Failure can cause one to lose confidence and motivation. Failure can sometimes wreck havoc on our emotions and make us feel depressed. What is worse is that after failing most of us do not always wish to try again because of the negative emotions that we feel. Failure makes us avoid trying again. This can happen on a conscious and unconscious level. It is thus important that you manage what you perceive as failure well in your life to ensure that failure doesn't affect you on an unconscious level and affect your future performance as you try and achieve your goals. Some of the emotions that we experience that affect our ability to take action to create the outcomes that we seek are due to past failures. These emotions may include fear, self-doubt and a lack of confidence.
I have developed a few ways that you can use in your life to recover from failure and heal yourself so that your past failures do not affect your future performance. Here they are:
1. Manage emotions using acceptance
What we perceive as failure can cause us to have a lot of emotional strain. We may experience emotions ranging from anger to sadness and resentment depending on what the situation is. After failing it is not always possible to keep these emotions from affecting us. To recover from failure and keep these emotions under control you need to use acceptance. You need to accept that things did not go well and that there might be consequences to be dealt with from whatever that has happened. Depending on the situation, consequences as the result of failure might vary -; you might be criticised, you might be held accountable, you might have lost money, you might lose your self-confidence, you might lose your job or business. Whatever it is and whatever the consequences are, drive yourself towards acceptance because this is the only way in which you will better find creative solutions to the challenges that you might be facing. It is tempting when we face challenges to dwell on the emotional pain, to think and go over what ifs but ultimately we have no choice but to make decisions and act if we are to change our circumstances.
2. View failure as an isolated incident not an inclusive incident
In our lives sometimes we have what I call "cross contamination". When one area of our lives isn't working as well we wish it could, the unhappiness and emotional strain that we experience from the area which isn't working well gets carried across other areas of our lives. We begin to feel like nothing else in our lives is working. Cross contamination causes us to carry emotional strain from work or business to our family lives and ultimately to our health and well being. The opposite can happen as emotional strain from our family lives can sometimes extend to our workplace and ultimately our well being depending on how we respond to the problems that we face.
You need to view the specific failure that you are recovering from as an isolated incident in order to stop this from straining other areas in your life. This is not easy to do as sometimes having a bad day at work can mean a bad evening with the family or vice versa. However, if you learn to better manage your emotions and isolate problems in various areas of your life, you might be in a better position to prevent emotional strain from one area of your life to cross contaminate all other areas of your life. This can only be done through improved self-awareness and emotional discipline.
Sometimes failing in a specific area can make you feel as if you failing at everything. You need to be aware that failure in a specific area in your life doesn't mean that you will fail on every other area. So see each failure as specific and not inclusive.
3. View failure as feedback from your specific actions
After following step 1 and 2 above you should begin to be in a better emotional state to think constructively about what went wrong and what has not worked well to cause the outcomes that you did not want. With this improved emotional state you should now use failure as a learning by analyzing what really went wrong and what actions you could have taken to improve your results. Most failures are due to a lack of planning, processes that did not work well, unforeseen circumstances, failure to be pro-active and so on. This is now time for you to diagnose what didn't work with clear emotions and an open mind. So assess what went wrong and identify things that need to be improved for you to create better results in the future.
4. Commit to new actions
After diagnosing your failure and receiving feedback from it you need to commit yourself to new actions in order to fully recover from your failure. Ask yourself what you will do and no longer do as a result of the feedback you received from your failure then commit yourself to new resolutions. You can list things you will do such as early planning, better communication, improve processes etc. Listing things that you will no longer do that might have caused you to fail is as important. So also list things that you will not do in the future such as procrastinating, avoiding administrative work, communicating poorly and so on.
What is important to note is that committing to new actions will also give you an emotional boost and hope. Often when we are in distress just thinking of the next practical step to take is enough to help us have hope for better future results.
5. Remember your past successes
Remembering things you did well in the past can help you gather strength to recover from immediate failure. Have things worked well in the past? Is there historical performance that you can look to and be proud of? if so, list these great achievements and performances and make them more prominent in your mind. Remember how you felt when things worked well and rekindle these feelings to gather strength to overcome present challenges. This will help you regain your self-confidence as you plan how to better deal with the future.
Imagine what your life would be like if you had self-confidence and did not hesitate to act and create all the outcomes that you want in life. Picture yourself believing in yourself and becoming exactly who you want to be. A successful man or woman who is happy doing things that he or she loves and has great relationships. No more would you have to suffer from second guessing yourself and taking the back seat, criticizing yourself or enduring the pain of those that criticize you and do not appreciate you...