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Post Info TOPIC: Coping With Failure

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Coping With Failure

Failure vs. Success: Nothing bites us more hurtfully than failure. Especially in case of people with poor self-esteem and low self-confidence, the pain and fear associated with failure is more serious, damaging and debilitating. Failure prevents many unfortunate victims from being true to their potential and realizing their cherished dreams. Concerned as we are with success and survival, living in a competitive world that worships winners and castigates losers, even people with normal self esteem tend to react to failure with a negative frame of mind and attitude, and with feelings of inadequacy, incompetence and loss of self-esteem.

Know that you can deal with failure: For the ultimate triumph of success, failure can be dealt with in a positive and decisive way . Failure can be managed intelligently and pragmatically just as we can manage our day to day problems with aplomb as a part of our struggle for survival. Failure can be confronted, studied and dealt with, in a rationale and objective manner, before it consumes us with the raw force of its negativity and overwhelms us with its oppressive feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The best way to deal with failure is to deal with it as if it is a problem that need to be resolved in the path of our goal oriented action.

Accept failure as a process: Failure is not the end of our actions but a part or product of them. It is a phase with in a phase. A problem within a problem. A nightmare with in a dream that exists because it has a message to deliver and a lesson to teach. Just as pain and suffering are hidden in our lives, failure is inherent in all actions and undertakings. For us to enjoy the fruit of success, we need to suffer the roughness of failure. The best thing about failure is it is temporary, manageable and solvable. As a concept, failure on the way to success is a seemingly less threatening concept to our sense of well being rather than the concept of failure as the sum total of our efforts. It is therefore better to treat failure this way and cope with it adequately.

Anticipate failure: Before you start your goal oriented action, anticipate what kind of failures you may expect on the way and prepare yourself adequately to cope with them. Develop action plans, alternate scenarios and intervention mechanisms to deal with different kind of situations as they may develop from time to time and interfere with your progress. Anticipating failures during different stages of our goal oriented actions and preparing ourselves adequately to deal with them through alternative plans and approaches so as to become wiser, efficient and effective is a sign of maturity and sagacity. This way we minimize our losses, conserve our resources, remain focused on our goals and stay on course. With this approach, failure becomes an integral part of our vision for success.

Develop an intelligent and attitude: Imperfect as we are, though endowed with great many skills and vast intelligence, we cannot escape from the perils of failure when we embark upon a course of action with which we are not very familiar or comfortable. Wisdom therefore demands an intelligent attitude and calculated approach towards the problem of failure. If we accept failure as an inherent vice in a learning situation or undertaking, consider it as a sign of some imperfection that is in need of a state of perfection, or a sign of inefficiency or ineffectiveness that is craving for an immediate and effective cure, we can use failure as an opportunity to measure our progress, polish our skills and faculties and deal with the problems of our lives effectively and efficiently. If we consider failure as a phase in the process of our improvement and development, we can use it for self-improvement and increased self-awareness.

Accept responsibility for your failure: Faced with failure, feeble minds tend to look outwardly to find the cause of their failure. Rather than accepting the responsibility heroically and finding solutions from with in, they indulge in acts of self-deception and blame some person, element or extraneous condition as the cause of their failure. In the face of failure, probably this is one of the worst attitude any one can display to escape criticism. When you find yourself in the middle of a desert, there is no point in blaming the sun or the sand or fate, but accept responsibility and do everything possible under the sun to stay on course and survive. Even if the actual cause is extraneous, by accepting responsibility one can learn wisely from the situation and prepare oneself for further action. Especially when you are part of a team effort, by accepting responsibility for your actions, you are earning the trust and respect of other team members and their continued support to deal with your failure. By accepting responsibility for your failures, you are confronting failure truthfully and realistically without being defeated by it or oppressed by it.

Act with equanimity of mind: Faced with failure, a wise man acts with sense of humility knowing the fact that in this vast universe which is guided by a multitude of visible and invisible forces, diverse interests and mysterious intentions, all that one person can do is to play his or her role sincerely and leave the result to God. As the Bhagavad-Gita, the Hindu scripture, says, in this world, a man has right to work only, but not to its fruit. So a person is not expected not to relinquish duty but to cultivate equanimity of mind and moral virtues so as to cope with both success and failure with the same set of mind. In a pragmatic view of the world, man has control over his actions, but not the results they yield. We should therefore stay focused on the techniques, details, processes and skills, stabilizing our minds purely on the action to be taken and avoid the anxiety commonly associated with goal oriented actions.

Be persistent: Weak minds are easily disheartened and admit failure, but not a strong mind determined to end failure through corrective and improvised action borne out of analysis and observation and sustained by the will to persevere. When faced with failure, a strong willed person would continue on his chosen path, knowing well that what can defeat him is not failure but his own untested fears and assumed limitations. He knows that he has the freedom and the opportunity to try different options and alternative methods to deal with failure and resolve it. A strong willed person would not give up, would not leave in between, would not abandon the hope of success and would not lose sight of the resources that he has invested in pursuit of success.

Seek help from others: When failure becomes an unavoidable option, people tend to withdraw into themselves and suffer alone. For a while their judgment gets impaired and their consciousness clogged by the impurities of negative thinking. While this is a normal and immediate response to failure, successful people recover immediately from such situations. They bounce back and look for opportunities to overcome their deficiencies or rectify their mistakes and continue their efforts in the desired direction. They make an objective assessment of the situation, analyze their actions and seek other's cooperation, inputs and involvement. It is true that success claims many followers and admirers, while failure many victims, critics and onlookers. Success breeds opportunities for friendship and increased social activity while failure brings in loneliness and desperation. The trick is to stay calm, remain focused and objective, ignore the ridicule and the insults from the critics and gather support and input from the sympathizers and well wishers for a fresh phase of renewed activity and corrective action.

Be creative : Failure is a problem that needs a solution through direct confrontation and use of creative ideas for sustained action. You cannot cope with failure through inaction or withdrawal from the pursuit of your goals. you cannot deal with failure by trying to escape from the feelings of failure and dejection. In the midst of failure it is difficult to concentrate and think objectively. But what is required most at this stage is objective outlook and creative approach. To cope with failure you need to think creatively and find alternative solutions that may help you remedy the situation and achieve success.

Creativity cannot thrive in a mind oppressed by the feelings of guilt, negativity, despair and hopelessness. What is required is a relaxed and composed state of mind, ready for adventure and experimentation, focused and determined to tread the path till the objectives are realized. When faced with failure, therefore keep your mind open and allow it to think freely. Be creative and courageous to weight the options and take calculated risks. Become receptive to the free flow of ideas and thoughts. Using your creative faculties, challenge yourself with the will to succeed and the vision to be different and determined.

Think positively: A vast array of forces gather around us as we plunge into the pit of failure. Our own thoughts and attitudes start acting against us and make us feel negative and harsh towards ourselves and failures. Through our actions and expressions, we also turn enemies out of our friends and make things more difficult for us. Usually the mind has the habit of internalizing success and externalizing failure. While this is the usual defensive reaction, the mind also has the tendency to associate negative feelings with failure such as pain, frustration, distrust, loneliness, confusion, uncertainty and despondency. With the help of positive feelings, successful people usually recover from the bout of depression that usually accompanies failure. They motivate themselves to think positively and develop a positive plan of action to recover from failure. By keeping their hopes alive they keep their chances of success alive.

Be systematic: It helps to be organized and systematic, while engaged in a certain course of goal oriented action. Organized action helps you say focused, conserve your resources and improve your chances of success. When your action lead to failure, if you are organized, the possibility of your recovery is much faster and easier. In an organized environment, you have better chances of analyzing your past actions and isolating the causes of your failure. You can draw richly from the wealth of information gained by your previous experience and observation. It will also help you control your activities, measure your performance, and stay on course.

Failure is not an option in a competitive world where you are constantly challenged by people and circumstances to prove your mettle, show your true worth and stay on top. But when faced with failure you've to consider the many options that are available to you and deal with it effectively, so that your fit loses the power to haunt you and make you feel small and defeated. You cannot set aside your failures, ignore them or wish them away. You need to face them squarely and in time, before they become unmanageable and precipitate crises and serious trouble. As you plan for success, be prepared to cope with failures on the way and learn from them. Or else be prepared for more failures, more problems and more lessons.

Failure is like a storm in the course of a voyage. It is a situation that is in proportion to your state of awareness and preparedness and is usually reflective of your level of your progress and skill levels. It demands timely and skillful action, planned and concerted approach, positive mental attitude, unyielding courage and conviction in the face of destabilizing environment and an organized thinking that can generate valuable ideas to help your ship stay you afloat and on course. Therefore, take failure as a learning and remedial opportunity. Face it with courage. Deal with it courageously. Give it your best and make it your strength.

Easy Does it..Keep It Simple..Let Go and Let God..
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