Wednesday, December 28, 2016


The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success – Paramahansa Yogananda.

Treat failures as learning opportunities
>> the next time you experience failure, try treating them as opportunities to better yourself. Failures are part of your unique success story. Remind yourself that every failure is a step forward towards eventual success and can be faced in the spirit of inquisitiveness and courage. What went wrong and what can I learn from this all?

See negative emotions experienced from failure as normal
>> negative emotions serve to protect us from trying things that may cause us to experience more distress. Seeing negative emotions as a normal response to failure helps cultivate a healthy attitude towards them. Negative emotions make great disciplinary teachers but terrible motivational speakers.

See positive emotions as an antidote to overcoming failure >> positive emotions encourage, empower and re-energize our efforts. Treat positive emotions as antidotes to negative emotions experienced from failure and cultivate ways to experience them more frequently in your life. Positive emotions also have a restorative effect on our health. Developing resilience by cultivating positive emotions is beneficial for our mental and psychological well being.

Know when to step back and recharge >> failures can be overwhelming and each of us have different limits on how much we can take when faced with failure. Know what your limits are – recognize when you are making impulsive, spur of the moment decisions and actions and take time to recharge. You will be in clearer state of mind to respond to, rather than simply reacting to your negative emotions.

Seek social support >> you probably have a network of friends or family members that you can relate to, who trust and accept you as you are. Asking for support during instances of failure is not a weakness – your emotions are telling you that you could use help recovering from failure by connecting with those who are genuinely concerned for you.

Remember that very successful people fail too >> read the autobiography of someone you consider a role model or wish to emulate. Doing so helps you recognize that failures are normal and necessary experiences on the road to success. Good autobiographies also elicit inspiration – another powerful positive emotion to help you build resilience in the face of failures.

Reignite your passion >> reflect on your role and responsibilities. Why do you persist in doing what you do? Thinking about the core meaning and significance of one’s job, role & responsibilities helps remind us of what we are passionate about. Such self-reflection questions may even trigger an impulse to seek out and explore passions closer to your interest.

Take pride in your skills & accomplishments >> in the face of failure, it is easy to fixate on our deficiencies and weaknesses. Try listing out your strengths and successes that have led you to this point and remind yourself that one failure is not a generalized, negative judgement about you as an individual.

Be self-compassionate when experiencing failure
>> part of being self-compassionate is to recognize that other people also fail, have bad days and are more likely to exaggerate their accomplishments than advertise their failures. Treat yourself to a pick-me-up after experiencing failure, recognize that you have done all that you could and that you will live to try again another day.

Stay hopeful
>> think of helpful and encouraging responses to your failure experience. Generate an action plan that helps you overcome this failure, or to learn from it. When you have a plan, carry it out. Your action plan can give you that hope to bounce back from failures, since you have created the means and kick-started your motivation to overcome your setback.

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