16 Strategies to Deal with Failure
I woke up one day and felt like my efforts had utterly failed. My plans and hard work had not born the expected fruit and I had no back up strategy. I didn’t know what to do next and feared that whatever it was, it was doomed to failure as well! Failure is part of life.
If you are trying new things and following your dreams, you will experience failure along the way! How you deal with it may determine if your dreams become reality.
Here are 16 strategies to use when you are disappointed and feel like a failure.
- Don’t dwell on it. This strategy will force you to employ another of the strategies below, so move on.
- Get perspective. Many consider Thomas Edison the greatest American inventor. He invented the light bulb after more than 1000 failures! One failure or two or even 1000 apparently does not doom you to a life of insignificance.
- Take a breath! You are not defined by what you accomplish as much as by who you are. Stop thinking about the failure, breathe, relax and calm down.
- Persist. Don’t ever give up. Whatever prompted you to take the risk that led to the failure is worth pursuing no matter what happens.
- Write it out. Take a few minutes and write out your dream. Record the failure as well. Put it on paper (or a computer screen). This may help you with perspective.
- Reflect on past successes. Think about the times you have been successful. Recall awards, achievements, words of appreciation and feelings of accomplishment.
- Don’t be envious. We have a tendency to look around us at those who are successful and wish it were us. What we don’t know about those successful people, however, is how many failures they have powered through to reach their level of success.
- Change your pace. Interrupt your routine. Run instead of read. Go the library instead of the gym.
- Get to some new scenery. This can be simple. Instead of looking out my home office window, I will often go out the back door and walk around the yard with a view of the pasture behind my home.
- Take a short retreat. I mean 30 minutes to an hour. Get away someplace. Go to lunch. Find a place that doesn’t remind you of your failure but allows you to dream.
- Talk to someone. Find the most positive and encouraging person you know. Share your feelings. Express your frustrations. Don’t insist on affirmation but accept it if given.
- Don’t eat. I mean don’t eat pie and ice cream all day. Don’t go on a day long (or week long) binge of comfort food!
- Pray. Expressing your heart and emotions to God is good for you. It points your mind in the right direction and will help with all of the other strategies written here.
- Trust in God. One thing we know about God is that he loves us. Trust in that love and care for your life.
- Ask, “what’s next?” You can ask yourself or ask Jesus. He will guide you on the right path. He will help open your eyes to the possibilities all around you.
- Simply follow. I believe with all that I have that Jesus leads us on the right path. Even when things don’t make sense, even when failure seems to stare us in the face and mock us, if we continually follow, we will find that the way we are going is good and right.
How will you handle your failure today? If this has helped you, please pass it along to others, so they, too, may be encouraged.