Have you ever pondered why certain individuals cope so well with failure? They are unfazed by setbacks and will not allow anything to deter them from pursuing their ambitions. How do they accomplish this? Are these individuals much tougher than you and me? They are. To be honest, yes and no.
As you can see, mental toughness is a complex concept that cannot be readily summarized by asserting that one individual is more tough than another. However, if we compare how we manage failure, someone who handles it effectively is far more psychologically robust than someone who does not.
That is because the capacity to bounce back from failure is one of the six characteristics that comprise mental toughness. Though developing this kind of mental toughness is not difficult. Those who can confront failure squarely and move on have one thing in common… their viewpoint on failure.
How to Adopt a Positive Attitude Toward Failure
Advise individuals to see failure positively might encounter some opposition. Because the very nature of failure implies that the outcome is not what we want, why should we feel pleased about it? This, I believe, arises from the notion that having an optimistic outlook implies a desire to fail.
Naturally, we would all want to succeed every second. That is not how success works; in fact, the more lofty your aspirations, the more probable failures will occur. However, this does not imply you have to want failures.
Having a positive outlook requires altering your perception of how failure affects your life. Rather of allowing anger to destroy you, you may choose to channel it positively. To do this, you must adopt a new perspective on failure.
Recognize What You Have Control Over
It’s normal to be overtaken by fury after a setback. You may develop feelings of rage at yourself, your surroundings, or the failure itself. Typically, this surge of rage shows as a need for control. Nobody like feeling helpless, which is why rage develops into such a safe emotional reaction.
The more enraged we get, the more control we seem to possess. However, the control we want seldom includes parts of life that we truly have influence over. This is the point at which you begin to blame others for your failures and consider all the things you might have altered or done differently in order to prevent the failure entirely.
At this point, though, it is pointless to dwell on the past or the source of the failure (unless you are giving it attention as a way to learn). The more emotionally engaged you get in the past or the more you want to manage what you cannot manage in the present, the more difficult it will be to deal with failure.
What, then, is under our power after a setback or failure? To put it simply, we are. The primary areas under our control that need attention are how we emotionally respond and what our future moves will be.
Accept that failure has occurred. Avoid ruminating on the past or feeling self-pity over the disasters you encountered. You have a tremendous option right now: either continue to feel sorry for yourself and allow anger to dominate you, or opt to take a positive approach to the setback and concentrate on what is within your control.
When you are confronted with failure in the future, consider concentrating on these critical areas:
- Your Ideas: When you fail, what thoughts come to mind? Do you self-critisize or do you engage in uplifting and positive self-talk?
- Your Attitude: How do you feel about failure? Rather of seeing it as a personal setback, embrace it as a learning opportunity (more on this in the next section).
- Your Focus: Are you dwelling on the past, ruminating on all the things you might have done better? Or do you devote your whole focus and energy to self-improvement and advancement?
- Consider Failure as a Teaching Opportunity
While we may have no control over whether or if we fail, we do have total control over how we interpret failure. For whatever reason, we believe that failure must be seen negatively.
Adhering to this belief system results in an extreme dread of failure. We accumulate so many bad and scary outcomes associated with failure that it’s reasonable to develop fear of it occurring to us.
However, there is another possibility. We are all aware that failure will occur, therefore it is prudent to begin using it to our benefit. To begin leveraging your failures, all it takes is a shift in your perspective on what it means to fail.
Rather from being terrified of failure and taking each one personally, try to consider them as chances for growth. Each time you fail, you go closer to achieving your objective. It may be a wonderful chance to discover what works and what does not and to adjust your strategy appropriately.
Once you begin to regard failure as a teaching opportunity, your perspective on it becomes much more objective. You would not take a math lecture personally; rather, you would accept it in stride. Have the same attitude toward failure. Consider it a simple lesson that is truly beneficial, since it is assisting you in moving closer to achievement.