If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us it is that life isn’t without challenges. But every challenge in life is also a learning opportunity. And an opportunity for growth. 

Look at some of the world’s most successful people and you’ll see that many of them have faced and overcome setbacks on the road to success. Nelson Mandela. Mahatma Gandhi. Oprah Winfrey.  

It’s their ability to learn from failure that helped them overcome challenges and reach the top.

Have you ever thought about why scientists create prototypes or conduct experiments? The answer is they know they won’t have a perfect product without experimentation. A prototype helps them tinker around to identify and fix any problems.


How to deal with failure? 


We look at successful and wealthy people whose faces adorn magazines like Time and Fortune and assume they have no idea about failure or hardships. But the truth is the greater a person’s success story, the higher the chances that he/she has mastered the ability to learn from failure.

Take Steve Jobs. HE was ousted from Apple, a company he built from scratch. He didn’t let the setback deter him and continued working in his field. More than a decade later, he returned to helm it and made it one of the world's most valuable companies. 

It is obvious our success depends on our understanding of how to deal with failure. 

Let’s take a look at some ways to deal with failure more effectively.

  1. Don’t take failure personally

It is important to understand that failure is as integral to our evolution as success.  Failure doesn’t define who we are. When we try something new and transformational, it is quite likely we will face some failures and setbacks.

Separate your failure from your personal identity. A student who fails to clear an exam or an employee who gets fired from the job is not a failure. Failure only means that what you tried didn’t work or you didn’t put in enough effort in the task. You need to learn from failure and make another attempt.


  1. Review, learn, and improve

Failure is not the end or the time to give up. Rather, we need to analyze our failure with enthusiasm and curiosity. In most cases, failures are caused by factors such as complacency, overconfidence, oversight or hurry. If we analyze the causes of failure thoroughly, we will be able to deal with failure in a constructive way.

Remember the Wright brothers? They built a number of aircraft prototypes that failed to get off the ground. But they learned from each failure and eventually made history by creating the first aeroplane.

  1. Stop brooding over failure

It is often not failure that wreaks havoc but brooding about it that does. People lose heart and start blaming themselves for what went wrong. 

Instead of brooding over the failure, we need to learn how to cope with failure. 

Failure is neither personal nor irreversible. Instead of spending time thinking about it, we need to take corrective steps.

  1. Your actions need no approval from others

Don’t look to people for social approval. We are preoccupied with a need to conform to rules set by others. We strive hard to get approval from our parents, spouse, family or society. In the process, it is easy to lose sight of your actual goals.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful TV presenters and motivational speakers. Do you know she was fired from her first job as her boss considered her “unfit for TV”? 

  1. Change your perspective

Quite often the difference between success and failure lies in perspective.

Picture yourself sitting on a beach with pure white sand and blue waves gently rolling in. You turn to the western horizon for the first glimpses of the sunrise. You are disappointed when you don’t see the sun. The problem is your viewpoint. All you have to do is turn to the eastern horizon and enjoy the magnificent sunrise.

This is why a change of view or perspective becomes important when things are not going your way.

It is natural for us to encounter setbacks, occasional defeats, and failures in our life's journey. However, we must know how to deal with failure in life. And we must focus on building resilience to cope with failure and setbacks. Harappa Education’s Embracing Change can help you learn how to deal with setbacks and failures in life. Sign up now for this online course online and rest assured that failure will no longer overwhelm you!

Explore topics such as Life with a PurposeIkigaiHow to Achieve GoalsHow to Find Your PassionMeaning of Embracing Change from our Harappa Diaries section and lead towards a path of self-development.

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