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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

7 Ways To Get Back Up After A Major Failure

7 Ways To Get Back Up After A Major Failure

Every one of us knows how devastating failure can be—seeing your business go belly up, missing the pass mark that would have gotten you that coveted scholarship, getting fired from your job, not making the cut into the team after training all year, and so on.

Experiencing a major failure comes with a lot of pain. Failure crushes you, messes up your self-esteem, and leaves you demoralized and feeling like you are not worth anything.

What’s even worse is the fact that moving forward after a major failure is not any easier. However, if you want to go on and have a fulfilling life, you cannot let failure hold you back. The important thing is that you move on from failure and learn how to get back up.

Question is, how do you do it?

Here are 7 ways you can get back up after a major failure.

1. Dissect the Situation and Understand What Went Wrong

In most cases, failure doesn’t just appear out of the blues. Failure is a direct result of something you did or failed to do—either you didn’t prepare enough, you overlooked some important factors, you took too big a risk, or maybe you trusted someone you shouldn’t have.

Whatever the case, there was some reason behind your failure. Understanding the reason why you failed is the first step to dealing with failure and getting back up.

Go back to the circumstances leading up to the failure and try to understand what exactly went wrong. Look at each of the steps you took and figure out which of them contributed to the failure.

When we experience failure, the natural response for most of us to blame and judge ourselves. We berate ourselves and convince ourselves that we were destined to be failures.

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However, when you dissect the situation to understand what went wrong, you shift your mindset from blaming the failure on yourself to the specific action or inaction that led to the failure. This makes it a lot easier for you to deal with and overcome failure.

For instance, let’s say you were trying to build a profitable online store, but you’ve finally been forced to shut it down due to poor sales. This failure might leave you feeling like an incompetent person who was never destined to be an entrepreneur.

After analyzing the circumstances leading up to closing down your business, however, you might realize that the actual problem is that you ignored that competitor you thought was too small until it was too late. Once you realize that your business failed as a result of ignoring your competitor and not because you were destined to be a failure in business, it becomes a lot easier to move on from the failure.

According to research by Ethan Kross and Ozlem Ayduk, analyzing the situation as if it happened to someone else instead of yourself can make it easier for you to objectively look at the situation without getting too caught up in the negative emotions that accompanied the failure. This is something the researchers refer to as “self-distancing.”[1]

2. Forgive Yourself

Imagine that someone close to you, such as a sibling or a very close friend, made a mistake that cost you a major business deal or led to the loss of money. While you’d certainly be cross with them, you’d also understand that no one is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Eventually, you’d forgive them for their mistake because you understand that their mistake doesn’t define them.

The ironic thing is that while we can forgive others, most of us find it very hard to forgive ourselves. When we make a mistake, instead of forgiving ourselves like we would have forgiven others, we define ourselves by our mistake.

It is impossible to move on from failure without forgiving yourself. Therefore, after you have identified the mistake that led to the failure, remind yourself that you are not perfect and forgive yourself for making the mistake. If you want to get back up from a failure, you first have to forgive yourself.

3. See What You Can Learn From Your Failure

While failure is generally considered to be something negative, I believe there is something positive about failure. To me, failure is a feedback mechanism. It tells us that there is something about our approach or strategy that is not working. By figuring out what failure is trying to tell you, you can turn it into a learning opportunity.

Trying to see what lessons you can learn from your failure will prevent you from making the same mistakes again in the future, which will increase your chances of success in similar endeavors in the future.

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For instance, let’s say that you ended up closing your business because you made the mistake of partnering with someone who was not committed to the business and instead, contributed to running it to the ground. Next time you set up a business, you will either go at it alone or exercise greater caution when picking a partner and therefore, you’re less likely to end up with another uncommitted partner who could run your business to the ground.

Some of the strategies you can use to turn failure into a learning opportunity include reevaluating your planning, reevaluating your preparation, reevaluating your execution, and focusing on the variables that were under your control.

Aside from preventing you from repeating the same mistakes, viewing your failure as a learning opportunity shifts your mindset. You stop viewing the failure as a negative thing and embrace the lessons that it has taught you. This makes it a lot easier to get back up and move forward.

4. Focus on Your Strengths

When we experience major failures, our instinct is to peg the failure on some inadequacy on our part. While this is somewhat true—the failure was most probably caused by something you didn’t do right—it doesn’t mean that you are inadequate in every aspect of life.

You still have things your key strengths and things you’re good at, and by focusing on these strengths, you can chart a path to move you forward from failure.

Apple founder Steve Jobs provides a good example of the importance of focusing on your strengths after a major failure. Jobs hit rock bottom when he was ousted from Apple, the company he had founded with his friend Steve Wozniak.

However, instead of drowning in self-pity, Jobs quickly shifted his focus on his strengths. He was a talented innovator who was great at coming up with new ideas for next-generation computers and devices, and this is the strength he focused on.

After his ouster, Jobs quickly founded another computer company known as NeXT. A few years down the line, Apple would end up acquiring NeXT from Jobs, and eventually, Jobs made his way back to Apple as the CEO. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Just like Steve Jobs, after experiencing a major failure, don’t sulk and drown yourself in self-pity. Instead, make a list of your strengths and come up with a plan on how you’re going to capitalize on these strengths to move forward and get past your failure.

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5. Get Support and Inspiration From Trusted People

One of the things that makes it hard for people to move on from failure is the fact that most of us close ourselves off to the outside world after experiencing a major failure. However, there’s no reason for you to go through your failure alone. Talking to someone you trust allows you to get things off your chest and get rid of the negative emotions that come with failure.

Another benefit of talking to and getting support from another person is that a third party can look at your failure objectively, without having their judgment clouded by emotions. Therefore, it is a lot easier for them to spot something you might have missed or to identify a mistake that might have led to your failure since they’re not affected by personal bias.

In addition, talking to someone you trust allows them to encourage you and remind you that failure is not the end of the world—that you can get through the failure and get your life back on track.

Aside from talking to people close to you, you can also get inspiration by reading blog posts or listening to podcasts from people who have gone through similar failures and were able to get their life back on track.

This will show you that it is possible to get past your failure and infuse you with the optimism you need to get back up and move ahead. These people will also share the lessons they learned during their journey to overcome their failure, which can also be very useful as you embark on your journey to rise back from your failure.

6. Take Action

The problem with failure is that it robs you of your energy and demotivates you. After experiencing a major failure, you don’t feel like you have it in you to try something new again. You are afraid of experiencing another heart-wrenching failure. However, this is not the time for inactivity.

If you already identified your strengths and came up with a plan on how to capitalize on these strengths to move forward, now is the time to put that plan into action.

Resist the temptation to procrastinate, and don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis. After experiencing failure, you might want to make sure that everything is perfect before you move on. However, perfection is a myth, and if you wait for perfection, you will never move ahead.

Therefore, just come up with the best plan you can, make sure you’ve incorporated the lessons learned from your failure, and start taking action to get back up.

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7. Believe in Yourself and Keep Dreaming Big

Even though you have just gone through a major failure, don’t lose faith in yourself. Before this one failure, you had several other wins and accomplishments, and guess what—even though you’ve experienced failure, you’re still the same person who achieved all those previous wins, and you still have the talent, knowledge, and skills that helped you achieve them.

Therefore, don’t lose faith in yourself just because something didn’t work out. When a child is learning how to walk, they will fall down several times. However, never will you hear a child say “maybe this walking thing is not for me.” No. They believe in themselves and keep trying until they finally master this crucial skill.

Similarly, you should believe that you still have in yourself what it takes to succeed, and then go for it. Actually, perseverance and an unstoppable will to win is one of the essential characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

Finally, even though you’ve just gone through the disappointment of failure, don’t let failure dim your dreams. Hold onto your big ambitions, envision yourself achieving success, and go at it again—this time with experience and great lessons under your belt.

Wrapping Up

Failure is an inevitable part of life. However, you shouldn’t let failure hold you back or keep you from going after your dreams. Instead, let it motivate you to get back up and pursue your aspiration.

It is possible to pick yourself up and rise again after failure. You can start with these 7 ways to help you get back after a major failure.

More Tips on How to Get Back Up After a Failure

Featured photo credit: Stephen Leonardi via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Martin Lünendonk

3x Serial Online Entrepreneur

7 Ways To Get Back Up After A Major Failure

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

No one can live a positive life without failing. However, many people experience a fear of failure, despite its inevitability in life. Failure, as you will see from these 30 success and failure quotes, is the key ingredient for the recipe of success!

Today’s society is obsessed with success and achievement, and failure is definitely NOT part of the equation. Failure and making mistakes is hidden away or seen as a human weakness.

However, if you avoid making mistakes in life, struggle to do everything right, and are obsessed with perfection and order, then living and experiencing a successful and happy life is going to be impossible.

Embrace your failure, whether it is one failure or many failures, because with the right attitude and a willingness to learn from your mistakes, you are guaranteed a lifetime of success. Here are some uplifting quotes about failure and success to help you get started.

1. “Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart.” -Anonymous

This quote is important for those of us who feel downtrodden after every failure, heartbroken, if you will. If you let failure get you down for more than a couple of days, you’re wasting away your chance to bounce back from it.

On the other hand, if you allow yourself to build an inflated ego after every success, future failures may be even harder to cope with. Maintain a sense of humility and gratitude for each success and failure you find.

2. “Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?” -Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe is spot on with this one. The first person who should be there to catch you when you fall is you. You have to be your own best advocate, the person to build you up when it feels like everything is going wrong. The others in your support system are just icing on the cake.

3. “You always pass failure on your way to success.” -Mickey Rooney

In today’s competitive world, it’s hard to understand that almost no one experiences failure before they experience genuine, lasting success. Failure is what forces you to learn in order to achieve that goal you’ve been working up to.

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4. “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” -Chinese proverb

Everyone falls. Those who refuse to pick themselves back up, no matter if it’s after two days or two years, are the true failures.

5. “Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.” -Robert Kiyosaki

There are many success and failure quotes on this idea, and that’s because it’s so very important. Learning doesn’t happen when things are easy. It happens when things get tough and you have to find a way through challenges.

6. “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” -Barack Obama

No one can escape failure. If you let it keep you down and shying away from achieving your goals, you’ve failed again. If you learn from it and continue on your path toward greatness, it wasn’t a true failure but a lesson.

7. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” -Og Mandion

Determination is one of the best antidotes to failure. Even if you take two steps forward and one step back, you’re still moving forward with grit and determination. Keep going!

8. “Fear regret more than failure.” -Taryn Rose

At the end of your life, what do you think you’ll feel worst about, failing or never trying?

9. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” -Nelson Mandela

If anyone has enough insight to offer us success and failure quotes, it’s Nelson Mandela. He learned that that path to success (and freedom) is full of setbacks. His determination, however, led him to make amazing changes in the world around him. Now that’s success.

10. “The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” -Paulo Coelho

Each time you get back up, it will get easier and easier, and you’ll realize each time that those failures are the greatest lessons life will ever give you.

11. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” -Napoleon Hill

Unfortunately, many people stop trying after a large failure comes their way. They lose their confidence, determination, and will. However, success usually follows quickly behind these huge failures because you’ve inevitably learned what not to do.

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Don’t stop with the huge failure. Take a few more steps and see if it gets you where you wanted to go.

12. I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Alva Edison

Through his success and failure quotes, Thomas Edison shows us that failures are only truly failures if you don’t learn the lesson they offer.

13. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” -Bill Gates

Celebrating success feels good, but learning the lessons of failure is where growth occurs[1], which can lead you to even greater successes.

14. “The only thing that separates success from failure is one last attempt. Try one more time and you will get lucky.” -Apoorve Dubey

Every success comes from an attempt. If you don’t try one more time, you’ll never know if it could’ve been your big chance at big success.

15. “Failure is a detour; not a dead-end street.” -Zig Ziglar

Many people get impatient with failure. They feel that it’s a stopping point, or a road that’s too long to walk. However, the patience to take that new road is exactly what’s necessary to find success. If success is easy to find, it likely won’t last very long.

16. “In the real world, very smart people fail, and mediocre people rise. Part of what makes people fail or succeed are skills that have nothing to do with IQ. Also, the idea that intelligence can be gauged by an IQ test is erroneous.” -Camille Paglia

Failure is not a sign of a lack of intelligence, as Paglia suggests. Failure is a sign of great intelligence and great courage. She also points out the important point that intelligence takes many forms, and it’s often the grit and maturity to accept failure for the temporary setback that it is.

17. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” -Oprah Winfrey

Queens will always be queens, no matter if they experience success or failure. And you will always be you, so use that to your advantage, and take the risk of failure in order to reach success.

18. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” -J.K. Rowling

Living a life free of failure generally means you have lived a boring, uneventful life. Is it really worth it?

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19. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” -Richard Branson

If you’ve ever watched a child learn to walk, you know that Branson’s success and failure quotes are true. Children are determined. They fall, and they get back up. And then they learn, and soon they’re running.

20. “Success or failure is caused more by mental attitude than by mental capacity.” -Walter Scott

Scott knows that intelligence is less of a determining factor in success than determination or ruthless optimism. Set yourself up for success by cultivating both.

21. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again. That is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan knows failure, and yet we know him as an incredibly successful person. Why? Because he never let the failures stop him from moving on.

22. “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” -José N. Harris

The secrets to success are pretty simple, and living a full life is only possible once you learn that getting up after a failure will bring a great sense of satisfaction and joy.

23. “All people fail at certain instances in their lives, the only thing that makes them different is how they manage to stand up or how they choose to fail again.” -Unknown

If you fail, you’re like the vast majority of the world. What makes you different is how you choose to respond.

24. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Robert Kennedy

If you aim high, even if you fall short you’ll still likely be ahead of the majority of people. Take the time in life to fail greatly because that’s where you’ll find your true self.

25. “Failure is good as long as it doesn’t become a habit.” -Michael Eisner

If you continue to make the same mistakes, you’re not learning from your failures. This is when it becomes a destructive habit instead of a moment to propel you toward success.

26. “If you are afraid of failure, you don’t deserve to be successful.” -Charles Barkley

Only those who are willing to accept the hard emotions that come along with failure will be those who will enjoy the good feelings of genuine success.

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27. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.” -William A. Ward

In his success and failure quotes, Ward points out something important. Failure is often seen as a death stroke, something that stops our success. If we shift our perspective and look upon failure as a teacher instead, we will likely feel very differently about those moments in our life and see that failure is delay, not death.

28. “Courage allows the successful woman to fail and learn powerful lessons from the failure. So that in the end, she didn’t fail at all.” -Maya Angelou

We’ve been here before. Failure is only failure if you don’t learn from it. Let yourself get a bad grade on the test; you’ll study differently next time. Let yourself fail at a relationship; you know how to build a healthier relationship next time.

Every failure brings a lesson. Learn it and move on.

29. “Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.” -William Saroyan

If you think of the moments you learned and grew the most, were they easy times or hard times? Challenges make us better, smarter people[2]. You don’t get wise through an easy life.

30. “Don’t fear failure—not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” -Bruce Lee

If you try to achieve something great, even a failure feels like a success. At least you had the courage to try. That’s more than most can say.

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Featured photo credit: Gabrielle Henderson via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: Strategies for Learning from Failure
[2] Psychology Today: How Greater Challenges Help You Grow

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