The feeling of being a failure is one of life’s largest gut punches—not only that, but your mind is messed with, emotions are triggered, and you ultimately find yourself in a situation you never thought you’d be in.
Let’s be honest, no one sets out to do anything just to not succeed (if they do, there is probably a bigger issue). So, it’s important to remember that the feeling of failure is something that everyone experiences; no one is immune.
But just as important, one fail doesn’t equal lifetime failure. One missed goal, one incorrect answer, one mistake—sure, you’ve failed in the moment, but it’s what you do next that is the ultimate test.
Those who succeed sit down, regroup, and evaluate what to do differently not to fail next time. They use that feeling of failure as a life tool; one that can help them become sharper in their abilities and desires, and strengthen their mental fortitude.
With all of that, here are six steps to finding success when you have failed thoughts begin to spiral:
1. Be honest with yourself
In order to move on through feelings or beliefs that you are a failure, you must sit down and have a heart-to-heart with yourself. Why are you feeling this way? Did you actually fail or are you creating self-limiting barriers that will always fulfill that prophecy?
2. Keep moving forward
One of the biggest things you can do to not feel like a failure is to act—take a step forward; just do something. Start finding little wins…What can you do right this second to take a step forward in your thoughts and in your life?
3. Use your network
Talk to people who you love, who have your best interests at heart, and who know you. Everyone needs a sounding board, especially when they screw something up! Having someone who is a confidant can save you a lot of mental anguish (you are your biggest critic)! Others may be able to help you see your feelings of failing a completely different way.
4. Strive for happiness
Do something that makes you happy to get those endorphins going! It’s hard to feel like a failure when you are on a natural, biological high and riding euphoria.
As the old saying goes “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” One of the best ways to not feel like a failure is to be completely prepared so when you have completed whatever it
is you had been working towards, there are no questions as to whether or not you gave
it everything you had.
6. Get help
It’s not shameful to ask an expert for help—whether that is talking through your feelings
or having someone coach and give you advice.
In the end, we all have times in our lives when things seem so much more difficult than we
think they should be, and are overcome with a sense of failure. Many people internalize those
feelings so it’s hard to gauge just how much those around you are in the same boat…really,
more people fail than they want you to believe.
So if there is one main take away to help you not feel like a failure, it’s to keep taking steps
forward. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small, just keep taking them.
DJ Jeffries is a self-proclaimed “intrapreneur” and entrepreneur with an obsession for challenging the status quo. A graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, he’s been awarded the Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Fellowship, the University Innovation Fellowship (through Stanford University) and the Richard B. Fisher Fellowship (Morgan Stanley). He is the founder and editor of http://Led2win.com , an online motivation publication, the host of the Hacking Happiness podcast, and is currently an HR Transformation Associate at Morgan Stanley.