Failure happens to the best of us. It’s inevitable that it will happen. It doesn’t matter how hard you work, how prepared you are, or how positive you are, one day you’ll find yourself flat on your back. The thing that separates the best of us from the rest of us, is how you respond when failure hits you hard. In this article, I’m going to give you six powerful strategies that will help you overcome failure (when it does happen) and how to stay positive.
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Overcome Failure and Stay Positive
1 – Process Your Emotions
Failing can cause strong emotions. Anger, resentment, and sadness are only a few of the many powerful emotions that can be associated with failure. Do not attempt to bury these emotions or avoid them. Doing so can cause you to make irrational decisions and cause undue stress. Instead, take some time to process your emotions and live in them (for a time). If you fail to do this, then those feelings will eventually resurface, and keep you from moving forward.
2 – Realize You Are Not Superman, No One Is Perfect
No one is immune to setbacks, not even the people you most admire. It may look like they were born successful, but most of the time you do not see the many failures they have had to overcome. Trying to be perfect will do nothing but cause frustration and tempt you to throw your hands up. So instead of beating yourself up, realize that no one is perfect, and show yourself some kindness and compassion.
3 – Learn Something from Failure and Improve
The wise person knows that failure can teach us way more than successes ever will. The key is to look for the lesson. Many people miss the opportunity to learn from failure. Ask yourself, “what went wrong?” “What can I do differently next time?” “How can I improve?” The fool will ignore these questions and experience the same failures over and over. You are no fool. Always look for the lesson.
4 – Overcome Failure by Focusing on Your Strengths
You can overcome failure by focusing on the strengths and talents you bring to the world. Sure, there are some things that you are not good at (for the moment), but there are so many other things that you are great at. Sometimes we forget that, especially when we fail. Instead of obsessing over your weaknesses and shortcomings, focus on your strengths.
If you do not know what your strengths are, take some time today to figure those out. Make a list of all the strengths that you have, no matter how small. Are you punctual? Write that down. Are you caring? That’s two things on your list already. Narrow the list down to your top ten and hang it on your wall. Every day, look at this list to remind yourself of your strengths, talents, and potential.
5 – Overcome Failure by Paying Attention to Your Negativity
When we fail, our inner critic speaks louder and our negative thinking skyrockets. You’ll have all sorts of thoughts in your mind about how nothing seems to work out or how you are no good. Pay attention to this negativity and squash it. It’s natural to be negative when things do not work out. No one has to be taught to be negative, it just comes with life, but positivity on HAS to be learned. You must be proactive in silencing your inner critic and aggressive in squashing your negative thinking. A great way to do this is by using positive affirmations. When you start to get negative about your failure or your inner critic starts to speak up, put them both in check with powerful, positive affirmations. Here are a few specifically designed to help you overcome failure:
- “I keep pushing until I succeed.”
- “I embrace failure and am made stronger by it.”
- “I have everything I need to face any challenge that comes my way.”
- “I am growing better, stronger, smarter.”
- “I am proud of everything I have achieved so far.”
6 – Keep Looking in Front of You
One of the most powerful strategies for overcoming failure, is to dig deep, look forward, and keep moving. When my engagement fell apart just 2 weeks before the wedding, my father gave me some advice that I will never forget. He said, “Son, keep looking in front of you.” These simple words were powerful to me. I couldn’t change what happened, but I could look ahead and take one step forward. That’s my advice to you, when you fail, keep your head up, keep looking in front of you, and keep moving.
Failure is an event, not a person. You are not a failure. When you fall, or have a setback, remember these strategies. Processing your emotions, keeping your perfectionism in check, learning, focusing on your strengths, squashing your negativity, and looking in front of you, will help you overcome failure.