By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
How well do you cope with failure?
Some people overcome failure more readily than others. Rather than being a natural inborn trait that some people have, and others don’t, coping with failures consists of several learnable skills. Some people stumble upon these failure-overcoming skills naturally, while other people need to study them to learn them. If you’ve experienced disappointments in your life that you’re still struggling with, here are some skills you need to develop to improve your ability to overcome life’s adversities.
Practicing self-compassion blunts the impact of failure.
Recognizing that you’re not alone in failing and exercising your self-compassion leads to better mental health. In one study, students who failed an exam but practiced Self-Compassion went on to study harder and do better on a subsequent exam. There’s no good scientific evidence that you can improve your performance by beating yourself up but being compassionate with yourself – that works.
Develop a success mindset, not a failure mindset.
Focusing on your mistakes and why you made them reduces your ability to take on the next life challenge. Learn to focus on what you need to learn and what you need to change to be successful, and you will become more resilient and better able to tackle future challenges.
Learn from other people’s experiences.
To more successfully bounce back from setbacks, study other people’s experiences. Why have others failed, and how have the successful people accomplished their goals. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that your experience is unique. Look for the similarities in other people’s experiences.
Avoid the perfectionism trap.
Efforts to live up to other people’s expectations that you should be perfect make it even more difficult to overcome failure. People who successfully overcome failures don’t try to live up to other people’s standards. They accept some failures as part of the process of learning and growing. Perfectionism, rather than helping you improve performance, can get in the way of taking the steps you need to improve your performance.
View failures as a part of the learning process, not a defect of character.
Failures, particularly those that are the result of overconfidence, are learning opportunities. Don’t believe that your mistake means there something wrong with you, but instead look for the lessons you still need to absorb. Recognizing your errors of judgment can be an essential part of improving your decision-making process. When you treat failure as part of the learning process, each unsuccessful attempt takes you one step closer to achieving your goal.
Don’t take your failures personally.
Approaching failure with a pessimistic attitude, the belief that your failure means you are defective leads to depression, anxiety, and poor mental health. Try not to personalize every error as evidence of your inability.
Don’t believe that one failure means you will never be successful.
Avoid generalizing from one unsuccessful experience to the belief that because you failed once, you will always fail. This unhelpful thought of overgeneralization interferes with your ability to try again and can lead to paralyzing depression. Most highly successful people had experienced repeated failures before they finally learned how to be successful.
Don’t believe that because you failed in one area, you will fail and everything.
If you’re honest with yourself, you will find there are some things you are better at than others. Struggling in a chemistry class doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in business, history, or some other field. If you play sports, you’re probably better at one sport than another. One element of success in life is finding the areas where your interests match your talents.
Start practicing the skills you need to bounce back from adversity.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!
My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seems like the right time to publish it.
Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.
Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.
As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.
Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?
Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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