Motivation through Failure: A few nuggets of wisdom…

It’s results time in Zimbabwe for A’ and O’ Levels both. Some have “passed” and some have ‘failed”. This has me thinking of how the definition of success and failure, winning and losing is fluid. How it is subjective, differing from individual to individual, family to family and society to society, despite the context within which it is being applied, be it in academics, job/ grant application/interview or just some general life goals.  I have found that the feeling shared by those that have “failed” or “lost” is mutual.

An article published by very well mind  stated that failure is accompanied by a variety of emotions: embarrassment, anxiety, anger, sadness, and shame, to name a few. Nevertheless, as  Chuck Norris said, ‘You are not what has happened to you, you are what you chose to become.’ – so it is very important to know how to deal with “failure” in a healthy way so you can bounce back better than before. I have picked a few quick ways to deal with the failure from very well mind;

1.Embracing your emotions

According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Behavioural Decision Making, it is okay to acknowledge your emotions and let yourself feel bad, for a bit. Researchers discovered that thinking about your emotions—rather than the failure itself—is most helpful. Allowing yourself to feel bad is said to be motivating and can help you work harder to find better solutions so that you will improve next time.

2.Acknowledge Irrational Beliefs About Failure

Maybe you think no one will like you if you fail. Those types of beliefs are inaccurate, and they can prevent you from doing things where you might not succeed. Make a point to identify the irrational beliefs that have an impact on your feelings and behaviour.

3.Accept an Appropriate Level of Responsibility

It is important to accept an accurate level of responsibility for your failure. When you think about your failure, look for explanations, not excuses. Identify the reasons you failed and acknowledge what you can do differently next time.

4.Develop Realistic Thoughts About Failure

Remind yourself of more realistic thoughts about failure such as;

Failure is a sign that I am challenging myself to do something difficult.

I can handle failure.

I can learn from my failures.

You may need to repeat a phrase or affirmation to ward off negative thoughts or to reinforce to yourself that you can bounce back. In his book Failing Forward, John Maxwell urges us to change the way we think about failure and to embrace a mindset that sees failure not as the opposite of success, but as a necessary part of the journey towards success. In fact, most of the successful people we know, have failed at one point on their way to success.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” –Maya Angelou

5.Ask Yourself What You Can Learn

Failure can be a great teacher if you are open to learning. Then, you will ensure your failure has become a life lesson that helped you learn something.

“Failure is a great teacher and, if you are open to it, every mistake has a lesson to offer.”– Oprah Winfrey

“I never lose, I either win or learn.”– Nelson Mandela

6.Create a Plan for Moving Forward

When you have identified your mistakes and what you can learn from them, then you are
ready to make a plan for moving forward. Remember, dwelling on your problems or
rehashing your mistakes will keep you stuck. With your new learnings, think about what you
will do differently next time.

Ready to put to practice what we have learnt?

Think about a recent experience which you considered a “failure” and think about the three things you learnt, and what you could do differently next time. Finally, from each learning point, draw three (3) action plan items you will implement to put the information you gained into practice.

Feel free to share in the comment section below!




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