Saturday, November 22, 2014

How to: Pick Yourself Up From a Failure

Image Credit: Dia via Flickr CC
Hi there! Failure is something that we all face at one point or another, whether it's a big let-down or a milder one. Failure can really mess you up if you can't get yourself into the right mentality to get out of that situation. 

Everyone has faced failure before and I know how hard it can be, which is why I decided to put together this post all about how to get yourself out of the rut. Enjoy!

1. Go treat yourself to something

Of course, you have to be a bit careful with this one because if this is a regular thing (ex. you keep on "failing" your tests and you reward yourself every time), it will not have the same effect. The treat in the form of say, a cookie from Starbucks, is supposed to be a quick fix that makes you feel instantly better about yourself, even if it's for a super short period of time.

If you just keep treating yourself after a bad test or whatever without actually getting your grades up, you'll start to associate a treat with getting a bad grade and that's not good.

2. Accept that you failed

Sometimes, failing can be a good thing. Whatever the case may be, you have to accept that it happened. You can't fix a problem if you don't acknowledge that it's a problem in the first place.

3. Clean your room

I don't know about you, but I cannot do anything if my room is a mess. I find that typically, the cleanliness of one's room reflects how put-together a person is. Cleaning a space can be really therapeutic and can help calm you down and clear your head after being shaken by a failure. 

4. Sweat it out

Another mindless activity is working out. Yes, it takes a lot of effort to actually start doing so, but if you're stressed, hitting the gym is perfect for relieving that stress and anxiety. Everyone says that they feel so much better after a workout and it's very true. You'll be able to clear your head super well and just feel better about yourself to be able to do some deep thinking and planning.

5. Chug a glass of water

This might sound totally random, but if you're feeling sluggish, stressed, or any other negative emotion, chugging a glass of water can really help. It's almost like you're literally washing away all that negativity and the water just feels really cool and refreshing.

6. Think about what you did wrong

Now comes the deep part. Self-reflection is a really important part of my life. I'll take time after a big event or maybe just when I'm alone to reevaluate how my life is going and how I'm doing. Sometimes, this failure isn't even something that you had very much control over, like say you planned to get ahead in your history reading, but something came up during the day and you didn't have time to do it and you consider that a failure. 

However, there are failures that you have almost complete control over where self-reflection can come in handy. Again, using school as an example since it's the one that's the most universally applicable (though failures can happen in every aspect of your life), if you were to fail your math test, for example, that's a sign that you either didn't study enough, didn't get enough sleep, or don't understand the content.

7. Devise a plan of attack

Once you've figured out what you did wrong and what you could do better, it's time to put that plan into action. Some things that I've considered failures of mine recently are not getting enough sleep (because I plan it out and it doesn't work), not blogging regularly, and not working out as much as I'd like to. They might not seem like failures to other people, but they are to me because I plan to do these things, but I fail to make them happen.

My failures are all connected to how I don't get enough sleep which only happens because I either stay up too late talking to to friends that I don't get a chance to see very often or because I shove way too much on my plate. A plan of attack would be to reasonably plan my schedule and stick to a bedtime. That kind of thing.

Sometimes, you might want to work through your failure by yourself without many people really knowing about it. Other times, telling people about it can help you reach your goals because they'll be like your own mini cheerleaders and the strict mom (or dad) reminding you to get to it.

8. Realise that you WILL do better next time and you WILL get through it

The whole point of making a plan of attack is to assure yourself that you can improve and that that failure will not define you because you're determined to do better next time. Don't get discouraged and think that you'll fail again. Just have faith that you'll stick to your plan and things will work out.

Which tip did you find the most helpful? What would you consider a failure? How have you picked yourself up after a failure before? Leave your stories in a comment below!

Thank you so much for reading!
- J

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