What are Healthy Ways to Cope with Failure?

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Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” 

Winston Churchill

What is Failure?

An inability to attain desired results is what it means to fail. Universally, failure is what makes people undermine themselves and give up. It could be a failure to attain the job they wanted, the kind of relationships they wanted, the kind of life they promised themselves.  

To put it simply, failure is a lack of success. Our brains are designed to feel pleasure and reward, in fact, our physical and mental health thrives on this. Not attaining what one desired and tried hard for can cause one to feel low, anxious and sometimes depressed even.   

I Feel like a Failure  

The biggest problem that entails failure is the brain reminding you of other times you’ve failed. Each time you think about this, you’re constantly reinforcing the idea that you are a failure. A culmination of these thoughts and persistent engagement with them leads to anxiety. One might feel like staying in, far away from people and tasks at hand.  

However, the time used to stay in is often spent despairing. One might feel like they are worthless and lose hope in themselves. The demotivation and apparent-meaningless can lead to serious health problems.  

Some of the common physical health problems associated with depression include fatigue, unintended loss/gain of weight, loss of libido among/sexual dysfunctions, and insomnia among other issues. But what one must keep in mind is that the failures don’t define them but teach them.  

Perfectionism might help you produce the best quality work but there are always factors outside one’s control that determines its failure or success. It is necessary that one knows how to deal with the failures in life they face because the truth is, there will always be failure coming your way.  

So, what do we do about it? We learn how to tackle them and use them to our advantage. Every situation, good or bad, opens doors to other, more exciting opportunities. 

How to Deal with Failure?

Failure

Regardless of what the failure is, we can always accept that it is the one thing that none of us is looking forward to. But none of us is without failures. This perhaps explains why there are only a handful of people out there who can positively say they are successful. But does it mean that successful people don’t ever go through failures in their life?  

Here are a set of ways to cope with failure and use it to be the best version of yourself. 

Embrace your emotions 

Having failed, your mind must be going through a whole set of emotions that you are not sure how to deal with. You might be perplexed, sad and angry and you will feel like blaming it all on yourself. Given the state of your mind in such a time, the best thing to do is embrace what you feel.  

The brain has an emotional side and a logical side. Both these aspects are important for one’s functionality and general well-being. When you are grieving a failure, your emotional side is likely to precede your logic.  
 
As emotional beings, it is necessary that we feel what we want to feel. But don’t let it get the best of you. Instead, grieve and get done with it. Now ask yourself, ‘What went wrong and how can I get this right?’  

Choosing this blend of an approach will help you realize why you felt these emotions and what you need to do about it. 
 

Eliminate Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms 

It is quite common for many to resort to hurting themselves to cope with stress. This can be extremely dangerous and lead to irrevocable changes in your life. If you’re someone who does this, it is high-time to eliminate these negative aspects of your life.  

Self-inflicting pain in any way, from indulging in intoxicants excessively to cutting oneself up, can be detrimental to you and the people around.  

These habits don’t have any possible positive outcome but make everything worse for you in the long run. If you have a habit of drinking heavily or harming (you/others) to deal with stress, make staunch measures to change that. Recovery comes from acceptance. The second step would be to find a supportive circle.  

Seeing a therapist can go a long way in fighting your battles. There is nothing wrong in putting time and effort for the betterment of oneself. Investing in yourself is the best investment. 

Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms 

Instead of abusing substances, find other enjoyable activities to do. Combat stress and grief by listening to music or watching a movie. But these are merely measures to help you cope with the present. The change you have to make shouldn’t be for the short run.  

Taking systemic steps to eliminate unhealthy coping mechanisms is a healthy coping mechanism by itself. Going to therapy and finding supportive peers going through the same problem can make you see the positive changes in yourself.  

If you are not comfortable with talking to a person, journal your thoughts. Journaling the three things you are grateful for that day can help too. But nothing beats having professional help. There are several online platforms for people seeking professional help. Choose the comfort of your home to talk to certified therapists on the internet.  

Change your perspective 

Failures might make you feel let down in life, but what you have to change is the way you look at failures. Change your perspective from Why do I always fail to I don’t fail. Instead of letting failures get the best of you, see them as a necessary part of your learning process to succeed. 

Choosing to practice positive affirmation methods will help you get started with changing the way you look at things. These subtle differences could make positive changes in your life. The effects of positive affirmation are proven to deliver promising results.  

Turn to humor 

Laughter is the best medicine – this phrase still stands the test of time and holds true. Constantly thinking about your failure will prove detrimental to your mental health. Taking your mind off from all the stress to relaxing will help clear your head and devise a more strategic approach to deal with your specific problems.  

Humor is an easy way of escaping reality. Laughter helps in the production of endorphins that help elevate your mood and relieve stress. Being able to laugh at the mistakes you made will help you aid the change in perspective you’re looking for. A healthy mind means a healthy body.  

Celebrate the wins 

It doesn’t have to be anything big. Doing more reps at the gym than you did yesterday is a win. Making it on time to work is a win. Fixing stuff around the house is a in. Learn to celebrate the little things you do in life. 

The feeling of failure should be replaced with one of success. Being successful at everything counts. This is a part of positive affirmation. Treating yourself to something small for accomplishing goals can invoke the sense of pride and boost your self-esteem.  

Don’t let others’ wins bring you down 
Don’t let others’ wins bring you down – Show someone congratulating a colleague

It is common for someone with a recent failure to compare themselves with others. Often this comparison brings out feelings of jealousy towards an individual or set of people.  

Jealousy doesn’t help you better yourself, it only makes you look at others with spite. Life is not a competition. Instead of comparing yourself, compare your methods and learn to appreciate them. Appreciating them for their wins will also help you increase your social value.  

Learn from other failures 

Reading about famous failures in history can help you streamline your methods. The Beatles was rejected by four recording companies. Those companies would go on to grieve at their rejection later on.  

Rejections shouldn’t make you feel any lesser. Learning to not be swayed by others’ opinion can help you focus better. Persistence in the tasks you do by constantly learning from your mistakes is what will help you attain success.  

Adopt a perspective which tells you to never give up but keep at it. On the other hand, keep your mind open to ideas to see ways that could lead to failure. Research about other failures in the same field to see what they did wrong and how thy coped with it. 

Conclusion

Approaching failure can get tricky. But following these methods can bring about an overall difference in your way of life. Failures are inevitable and there is no one without it. What separates the ones who win are the ones who learn from their mistakes.  

Being prepared to face failures will give you a head start with coping when it happens. Perseverance is key to achieving your goals. It is always easier to quit than persevere. When expecting results, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  

References

https://yourstory.com/mystory/healthy-ways-to-cope-with-failure/amp

https://www.verywellmind.com/healthy-ways-to-cope-with-failure-4163968

https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/11-famous-failures-that-will-inspire-you-to-succes.html

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