Failure comes along in our lives at one point or another. It doesn’t matter what type of failure it has to be. As long as it’s a failure to yourself, then it probably stings. If it doesn’t, then wow, you are one lucky person in this world, because I promise, the crushing that one feels before a failure may emotionally and mentally make someone hit rockbottom. And for those of you who understand what I’m talking about, you may know how hard it is dealing with failure as well.
From a certain perspective, failure could be related to loss. I mean, isn’t it to a certain extent, loss of success? The problem here is that a lot of us often view success and failures to be representatives of good and bad, opposite extremes that can never find an intersection along the way. I know, it sounds like it makes sense. It’s hard to believe otherwise, especially when it’s time for you to face it yourself. Anyway, there’s no real way to prepare for failure. However, continuing to think of it pessimistically may just be making it worse.
As hard as it may sound, you could handle, dealt with, and overcome failure through arguably more efficient ways than crying, isolating yourself, or even giving up. Sometimes it’s about keeping a few things in mind, while other times, it may come down to carrying out concrete actions to keep you rolling. All of these have helped me and a few of my friends in the past, so I hope they could be helpful to you as well.
1. Failure is never 100% bad.
In reality, nothing is. When we look around, a lot of us grew up judging deeds and experiences with simply bad or good, almost never both. And if ever, failure would probably not be a part of the favorites list of those that can pass for both. But really, all these experiences we go through, no matter how big or small, can have endless implications for the rest of our lives. We will never know how far one small event can influence through o1ur future. Everything could be seen in different perspectives, and at least one of those would show something good. Time and time again, failure may have lead to something good in the past, but we never really bothered to acknowledge it. We submit to the idea that it’s always bad. But then, perhaps at least give it the benefit of the doubt?
Furthermore, failure just sounds bad, and maybe that’s true, particularly when we’re referring to the exact aspect we failed in. However, beyond that, beyond that particular aspect, failure couldn’t always be bad. Technically, you didn’t fail in all other aspects. If you failed in getting into the university you wanted, it doesn’t mean you failed your parents, nor your whole future, especially if you got into another university. It just means that you failed to get into that university. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. We need not to be the very catalyst that causes our failures to be more significant than they really are. Failures aren’t that bad, nor are they completely bad. And to me, realizing that was the first step. We have to allow ourselves to understand this, and accept this, if we ever want to make peace with our own failures.
2. Failure is an incredible source of learning.
I know it sounds cliche, but it’s definitely true. It’s just that we often forget about it, or at least not make the most out of it. Failure is put simply, a bad experience. And what better way to learn than from our own experiences right? What sets failure apart though, is that there is always at least one or even more wrong things you’ve done to reach that point. When we are successful, it’s not uncommon for us to easily assume that we did everything right. Or even if you understand that there could be something wrong, you may have already asked yourself, “what’s the point, as long as it works, right?” But we’re never perfect, we can always improve, and that’s most evident through failure.
Come to think of it, this point supports #1. And that’s the point, failure is never completely bad. I once told a friend having a hard time achieving a bit of success that “if you know you’re going to fail, might as well fail the hardest you can.” This is an exaggeration of course, but it could be applied in some way. The harder you fall, the more mistakes you probably committed, and sure that’s bad at that point. However, when you do analyze your mistakes and find a way to never commit them again, then you’d know exactly what to do, or at least wha not to do to avoid failures the next time around.
Before, I used to look at others and was jealous how they failed so much less compared to how much I did, but now, I realized that I turned out being able to learn more than them. Try to look back, your failures may not be so far off from mine also. But what I’m trying to say is, in one way or another, we did something wrong, at times just lacked at something to fall short into something. When this happens, there is so much to learn and improve on. Might as well make use of it, right?
3. Failure is not the end.
Failure could be the end of something, but it’s never just the end. It’s never that point of your life where you just stop, convince yourself that your failures is a sign that this is the most you can go, might as well stop than continue failing. That is not failure. Failure, although usually an end to something, is also the start of something else, something new. The only point in our lives that we are meant to stop is when we meet our death. No matter how much it may feel like there really isn’t anything more along the path ahead of you, try your best to believe otherwise. As they say, when one door closes, another opens.
When you lose someone/something, you gain someone/something else. I believe that the universe works hand in hand with nature to find balance in our lives, and when it feels like you’ve failed so hard, as if you hit a thick concrete wall, know that it’s just another thing to make you even stronger, better for what’s to come.
Personally, I compare to life to a roller coaster for these kinds of things. Our heart fuels the roller coaster, every beat corresponds to the movement of the coaster. The increasing beats symbolizes the increasing velocity. Climbing through a ramp feels incredible. It’s just that steady anticipation of reaching the peak. On the other hand, the fall is quite thrilling, but really, it is scary. There is that rush of adrenaline, that I also feel when I’m trying to fight through a fall in my life. And there would be those unexpected twists and turns, that just shocks us. These twists and turns are what I see as regular failures, while the falls are the ones I refer to as those that we sort of expect, since we already are at the peak beforehand. However, all of these – twists, turns, and falls – never end the roller coaster of life. Our heart still beats and the coaster still moves.
What really happens is that we’re merely getting redirected. At times, it’s to another twist, or even another fall, but it’s never to that end. As such, there is no reason for you to stop. Life really is a roller coaster, it’s not just an inclined plane going up, nor is it just going down, it’s a complex journey of all sorts of experiences and unexpected events. And those failures, those simply point you to an alternate route to who you really want to be, never the opposite.