Failure is the most important step to reaching success, but it can still feel like it’s crushing your soul. To make failure your friend and not your enemy, you must overcome it. Here are some strategies for moving on after a tough break.
Normally, though, we reserve the word failure for the bigger things. The times when we’ve let others down, and, more importantly, ourselves. Trying your hardest to do something important and failing is when it really stings and shakes your confidence. Maybe your startup business idea failed, you lost the big game, or you let someone you care about down. Sometimes failure can leave a mark—but it doesn’t have to.
Failure can take a hefty emotional toll, and that’s okay. What’s important is getting the negative feelings you have out of your system so you can regroup and tackle what’s next. Don’t keep how you feel trapped inside of you like a shaken up soda. Bottling your emotions can lead to two things:
So, how do you let it all out? There are a few ways to get the bad, and—most importantly—retain the knowledge you gained:
Failure can leave an open wound and it’s unwise to ignore it. Without acknowledging it, your wound will continue to hurt, take longer to heal, and possibly get infected.
Have we mentioned that failure is good? It can be hard to think that way, but changing your definition of failure can help you cope. Failure is a learning and growing opportunity that is necessary for growth.
Robert Spadinger at Pick the Brain has a list of truths that can help adjust your own definition of failure:
Every mistake is a learning opportunity, and after you’ve moved past your emotions, it’s important to revisit your mistakes with a new perspective. Look at what you did that went wrong, but also look at what you did that was right, and what you can do better next time. Failure is rarely so black and white.