• Gwen

how to cope with failure.

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Failure is a notion too often associated with disappointment and a vicious self-doubting cycle. Nobody wants to be put in a position where they have to face the dreaded email that goes something along the lines of “Unfortunately, you were not successful…” It can leave us feeling embarrassed and reluctant to put ourselves in any kind of vulnerable situation in the future. 


Failure is a notion too often associated with disappointment and a vicious self-doubting cycle. Nobody wants to be put in a position where they have to face the dreaded email that goes something along the lines of “Unfortunately, you were not successful…” It can leave us feeling embarrassed and reluctant to put ourselves in any kind of vulnerable situation in the future. 


Failure isn’t a determining factor of self-worth but it is a major part of life that is crucial for us. Despite how hard-hitting it can be, failure serves its own purpose of teaching us what we need to know to grow and attract the right opportunities. Dealing with failure becomes a little easier when we have coping tools and mechanisms under our belt.


what can I learn from this?

A natural response to failure is to curl up in a safe cocoon where the world’s hard-hitting reality can’t touch you, but that’s not healthy nor is it the only option when coping with failure. Think back to when you first learnt to ride a bicycle, it wasn’t smooth sailing right away, it took lots of practicing, wobbling, and trying to prevent flying over the handlebars from braking too harshly. Yet you persisted, determined to be able to ride a bike without a guided hand or stabilisers, and you succeeded! 


What can you learn from this failure? Do you need more preparation time in the future? Do you need to read up on interview questions to understand how to better answer them? Do you need to make a timetable for studying? No matter what happens in our lifetimes, good or bad, there is always a lesson to be learnt otherwise we don’t move, we don’t grow and we don’t improve. Grab a notebook or open up the notes section on your phone and keep a list of these things to come back to in the future.


how can I improve?

Under no circumstances should you give yourself permission to be hard on yourself, try less self-hate, and more loving reflection. There could be certain requirements that were not met but, unless you applied for an astronaut job role with no professional background, no job is ever permanently out of reach. It could be that you need more experience or it could be that another candidate simply interviewed better on this occasion. It’s always worth seeking feedback, whether it’s a job interview or an assignment mark that you were disappointed with; if you don’t ask you don’t get. 


what can I change?

Failure is anything but a sign to give up, it may test your patience and make you question career choices and more but it should definitely be used as an incentive to keep going. “Nana korobi, ya oki” also known as the famous quote, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” Many factors can play their part, such as timing, lack of preparation or it could be that a particular opportunity wasn’t what you needed at that time. Feeling out of control in a situation can feel overwhelming and bring about feelings of anxiety but there are things you can control by choosing to make changes. It could be engaging in new opportunities that will provide you with different experiences and chances to network, or it could be switching up your morning routine to provide you with more energy and motivation.


The lists are endless and the power is all in your hands!


Gwen


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