11 Ways To Bounce Back After Failure

Failure is a part of life

Success is not what it seems on the surface. Everyone who has ever achieved a worthwhile goal in life has experienced failure.

Steven Spielberg had his share of failures and setbacks before becoming successful. So did Walt Disney and Michael Jordan.

Arianne Huffington, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates experienced many ups and downs before they became successful in their respective fields.

Henry Ford and Steve Jobs also had a bumpy journey to success. These icons are perfect examples that the road to success is anything but smooth. Enroute the journey, you are sure to encounter obstacles, hurdles, rough patches

Failure is inescapable, inevitable. It’s a given. There is no denying it or escaping it. No one is immune to it. No matter how good you are in your field or area of expertise, there is no guarantee or immunity against failure. Nor is there a surety that you’ll succeed the first time around or make it every single time.

The bigger, tougher and more challenging your goal, the more are your chances of missing the mark.

Failure is bitter no matter how you see it. The sting of a letdown, the agony of experiencing disappointment, the pain of defeat is hard to endure. In plain words- failure sucks. It crushes you, hurts you deeply and leaves your ego bruised.

There is no feeling worse than having hit rock bottom. No wonder everyone dreads failure but no amount of hating or detesting it can help you avoid it.

Here are 11 ways you can bounce back from failure and get back on track again.

1) Accept what happened.

The first thing to do after you have failed is, accept it and come to terms with it. Don’t ignore it, deny it or hide it. You have failed, there’s nothing you can do to reverse it now. Accept it. It’s okay. Failure happens all the time. It’s no big deal if you accept it and decide to do something about it.

2) Take total responsibility.

Own your failure. There’s no shame in it. Everyone fails sometimes. Things won’t always pan out the way you want them. But the sole responsibility should always be yours to take. You must be accountable for your actions, choices, decisions. Never blame others and hold them responsible for your debacle. Passing the buck is a sure recipe for disaster.

3) Analyse what happened.

You cannot undo what happened but by taking stock of what happened, you can dispassionately assess and gain insight into what went wrong and where.

It will also enable you to understand what worked and what didn’t so that you can begin with a whole new approach. This will go a long way in helping you revise your strategy, better prepare yourself, work on your weak points and improve your future performance. It will also give you the confidence to bounce back and begin more confidently.

4) Learn from your mistakes.

There is much truth in the words of Henry Ford that the only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. Failure teaches you like none other can teach you. You must learn from your mistakes and ‘heed the lessons of failure’ as Bill Gates put it.

Make the best of your mistakes. Embrace them, learn from them and never repeat them. Identify your weaknesses, work on them and turn them into your strength.

5) Don’t dwell on Failure.

The worst way to deal with failure is to take it to heart. What has happened has happened. No amount of crying, complaining, regretting can help you overcome it.

So stop ruminating over it, constantly thinking about it or re-running it in your mind and feeling sorry for yourself. It will not serve any useful purpose and will only take you deeper into sorrow and unhappiness.

6) Get over it; move on.

Failure is ‘a temporary detour, not a dead end’ Denis Waitley, the American bestselling author is once known to have said: Failure only lasts until you succeed again.

So don’t let failure become permanent and scar your psyche. A negative feeling cannot have any positive outcome. It is best forgotten. Wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start. Look ahead. Move on. Give yourself a chance to recover and rebuild yourself.

7) Develop mental toughness to triumph over failure.

Setbacks should not dishearten or break you. Failure is not an end in itself. Don’t let it steal your confidence or lower your self-esteem.

Train yourself to take bad hits in life. Use failure to learn, grow and better yourself. Maintain positive attitude in the face of failure. That’s how you can strengthen your mental toughness muscle.

8) Jump into a positive frame of mind.

When you face defeat, you are engulfed by fear and self-doubt. Failure brings with it a dark cloud of negativity. You begin to question yourself and start to doubt your ability. Positive thoughts are the last thing on your mind.

But that’s how it is. Recovery and rebounding takes time. To facilitate and fasten the process you must fight all negative thoughts that cross your mind and keep yourself in a positive frame of mind.

Read about other people how they dealt with failure. Look back and reflect on your own life how you faced past failure and overcame it. Nothing inspires you more than your personal experience and your own success story. You know you have dealt with it before and can do it again.

9) Let go of fear.

When you experience failure, one thing is sure. The worst has struck you. Things can’t go bad from here. When you fall down, you can’t go further down. So what is there to fear? From here you can move only in the positive direction.

So get up, gather your broken pieces and start building yourself again. Success is achieved by those who don’t fear failure. Don’t let failure hold you back or stop you from manifesting your dreams.

10) Focus on bettering yourself.

Everyone faces failure but how you look at it and what you do about it is what makes all the difference.

Most times failure happens because you were not prepared well, didn’t plan properly, were ill-equipped, lacked the required skills, were not up to it or were just plain unlucky.

Barring the last one about which nothing can be done and which is not in your hands, everything else can be fixed. Make a list of all the things which you think contributed to your failure and start working on them, one thing at a time. Do everything within your power to rectify, resolve, improve, develop and put right.

11) Begin again.

Failure can devastate you if you allow it to. On the other hand, failure can help you rebuild yourself and embark on your success journey again. After all, there can always be a next time.

Failure doesn’t have to mean the end of your dreams, goals and aspirations. Harness the power of failure to motivate you to chase your goals.

Use failure to take a fresh start, make a new beginning. Let failure make you stronger, tougher and more resilient so that you don’t just survive failure but bounce back stronger.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

-Nelson Mandela

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