A Fail Doesn’t Equal Failure – How to Deal with and Bounce Back from Failing Something

This is probably one of the most revolting words in the dictionary, especially when this word gets handed out to us. We all fail tests or exams of all sorts, and it is usually the worst feeling in the world. However, the problem with failing something is that it can start a very negative spiral of thinking. You might think that because you failed something, that means you are a failure, but today I am going to tell you that that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because you have failed something, that doesn’t equal failure. All you have to be able to do is learn how to deal with a fail and bounce back from it because while failing is horrible, it can lead to a change in attitude and strategy that starts your path towards success. We’ve all failed at something – you, me, even JK Rowling, but the trick is not letting failing define you and being able to turn that dreadfully negative experience into something positive. From all the times I’ve failed at something, here are ten tips for how to deal with and bounce back from failing something. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

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Is it the end of the world?

I know this can seem like quite a harsh way to start thinking about it, but you have to consider whether or not failing this one thing is the end of the world? Yes, I know, when you are in the heat of the moment and are just discovering that life-shattering news, it can feel like the end of the world. However, just because it feels like the end of the world, it usually isn’t. There are very few instances where failing something has monumental effects and consequences on your life. So, unless it is one of those circumstances, try and think that just because you failed, doesn’t mean that it is the end of the world. Having that shift in perspective is one of the first steps to moving forward and past that horrible “F”.

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One fail doesn’t mean you will always fail

Just because you have failed a test, an exam, or anything, that doesn’t mean that you are destined to fail for always and forever. I know that it can sometimes feel like that – if you fail then that means you are a failure, will always fail and can never bounce back (this feeling is more common the bigger the test is, but also if you did study hard and still didn’t get a good result). YOU MUST NOT THINK LIKE THIS! Just because you have failed once, that doesn’t mean you will always fail, and to move forward, you need to think like this instead of thinking that you are only destined for more fails. Stop thinking negatively and start thinking positively.

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Failing is a start to moving forward

Speaking of starting to think positively, try to think about failure as a start to moving forward rather than a huge negative and a setback. People say that once you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way you can go is up. Maybe think of failing as the starting point for moving upwards and onwards. Failing can be the start of moving forward because you can learn from your mistakes; it can motivate you to try harder next time, and be the start of an upward spike to success. You just need to start thinking about failing in that way rather than thinking it is a weight dragging you down and holding you back.

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Don’t start by assuming you’ll fail

Positive thinking and visualisation have been shown time and time again to be a critical factor in actually making one successful. The same can be said for negative thinking, such as assuming you’ll fail. If you start by assuming you’ll fail, then you can’t expect to do well because you are mentally telling yourself that you won’t. The mind is a powerful thing, and there are millions of professionals who continue to say to us “mind over matter” so if you’re mind is being told that failing is inevitable, then how can you expect to do anything but? Practice thinking positively, that you will succeed or even just that you won’t fail and you’ll see that that little act of having a positive mentality will make a massive difference in the future. Trust me.

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Have you accepted it?

Now it is time to be real – failing something is a horrible feeling. Even if it is small, it is never a good result, and it has the power to make you feel low and rotten. Some might say that feeling like this is silly because then you can’t move forward, but I beg to differ. Having these feelings, and more importantly, having and then accepting these feelings, is critical to being able to move forward. Acceptance is crucial to moving past the negative and into the positive. While failing is horrible, it is essential to learn to accept it, but you can do this in any way that suits you. Crying is usually a very relieving process (also crying is sort of a natural antidepressant), but so is talking to someone about it, eating something unhealthy or writing an angry letter. With whatever (healthy, non-dangerous) coping mechanisms you use, you need to accept the fact that you have gotten a fail before you can move on to fixing it and making things better.

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Take responsibility

This point is kind of a tough-love point, but usually, a fail is your own responsibility, especially if you failed something like a test or an exam where you had to put in work or effort to succeed. Now I’m not saying that it is always your fault if you fail something, but it is important not to fool yourself. Don’t come up with any excuses if you know that the reason you failed was that you could have worked harder or done something differently. Also, don’t try to blame anyone because these ways of thinking prevent you from moving forward. Take responsibility if you know that you should have done more to succeed, but you must also take responsibility to work harder next time. Like I said earlier, this one fail doesn’t mean you will fail a thousand times more after this with no chance of success, but to stop this fail from becoming repetitive, you need to take responsibility for how you approach these things.

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It’s not personal

If you fail something, you need to remember that it is not personal. If you fail your driver’s test or a math quiz, you must remember that the instructor or teacher isn’t out to get you. They don’t want you to fail; they want you to succeed. Also, remember that the failure has nothing to do with you personally and failing an exam doesn’t define your personality. One unfortunate result doesn’t suddenly condemn you or your character because the point of the test wasn’t to trap or trick you. What is personal about failing something is what you take away from it and how you deal with it because a fail is sometimes just an opportunity in disguise.

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It happens to everyone

You failing a test is not unique. Everyone fails at something in life at least once because that is the way life is. No one can always win at everything because nobody is perfect and nobody is fantastic at everything they do in life. You aren’t the first person to fail an exam or a driver’s test (or anything else), and you certainly won’t be the last. But if that hasn’t convinced you that failing is okay, then think about this: many famous people in the world failed several times before they were successful. Stephen King’s novel “Carrie” was rejected 30 times before he finally got a foot in the door and succeeded. Twelve publishers rejected JK Rowling before she was able to get the first Harry Potter out into the world. Michael Jordan has said: “I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” See? Even some incredibly well-known individuals have known failure, but the reason why they are now successful is that they pushed through the failure and kept trying until it worked.

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Learn where you went wrong

Accepting your failure, taking responsibility for it and realising that it is not a personal thing is only the first step to moving past a fail. Failing is an opportunity to learn where you went wrong so that you can do better in the future, so make sure you take that opportunity. Figure out where and why you went wrong and if you need, get help. A fail is worth nothing if you don’t take the chance to improve yourself or your methods so that you can do better. Pick out the problems, dissect them, and once you understand why you made the errors, then you will be able to avoid doing them in the future. You learn nothing from success; you learn everything from failing because how can you improve when you don’t learn from the things you are doing wrong.

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Make a new plan

Now that you have done all of these things we have looked at, here comes the fun part – the moving forward part. You have reflected and accepted and learnt from your mistakes, but now it is time to take all of this and use it to formulate your forward-thinking success plan. Take everything you have figured out and think about how you can apply all of this next time. Once you have a game plan that includes ways you can avoid making the mistakes that brought you down last time, you will truly be ready to start your path toward success.

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So there you go – while failing is horrible, I hope I have proved to you in this post that a fail doesn’t mean you are a failure and there are many ways to turn a fail into an opportunity to succeed. For all of you reading this, I hope that you were able to find at least one point useful and helpful for yourself, and I hope that if you happen to fail something in the future (I’m not saying you will fail, but in case it does happen) you remember this blog post and the advice I have given. So you got that horrible result, accept it, learn from it and move forward, and you’ll see that that result doesn’t define you or condemn you to a life of ‘unsuccess’. You are not a failure just because you failed! I hope you all enjoyed this blog post – please hit that little like button at the bottom of this post if you enjoyed it, subscribe so you don’t miss any future blog posts and share with your friends. We can all use some advice now and again, even those who appear perfect.

Lots of Love

Blondey on a Mission xxx

Author: blondeyonamission

Hey everyone! I'm a lifestyle and travel blogger from South Africa and about to relocate to the UK for university. My blog is all about stories, tips and advice with topics ranging from university, organisation, friends, books, travel and more. Please check it out and I hope you enjoy xxx

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