There are various moments in life where we don’t get what we want and that’s one of the things which most of us struggle to make peace with. It becomes a never-ending cycle of resenting yourself for all the things you couldn’t achieve regardless of how passionate you were about it. When we face a failure, we automatically take a step back from our goals thinking “what’s the point?”, almost confirming that we’re unworthy and incapable of genuinely living our purpose, and that’s exactly when we turn in the wrong direction – the direction in which we hate ourselves, and show as little compassion towards ourselves as we can.
What we fail to acknowledge is the idea of perceiving our failures in a different light, to see them not as “failures” but as an opportunity and potential for growth, the potential to be even better versions of ourselves and the potential to strive for greatness within ourselves. We get demotivated when we fail at something but imagine living your life in accordance to when you take a step forward instead of a step backwards every time, you’re almost close, but not close enough to your purpose – imagine, feeling exhilarated to do better. Every rejection and failure are a lesson, there’s always a lesson in there somewhere and it’s our responsibility to look for it, to genuinely dive deeper into what it taught us and why it was possibly not meant for us. As and when we consciously make the effort to understand ourselves, our perception towards how we see negative and painful situations in our life intentionally takes a U-turn, finally taking us on a path which is solely meant for us.
Five things to tell yourself when you feel like a failure:
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Our first instinct when we fail at something is to jump into the pattern of comparing ourselves to other people. This could be in terms of how much they’ve achieved, and how far they’ve come. However, right when you’re about to dive into the resentful act of comparing, remind yourself on how every person is different, and how each of us has a different way of going about life as we have different values and a different purpose, and regardless of how much your parents or your friends have achieved, it in no way makes you less than them. Each of us have a different pace at which we grow and strive to be better versions of ourselves, and the speed with which you do things or the amount of pressure you take isn’t what defines you, in fact what really matters is how compassionately and proudly you perceive and value that growth within you every single day.
- See your failures as a potential for growth. Each of us gets preoccupied with the notion of how our failures throughout life define us drastically in terms of the people we will become, and that’s not true – it’s not true for most of the things in our lives. How we perceive a rejection or failure matters more than the rejection or failure itself. We tend to get held back as we’re consistently attached to the idea of how our failures define us, failing to realize how our own thought process towards them is what defines us and is what is holding us back. To see our failures as “failures” instead of aspects of our lives through which we look down upon ourselves takes away the power from it and gives us back the power and control to deal with them compassionately. When we learn to look at our “failures” as one very small part of our life, when we learn to look at our “failures” as a potential for growth and an opportunity where we can strive to do better, is when we will stand undefeated, going onto beating the odds and being true to ourselves in the purest form.
- Remind yourself of the discomfort you experienced in previous painful situations and how you had/have the ability to stay in that discomfort and handle it compassionately – “I’ve overcome tough things before, I can do it again”.
- Often, when we fail at one thing, we tend to generalize the idea of how we’ll fail at everything else too. This however, is not true. Every time you’re struck with a similar thought, remind yourself of all the times you succeeded, remind yourself of how passionate you are, remind yourself of how capable and worthy you are despite the failures you’ve faced. To appreciate other parts of your life, to practice gratitude will help you look at your failures with acceptance and grace rather than with resentment.
- Ask yourself how you would comfort your friend who faced a rejection or failure in their life. Would you be hard on them or would you show compassion towards them? Acknowledge how you treat yourself when you face a failure too, are you there for you as much as you’re there for others, in the same compassionate and accepting manner? There shouldn’t be a difference, you’re as important as anyone else is, maybe even more, be kind to yourself.
Failures are never-ending, each one of us are going to come across them, regardless of how big or small they are but despite that what’s most important is how we choose to perceive those failures and how we treat ourselves amidst our failures – that’s what will make an impact and have an influence on the people we will become as we keep growing every single day.
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