How To Pick Yourself Up When You Fail

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No one likes to fail. And the fear of failure will stop many people from trying, but to fail is one of the inevitabilities we face in life.

The odds dictate that you have failed. The odds dictate that you’ve failed dozens of times, maybe hundreds, perhaps even thousands.

Is that a bad thing?

Not in the slightest.

How To Pick Yourself Up When You Fail
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

To fail at something isn’t unique. People fail at tasks every minute of every day.

The failure could be something small, like forgetting to set your alarm before you go to bed.

The failure could be something big, like not getting the job you desperately wanted.

There is no set template for what failure can be. Only that it should never define who you are.

Some of the biggest success stories have come from failure.

There are many examples often used to illustrate the point that to fail is not the end:

The Harry Potter series received a total of 12 rejections before J.K Rowling got a publishing contract. Today it’s the biggest selling series of books the world has ever seen.

Oprah Winfrey was let go from her job as a television anchor at the start of her career. But Oprah went on to become one of the most well-known faces on television, and a self-made billionaire.

How To Pick Yourself Up When You Fail
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey

Pick yourself up when you fail starts with understanding that failure is not the end of your story. Failure is a chance to learn.

Learning From Failure

Failing is not unique, but the circumstances surrounding each individual failure are.

If you’ve failed at something, fundamentally, it means that something went wrong. The good news is that you can always right a wrong if you’re willing to learn from the mistake.

The difficulty here is trying to figure out exactly what went wrong. To learn from your failure, start by asking a few simple questions:

  • Were you committed to the cause?
  • Were you determined to succeed?
  • Did you put enough effort in?
  • Did you truly want to succeed?

If the answer to any question is no, then you need to reassess whether the goal was worth it.

If the answer to any of those is yes, then the next step is to figure out what got in the way.

Learn from your failure and commit to trying again. Of course, that is easier said than done.

Picking yourself up, again and again, to keep trying, can be exhausting, it can feel fruitless and impossible.

How To Pick Yourself Up When You Fail
“There’s nothing as exciting as a comeback – seeing someone with dreams, watching them fail, and then getting a second chance.” – Rachel Griffiths

So, how do so many people manage to do it?

The answer to how to pick yourself up from failure repeatedly is mindset.

Think About Mindset

In simple terms: mindset is belief.

Your mindset is what you believe about your qualities. What you think of your personality, your abilities, and your intelligence stems from your mindset.

There are two very different categories of mindset: fixed mindset and growth mindset.

A fixed mindset is the belief that you can’t change the way you are or your intelligence. A growth mindset is the belief that everything is fluid and that you can change and alter your talents.

When you add failure to the equation, you can see how the two mindsets are very different:

  • Failure with a fixed mindset will tell you that there is no point trying again because you can’t grow.
  • Failure with a growth mindset will tell you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.

The Four Problems With A Fixed Mindset

One important answer to how to continually pick yourself up after failure is not with a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset can greatly hinder your ability to overcome and learn from failure.

There are four big problems with a fixed mindset, that can limit your ability to tackle failure and re-emerge stronger:

1) Prevents Risk-Taking

A fixed belief will prevent you from taking risks in your everyday life. Thinking that you can’t achieve something, very often leads to not achieving something.

Why bother trying something new if you believe that you can’t achieve it?

2) Limits Creativity

Fixed mindsets put a limit on how creative you are. The belief that intelligence and capabilities are inherent makes you feel that you’ll never be as good as naturally gifted people.

Why bother trying if someone else is always going to be better?

3) Promotes Fear

Thinking that you can’t do something can make you fear new things. Its new, scary, and you don’t know anything about it, so with a fixed mindset, you think you’ll fail.

Why bother trying if you’re going to fail?

4) You Get Surrounded By ‘Yes’ People

An inability to take risks, having lowered creativity, and being afraid, often leads to surrounding yourself with ‘yes’ people. These people agree with you, never encouraging you to try something new.

Why bother trying if everyone else agrees with you?

How To Pick Yourself Up When You Fail
“You can’t be afraid to fail. It’s the only way you succeed – you’re not gonna succeed all the time, and I know that.” – LeBron James

Finding yourself stuck in the rut of a fixed mindset can limit your exposure to failure. However, at the same time, you limit your ability to learn and grow.

Embracing a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is going to put you in the completely opposite situation. You’ll face every challenge with a mind for success because you know you can improve with determination and resilience.

You may fail more, but you’re learning, developing, and succeeding.

How do people pick themselves up after they fail?

They take failure for what it is and reap the full benefits. And the full benefits are spectacular.

The Four Benefits of Failure

Failure sounds like a terrifying thing. In many ways, it is ok to be afraid of failure. It keeps you determined to succeed.

However, never forget that failure has some wonderful benefits. When you fail with a growth mindset, you succeed at learning something you didn’t know.

The result?

You’re more intelligent than you were before you failed.

Here are four of the biggest benefits of failure:

1) Gives You Freedom

Diving into a problem thinking that you’re invincible is only going to blind you to genuine problems. Once you’ve failed once, you release yourself from the worry of failure, and you become more aware of problems.

The moment you embrace the failure is the moment you remove the constraints of needing to do everything perfectly.

2) Provides A Chance To Get Creative

Failure means that one path hasn’t worked, it doesn’t mean that everything has fallen apart. When you fail, you can get creative with working out solutions.

Failing frees you up to try new things, get back to the creative process, and have fun.

3) Provides Clarity

Pursuing one goal for a long time can blind you to what you want. When everything starts to fall apart, you can finally see what’s important amongst the mess.

Did you want that job, or did you want a new career? Failure gives you the clarity you need to reassess your priorities in life.

4) Promotes Resilience

There are two common terms often associated with recovery after failure with a growth mindset: grit and resilience.

The second you fail, you have a choice: get up and go again or stop and give up.

Choose the former of the two options, and you add resilient to your list of qualities. The wonders of reliance mean that giving up is never going to be an option again.

Growth Mindset and Resilience

Growth mindset and resilience are an exceptional partnership. They both help the other to grow, develop, and expand.

How To Pick Yourself Up When You Fail
“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” – John Burroughs

When you’re resilient, you keep trying. When you have a growth mindset, you know that you can try new things. To have a growth mindset, it means that you know you need to be resilient to learn.

The growth mindset needed to pick yourself up and try again is heavily reliant on resilience.

Embracing a growth mindset, over time, will help you to grow the resilience you need to view failure as an ability to learn.

The Four Ways Overcome Failure With Resilience

Your belief about yourself, your ability to self-regulate, your goals, and your social surroundings, can all influence your resilience levels.

To face failure head on, you can use your growth mindset to develop your resilience. The more resilient you become, the more able you’ll be to pick yourself up after failure time and time again.

Here are four of the top ways to overcome failure by building on your resilience and developing your growth mindset:

1) Think Positively to Act Positively

Positive thoughts lead to positive actions. This is a crucial tool when facing the negativity that comes along with an event of failure.

Viewing failure as a bad situation will foster fear of the experience and mean you don’t take away anything positive.

How To Pick Yourself Up When You Fail
“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” – John F. Kennedy

Start by appreciating what you achieved and not what you didn’t achieve. When you take on board your role in bringing about these achievements, you build your resilience.

Think of failure as the best opportunity to learn what not to do next time. Encourage yourself to go again, don’t berate yourself for failing.

2) Be Flexible In The Way You Think

A growth mindset means embracing new challenges because you are in control of what you can do and learn. Being flexible in your mindset means discovering more and broadening your horizons.

Closing your mind might mean shutting out possible solutions to the reason why you failed. Be willing to explore new avenues, think about new options, and become enthusiastic about the options open to you.

Once you let go and stop thinking of everything rigidly, resilience will start to develop. All that enthusiasm will manifest into the resilience to keep going.

3) Start With Small Goals

Failing again and again at the same thing will get most people down after a while. A key part of a growth mindset and resilience is knowing when to do something differently.

Having a massive end goal is great but getting there is going to involve one challenge after another. Tackling all those challenges at the same time is very likely to overwhelm you.

How To Pick Yourself Up When You Fail
“Take chances and make mistakes. That is how you grow. It is necessary to fail so you can practice being brave.” – David Brett-Williams

Cut down that massive goal into bite-sized pieces that are easy to approach and simple to digest.

If you fail at a smaller goal, it’s only one section of the bigger picture. You can try again, knowing exactly where that goal fits into the puzzle.

If you succeed at the smaller goal, then it’s going to provide plenty of encouragement. One success will fuel the resilience you need to achieve the next success and the one after that.

4) Reflect On Success When You Fail

Reflection is a big part of knowing and understanding your mindset.

Taking the time out to reflect will help you to become more aware. This will paint a clear picture of where you stand in the great scheme of success and failure.

Reflection can take any form that works well for you. It could be writing a journal, meditating, or writing a list of your daily successes.

When you find time to reflect, you encourage positive thoughts, analyse situations clearly, and can plan the next day thoroughly.

Gaining A New Perspective When You Fail

Passion, determination, and an understanding that anything is possible will put you in a position to succeed. To grow these into true resilience, you need look no further than your mindset.

The belief of a growth mindset means that you know you can learn these traits and then develop them. If you have trouble staying determined, then focus on those practices good for a healthy mindset and gain the resilience.

For some people, failure is the single scariest thing that they have ever experienced or are worried they will experience.

How To Pick Yourself Up When You Fail
“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.” – Robert H. Schuller

There’s no hiding that failure can cause you to change your life, in expected and unintended ways drastically.

Do these changes always have to be bad?

Not in the slightest.

Treat failure like any other experience in life and learn from it, the good side and the bad side. Your mindset will foster resilience if you take the time to think and act positively.

What you put that resilience to outstanding use achieving, is then completely down to you.

Always remember, when it comes to failure, you have only truly failed if you fail to pick yourself up.

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David Brett-Williams