• Spectrum of Life

Benefits of Failing and How Do We Deal With It

“When life knocks you down, try and land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up” – Les Brown


What do you think about failure? Do you see it as something negative and even pinpoint failures that you encountered in life as a benchmark of your own incompetency level? Not in the sense that everyone is now failing, but it is the way of failure is being seen as the thing that must not happen at any cost. Failure happens in so many different areas of life, including studies, work, or even relationships.


Unfortunately, failure is not being focused on as people often see it equally as being weak, or may lead to giving up behaviour, which is not preferable to be seen. To be honest, besides the reason that failing does not make a person feel good, what else that makes us consider failure being bad? No one wants to fail but we know that failure is something everyone will have to deal with in their lives.

There are always two sides of the coins, so what are the advantages of experiencing failure in life?


1) It provides a reality to check on where we are at, it could be an indicator pointing that something elsewhere is not right. Use failure as a guidance or reference to know what is really going on.


2) The lessons learned are priceless, that you will learn from your mistaken actions and get a closer step to what is right the next time round.


3) Chances and opportunities are everywhere to be grabbed. This isn’t a “one shot only” world.


4) It builds strength of character, courage, determination and even the mindset. Failure could be like a bench mark, showing you what you are actually made of.


5) It drives you on if you use it as a tool for determination that drive towards success.


6) Those who have failed before made in the long run, it is definitely not just about being lucky.


7) It keeps us hungry and humble. It works as a kind of motivation for us to keep moving on instead of quitting.


8) It inspires creative solutions. It might feel like it is being forced situationally but it might also make you think out of the box and find another way of reaching the aims or goals.


9) It helps us to overcome fear. Not only about the fear of failing but fear of trying new things out. The only way to deal with this is to keep trying and the familiarity can help us to move on with higher confidence level.


10) It even strengthens our support system. We do send signals out to those who truly matter and this actually build a network of resources to help us to get closer of getting succeed.

How to deal with failure in life?


1) Accept them and take them as experiences in life but not to define who you are.


2) Embrace your feelings. Acknowledge how you are feeling and let yourself feel bad for your bit, but do remind yourself not to dwell in the emotions for too long.


3) Every day is a new start, stop dwelling in past failures. We learn from it as a lesson but not dwelling in the emotions derived from the experience. Remind yourself that you failed today or yesterday does not mean that you will fail the next time and this will never last for the rest of your life if you keep moving forward.


4) Recognize unhealthy attempts to reduce pain. Compensating negative feelings with food or substance abuse will never do any good but will only make the situation worse.


5) Focus on yourself instead of the need for approval of others. Your life is about yourself, prioritize your own need beforehand.


6) Be constructive and learn from the situation. Think about things you learned from current experience, how to avoid making the same mistakes and what can you do differently the next time?


7) Practice healthy coping skills to deal with negative situations in life. It could be going for a walk in the park, playing with your pets, taking a bubble bath, mediating, as long as it works for you.


8) Try a new point of view. Fill your mind with positive thoughts.


9) Let it out into the light instead of bottling all up inside. Talk to someone whom are close to you or whom you trusted.


10) Create a plan for moving forward and act on it right away after you have drawn it up. Sometimes you just do not have to be perfect, else you might get into procrastinating process because of the fear of failing again, so just move, even it is a very small step.


By: Ms Vernice Si Toh - SOL Psychologist

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