Handling failures and making them opportunities

by Neha Sharma

Life is a roller coaster ride for all of us, without exception. We start our journey, with some goals in mind, with some stars in our eyes, with some plans to be fulfilled, but is it necessary, that whatever we think or plan would convert into reality? Ups and downs, enjoyment and disappointment are all part of life’s journey. We cannot expect success at every turn since failures are an integral part of our lives. It is extremely important to realize that we cannot expect to be always free from disappointments and enjoying only the high points, alas life doesn’t work that way.

Life is actually a very cyclical process and like every other cycle, we see ups and downs, sweetness after bitterness, a valley, a peak and vice versa. It is all about challenges and struggles at every moment, it’s a test to see who has the most strength and endurance to overcome the myriad troubles thrown our way. The most important thing is our approach towards different situations and secondly how we cope with them. What needs to be kept in mind is that we can and should never give up, no matter how difficult the situation or the challenge maybe. But I do know that it is easier said than done, and it’s always easy to preach, but if you train your mind, you can make this simple approach an invaluable part of your mindset.

When I talk about failures, the following quote of Michael Jordan comes to mind: “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.

So yes, a person fails, not when he/she fails to do something... but when he/she gives up and stops trying. Nothing is permanent here. Life changes every minute. What seems difficult today might come across as the easiest tomorrow. If today you are facing difficult situations and fighting odds in life, tomorrow might be your day. Being positive is the key.

A few tips on how to handle failure are briefly explained below which can help.

Never lose your self-esteem, whatever may be the cause of failure

Sometimes we do things that make us ashamed and make it difficult to face people. However, it is a fact that all of us go through such moments or phases in life. While we may feel genuinely sorry for what we have done, it is important that we don’t develop an inferiority complex and lose our poise and resultantly make ourselves, more vulnerable when facing people and situations. We need to remember that we, as humans are bound to make mistakes, but all we need to do is, accept, make a vow never to repeat the mistakes, take lessons and move on rather than living the same again and again.

Make the failure, a stepping stone

To continue on life’s journey, it is important that you do not get bogged down by hurdles and disappointments. Instead, they should serve as life’s lessons. The initial steps taken towards your goal might result in failures, due to many reasons or mistakes that you make, whether knowingly or unknowingly, but rather than cribbing and crying on your mistakes, it's imperative that you use them as stepping stones. This attitude will strengthen your resolve and give you the strength to face difficult situations in future. Unless you make mistakes, you will never learn.

Don’t hide your mistakes, A transparent attitude helps

The best way to lighten the atmosphere is to publicize your failing. I know, this might sound stupid, but trust me, truth always helps as once out, you don’t need to keep reliving it. You should, of course, own up your mistake, but you can go a step further by adopting a jovial attitude and telling people what you did and lace your admission with humour. Moreover, the courage to take responsibility for your actions will go a long way in building your character and your reputation. Only a person with emotional strength can take responsibility for follies committed.

Correct the situation

It is very important that any damage caused by your mistake is corrected. You should take responsibility to get things back on track. Mistakes give you the opportunity to understand the crux of the matter. If you keep living in denial, you can never evolve and grow. Growth in any situation is very important. Only when you own your mistakes, can you work on them and rectify too. After that, you can start once again with a fresh mind, using all the lessons that you learnt.

Put to use, what lessons you derived from your mistakes

Making mistakes is just fine. The most famous, the most successful, the most renowned made mistakes as well, but what made them different was their determination to do better and eventually succeed. When you have some goal in mind, and you start your journey towards it, failures and mistakes are bound to happen, but rather than losing your heart because of the difficulties and failures, you have to concentrate on the lessons that you derive out of the failures so that you can put to use, these lessons in order to avert any more similar mistakes in future. Always remember that making mistakes is all, but humane. We as human beings are bound to make mistakes, but only those succeed who use the same mistakes and their lessons to improve our efforts and our steps to success.

We should remember that mistakes are just hurdles in our way and that every situation can be corrected and improved. And once you adopt this, nothing can stop you. Life is an amalgamation of different experiences…and you need to face everything with a positive mindset. Success makes you feel happy and content, while failures give you lessons for a lifetime. So embrace your failures with a positive mindset…derive the lessons out of them and then use the same lessons to improve your efforts, which can ultimately lead you to your goals with aplomb.

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