In order to understand how to deal with failure, we need a deep understanding of what failure is, and what it means. Coping with failure is a necessary life skill all of us need to learn. Let us try and understand a process to overcome failure in life. Please read on.
When the chips are down, it feels that everything is over. However, you can lift yourself up. You can fight back and come back to being you. The objective of this piece will be to give you everything I know about fighting your way back to life.
After all life is a mind game. We can achieve anything we set our minds to, only if we can keep our wits about us.
So, let us dig into it. If you are feeling low and feel that you will stay there forever, continue reading. We will find ways together to lift you up.
1. Picture yourself happy
Do you love yourself? Do you care about yourself? I am sure you do. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this piece. If you are feeling low and defeated, close your eyes and think of one of the best moments of your life, when you felt like a winner.
Think of how you felt in that moment. Think of all the work that you had done in order to create that moment. Look at your happy face in your mind’s eye and once you are done, look at where you are now.
You are a winner and a fighter. If you could do it then, you STILL have the ability to make yourself happy.
Dust yourself and get up.
2. Watch yourself fighting through a rough period in your mind’s eye
You can fight it. Do not ever give up on life. This is not the first time you are facing a crisis, are you? You have faced them in the past and things have been quite rough. You made it through then, and you will make it through now.
The fact that you have seen difficult circumstances before and made it through means you know some of those strategies that worked for you.
The situation may be different now but you can still do some of the things that you did earlier, and keep going. If you keep going through, you will come around somewhere.
3. Read, a lot to learn how to deal with failure
Reading provides perspective. I have recently realized that all entrepreneurs in the world are self-taught and most of them dropped out of schools and colleges.
Different kinds of books provide different kinds of perspectives. For example, if you read the life stories of Nelson Mandela, Helen Keller, Hiroo Onoda, you will realize that we are way stronger than we imagine and can take a lot of physical and mental pain.
As a quick introduction to these amazing lives, which you can read about later-
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years straight in a jail cell to free South Africa from Apartheid
Helen Keller contracted an illness when she was 19 months old that left her blind, deaf and mute.
Hiroo Onoda spent 29 years on an island in Philippines (1945-1974) under the illusion that the war wasn’t over yet.
So, when you think your pain threshold is over, remember, it isn’t.
4. Run or work out
I will never stop eulogizing over the benefits of physical fitness regime. You must do something 5-6 times a week to keep your muscles active. When you work hard to keep your physical muscles active, you end up working out your mental muscles as well.
The body and the mind are connected. There is no soul that will fly away into the sky when you die. When you die, your physical body that includes the mind will be extinguished and you will only become a memory. Wow, I didn’t see a soul coming under this point, but somehow it did.
The point is that you need to get your blood pumping and once you do that, you will find that you will be more active and be able to look at your problems in a new way.
5. Sleep as per your biology
I have experimented with sleep and read about different people who have different recommendations about sleeping right. The point is that you need to follow your own body and what it needs. There are people who are cool with 4-5 hours of sleep and they manage to stay active all day and that’s cool. There are people who definitely need 8 hours.
Arianna Huffington of the HuffPost doesn’t get tired of recommending 8 hours. However, I have personally realized that my sweet spot is 7 hours maximum and 6 hours minimum. I feel lousy beyond 7 hours and under 6 hours.
Sleep is important for our minds to work and for us to be able to solve problems that we face. Allow your mind and body the sleep they need.
6. Speak to a friend
Speak to someone who understands you. When you are vulnerable, it’s important to choose carefully who you speak to. Only speak to people you trust who will be able to understand you, and offer understanding, if not any advice.
We need people, when we are down. It gets tough to go through life alone, especially through rough times. Let go of your ego and make the call.
7. Your problems are temporary
Now, I get it. Temporary is a subjective term and it could mean a week, a month, a year or a few years, like in case of Onoda who I mentioned above in the article. He was left at the island for 29 years. That was temporary for him. He lived for another 37 years after having been saved from that island.
But, your problems are not likely to be that long. We live in a connected world with internet and the world is not at war. So, remind yourself that things will get better and you need to keep yourself going.
8. Take time to learn how others deal with failure
When you are in a crisis, it is an opportunity to learn new things that you may not have had the time earlier in life to learn. You may be able to start something new that you couldn’t do earlier.
Make the time and effort to acquire new skills. This will also help you engage your mind and that’s one of the most important things to do, when you feel low.
A busy mind doesn’t have the time to feel low.
9. Believe in yourself to deal with failure
Life can be rough and when you are down, your belief in yourself and your capabilities could waver. Your self-belief is one of your most important assets and your need to protect it with all you have.
You have been great in the past, and there is no reason you can’t be great in the future. Life is a roller coaster. It goes down. It goes up. Don’t let it affect your self-belief when you are down.
10. Laugh it off
Dealing with failure becomes easy when you can laugh it off. Laugh off your worries whenever you can. Find a way to induce yourself to laughter. Watch stand-up comedy. Watch comedy movies. The entire purpose of comedy as an art form is to make you happy in the moment.
I often say that the sound of your laughter is the sound of life inside of you.
11. Go out for a walk in nature
Nature heals. Go to some quiet place if you can travel. 2020 has forced us to use phrases like if you can travel. If you can’t travel to place far, go to a park nearby or some quieter place and take a walk.
Spending a lot of time inside your house tends to dull your mind and body and hence make some time to get your ass moving.
12. Dance, if you will
I know, you got to be in a good mood to dance but if you have access to a quiet room to yourself, turn on the music and dance. It will relieve you off the stress, even for a momentary period, but you will feel better about life.
We need reminders of moments when life is beautiful and worth living, to start living again.
Sit with your body in what they call Sukhasana in Yoga, and breathe. A few deep breaths will do a great service to your mind and body.
Breathing works on your inner structure just like exercise works on your outer muscles. Make some time to breathe every day. You will find that you will be more positive about life than you otherwise did.
14. Inspire yourself to deal with the temporary failure
Go on content platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime and look for inspiring content. I recently watched a show on Michael Jordan’s life on Netflix and I am so glad I did. It is a story of what made him one of the greatest sportsmen who ever lived. He is a man who knows how to deal with failure. He failed over and over and that’s why he succeeded.
These stories stick to your mind and allow you to lift you out of your difficult moments. The direction of human effort may differ but the rules of the game are the same.
15. Failure will make you stronger
When we are down, there is a reason for it and if life doesn’t plan to kill us, it plans to make us stronger. If you are down, get up. Get up again and keep getting up. If you keep getting up, you won’t die defeated. No one can beat a man or a woman who won’t stay down. You will eventually come out stronger from every adversity that you face.
Get up, get dusted and keep going.
I think this is the end of the list of things I propose you can do to lift up your spirits. Your spirit is all you have and no matter what you face, you can pull yourself out of it.
So, go shave, take a shower and stop looking like shit.
Life can hit your balls, but can’t keep you down permanently.
Thank you for reading.
The purpose of this blog to help you find your happiness. Please read the other posts on the blog, and follow so that you get updates when new posts are published. Please share any posts you like with your friends so that they can also find their happiness. If you have any feedback for me, please leave it in the comments and I would be happy to work on it. If you would like to support my writing and this blog, you may please send a donation through PayPal here.
I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness. Before you go, you may also like reading this post on 10 ways to use failure.