No one is perfect. We all fail at something at some point in time. But the world’s most resilient people aren’t afraid of failure. They aren’t afraid of setbacks and defeats. They don’t shy away from the pain. They embrace it. They use it to fuel them, to enhance their frame-of-mind, to embolden their pursuits and emblazon their spirits.
The truth? Success cannot be achieved without failure. As much as our society frowns upon failure and as much as it might feel like the embracement of defeatism, failure is a necessary evil. It’s not about failure. Whether you’ve failed once, dozens of times or hundreds and thousands of times, you’re defined not by the number of times you failed, but how you looked at those failures and bounced back from them.
Yet, for most people, failure is the final blow. It’s the proverbial nail in the coffin. They take a single solitary failure and they allow that to emotionally ruin and debilitate them. They allow their lives to be defined by that failure, cowering into a corner, hiding in the aftermath of despair, succumbing to the suffocation of defeat.
Yes, failure hurts. But resilient people know how to bounce back from failure. They utilize the inherent power and focus of the mind to usurp the damning sting of complete and utter failure. However, anyone can bounce back from failure. Anyone can implement any number of methods to allow them to overcome the stifling sensation that sets in when you fail.
The truth? The mind conceives what it sees. When we focus on the problems that arise from failure, that’s all we see. However, when we turn those problems around and see them as stepping stones, looking at our failures simply as markers or milestones on our way to our bigger and brighter goals, something revolutionary begins to occur in the mind.
When you overcome your failures, enduring the seas of hopelessness, ultimately emerging on the shores of hope, a huge transformation occurs. It’s quite possibly one of the most monumental and life-alerting experiences that you can ever possibly go through. And even writing about it now, sends goosebumps across my entire body.
How To Bounce Back From Failure
Bouncing back from failure isn’t something easy. It isn’t something that’s straightforward. In fact, not everyone is able to muster up the strength to be so resilient as to not allow something so ego-defeating like failure to stop them dead in their tracks. However, considering that the most famous and successful people in the world have failed the most times, bouncing back has become the hallmark of success.
It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how painful those failures are. What matters is what you do after the failure. How do you look at that failure? How do you respond? Do you wallow in self-pity, allowing all those negative thoughts to consume you? Or, do you pick yourself right back up again and give it another try? That’s the big difference. That’s what creates a foundation for greatness.
Mediocrity is easy. It’s easy to play it safe in life. It’s easy to avoid taking any risks for fear of failure. But that isn’t a life. That’s isn’t living. As J.K. Rowling once said:
“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.”
Don’t allow a thing like failure to discourage you. Don’t allow upsets and defeats to deaden your spirit. Try again. Give it another shot. Why give up? Especially after you’ve suffered through the pain, you’ve already endured the hard part. Try again. Henry Ford, one of the greatest entrepreneurs in modern history, once said that:
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligibly.”
#1 — Be Honest With Yourself
The first way resilient people bounce back from failure is by being honest with themselves. They don’t try to sugarcoat the fact that they failed. They don’t try to use softer words to help lessen the impact of that failure. No. Instead, they’re honest. They’re one-hundred percent straightforward about that failure and just how gut-wrenching it was.
The fact is that by lying to ourselves about failure, we’re actually doing ourselves a disservice. We can’t hide from the fact that we failed or pretend like we didn’t really want that goal in the first place. We have to be forthright and upfront. It’s okay to fail. Failure provides life’s greatest lessons, allowing us to learn and grow, becoming better people.
#2 — Don’t Beat Yourself Up Too Long
Resilient people who bounce back from their failures, do so because they don’t live in that state of defeatism for too long. Yes, they allow themselves to feel the hurt associated with failure. They don’t escape from it. But they also don’t stay there for too long. While it’s easy to allow resentments and guilts to overcome you on the best of days, you can’t constantly continue to do that.
The true hallmark of persistence and resiliency is not allowing the pain of failure to last forever. When Thomas Edison was attempting to create a commercially-viable electric lightbulb, and he famously failed over 10,000 times, he didn’t live in that state of failure forever. If he did, he likely wouldn’t have achieved the wild successes that he achieved. In fact, Edison, when asked about his failure, stated:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
How do many of us react after failing just one time? How about after failing 2 or 3 times? And what about a dozen times? Don’t live in the failure. Instead, move on. Use the failure to fuel you and drive you to reach new understandings and ultimately find ways for achieving your goals.
#3 — Forgive Yourself For Past Mistakes
The most resilient people in the world are able to forgive themselves for their past mistakes. The truth is that failure doesn’t happen when we do everything perfectly. We usually mess up in one area of our lives or another. When we’re trying to build a business, our personal mistakes take a toll on our professional businesses or careers.
However, we have to forgive ourselves for those mistakes. As long as we can learn from them, we can move on. Too often, we beat ourselves up and we can’t find a way to forgive ourselves. We replay the events repeatedly in our minds, never really allowing ourselves to move beyond the situation.
Resilient people don’t do that. They know that human beings aren’t perfect. We make mistakes. More importantly, we need to learn from those mistakes if we’re going to bounce back from even the most earth-shattering failures in life. Forgive yourself if you’ve failed. You don’t need to forget. Just forgive.
#4 — Revisit Your Reasons “Why”
In order to make your grand comeback, oftentimes, you need to review the reasons why you wanted to achieve or attain something in the first place. What was it about that specific thing that was so alluring to you? Is that still the case? What were your original reasons for wanting to achieve it?
You need to revisit your reasons why. If your reasons for wanting something are strong enough, you can see just about anything through. But if those reasons are merely superficial, it’s far harder to bounce back from a failure. When it doesn’t mean as much to you, the pain of achieving something becomes far greater than the potential for the pleasure, and we simply give up.
We’re willing to endure the pain of failure for the potential for great amounts of pleasure as long as we find something that means so much to us that we’d be willing to do just about anything to get there. Thing about migrants who leave war or famine or oppression with slim chances of escape, yet they still try. Why? Family, security and prosperity mean that much to them. Find a strong enough why you want to achieve something and you can bounce back from any failure.
#5 — Find Your Source Of Happiness
Just because we fail at something, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t worthy of being happy. Everyone deserves to be happy. But when was the last time you actually did something you loved? I mean really loved? We’re often so busy chasing some dream that we forget about the fragility of life in the here and now.
Think about a child for a moment. When a child sees something for the first time, their eyes light up. They point up to the bird soaring up above or smile at the dog as it walks by. As we grow older, we forget about all of that. We forget about doing the things that used to bring us so much joy and happiness.
However, resilient people that learn how to bounce back from failure don’t forget about their sources of happiness. Whatever makes you happy, no matter how many times you’ve failed, be sure that you come back to it. Paint on a canvas, walk on the beach in the moonlight, travel the world, or just sit in the park and meditate or write in a journal. Whatever it is. Simply do it.
#6 — Be Grateful For What You Have
Gratitude is quite possibly one of the most important aspects of life. We have to be grateful for what we have, no matter how little it might seem. Today, if the world were to cast its problems into a big pile, you’d immediately take yours back, so you have to be grateful for what you have, even if all you think you have are problems.
I know that it’s easy to be unappreciative and ungrateful for things. I’ve been there before. Until something is taken from you, you forget its value. You simply expect it to be there. But I’m not just talking about material things. I’m talking about things like air, water, food, shelter, health, sound mind, the ability to speak, the ability to write, your hands and fingers, your heart and your lungs, and so on.
Be grateful for what you have because tomorrow it could be gone. If you operate with that single principle in mind, you won’t feel so weighted down while trying to achieve your goals. Gratitude is the surest pathway to success and happiness in life so be grateful for everything. Yes, even for your problems.
#7 — Contribute To Others
An easy way to bounce back from failure is to simply shift your focus to others. Contribute something. Not your money. Your time. Time is far more valuable than money. Time can never be re-created or saved up. You only get to spend it once. But this is also a great way to recover from any failure.
When you contribute to others, you forget about your own personal needs, at least momentarily. It’s a great way to distract from our so-called problems in life. There are so many others out there that are in a dire situation and utter need for the most basal and simple things, that it just pains the mind.
What can you do for others? Maybe just lend a helping hand to people that are in need. The simplest things can go a long way. All you need to do is search for ways to contribute and they’ll reveal themselves to you over time.
#8 — Don’t Be Afraid to Dream Big
Never be afraid to dream big. And I mean, really big. The most successful people in the world, attained their success only after massive and monumental failures. And most of them didn’t just fail once. They failed repeatedly, over and over and over again. Bu they still bounced back by dreaming big. They held that dream so vividly and bright in their minds that failure didn’t diminish their spirits.
The mind can achieve anything it can conceive. Don’t be afraid to conceive outlandish things. Over time, you can achieve them. It might not happen within the timeframe that you anticipate. But as long as you don’t give up, it will happen. So don’t be afraid to dream big whatsoever. Don’t be afraid to believe in yourself.
No matter what happens, you can always bounce back. We are resilient. We are made to thrive. Not just survive. Human beings have been thriving since our earliest days. They’ve dreamed big dreams and seen them through. Anything is possible with the right amount of determine focus and persistent action. Anything.