We all fear failure. A mere thought of failure brings images of embarrassment, ridicule, anger and distress with it. Life is not just about studies and examinations, and yet, failure lurks at every step. It can often paralyse us but at the end of the day, only a person who can embrace failure can ever be truly successful. No success story is ever complete without its share of disappointments. And the reason is that a single failure can teach us more than achievements. It guides us to introspect and improve ourselves, it teaches us importance of humility and hard work, and most of all, it teaches us the value of success.
Failures are a part of life: Failures aren’t just about academics and examinations. We’re confronted with multiple tests and challenges all our life. A failure is not the end of the road; learn to take it in your stride.
Evaluate your performance: Your preparation and your performance are always in your control. Your final result, however, isn’t always. Evaluate your own preparation and identify the gaps where you need to invest more effort.
Think longitudinally: No test is ever the last or the most important test. Think about tests as opportunities to learn important life skills. Think in a long-term manner and don’t get bogged down by a single failure.
Learn from experience: Perfection cannot be achieved in a single trial. Every failure teaches us something, and every failure is a step towards achieving perfection. Use failures as an opportunity to learn.
Cope with disappointments: There are many things in life that failure teaches us. Most important is the ability to accept our mistakes and cope with disappointments. Only a person who’s not afraid to be disappointed has a chance of succeeding.
Don’t be too critical of yourself: It’s only natural to feel distressed after a failure. But it’s important for you not to be too harsh on yourself. Don’t brood over spilt milk. Use your failure to motivate yourself to prove your worth.
Judge your performance, not yourself: Doing poorly on a task does not make you a failure as a person. Rather than blaming yourself, think about where you went wrong and what efforts you can put in to succeed the next time around.
The author is director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare