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5 steps for overcoming personal failure

Posted August 22nd, 2016

10 tips for managing depressionWhether you missed out on a university place because your grades were below expectation, or you didn’t get the promotion you were hoping for, failure is hard to deal with.

But whether you think the disappointment you’ve just experienced is the end of the world, something you’ll never recover from, is up to you. You could also look at it as a catalyst for learning, a lesson to be learnt for doing better next time.

Whether you ‘fail’ in education or business, a positive mental attitude towards yourself and your abilities is key to be able to move on.

Just ask Richard Branson if he ever dwelled on the negative experiences in his life or whether he used them as stepping stones to propel himself forward. As a dyslexic with no A-Levels or university education to his name, he seems to have done pretty well for himself.

1. Process the situation

Take some time to process the disappointment that has occurred. A good exercise is to write down the failure, anything you could have done differently, positive things you’ve learnt from it and how you would deal with the situation next time. Then burn the paper and mentally move on. Once the failure has served its purpose, there’s nothing to be gained from lingering on it other than unnecessary pain.

2. Talk about the experience

Talking can be an excellent way to help you let it all go. Venting, ranting, house clearing – call it what you like – can be a cathartic experience. Sometimes all you need is a sympathetic ear – a friend, teacher or relative perhaps. However, sometimes the problem goes deeper and expert advice, coaching or counselling may be required.

Cognitive Distortions cbt3. Gain a better perspective

Are you the only person in the world ever to have failed in this way? Highly unlikely. Ask around, look at facts and figures – chances are you’re not the first and won’t be the last. Sharing your story with others in the same boat will make you feel less negative and more, well, normal, which will assist you in being able to move on.

4. Get back in the saddle

Don’t let your failure stop you from doing what you want to do. Mistakes happen, and practice makes perfect. If you had a disastrous job interview, brush up on your techniques and be more confident and better prepared next time. If you failed your driving test, go back to the Highway Code and deepen your knowledge, ready for the next test.

5. Focus on the positive

It’s all too easy to focus on what went wrong – but don’t forget that you have control over your thoughts and actions. What about all the things that went right? Don’t brush your achievements under the carpet. The more of a positive outlook and attitude you have, the more your thoughts and actions will be influenced in this way. It’s a virtual circle that will lead to greater personal success in the future.

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If you would like to speak to one of our team about overcoming personal failure or another matter, do not hesitate to get in contact with us today.

Filled Under: Happiness
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