas failure can always rise from the ashes… Failure can teach a lot more than success and success that comes after failing is a lot more sustainable.
We cannot ignore or turn our noses up at failure. Everyone makes wrong choices, people falter, there are learning curves and journey paths, each unique. We must learn to be patient and gentle with failure – both personal and external to us. We never know when it’s our turn to fail…
Remember Thomas Edison and what he said famously – “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”