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  • Writer's pictureMichele Andorfer

How to Move on From Failure

It’s inevitable… sometimes we fail. While it’s a natural part of life, it never feels good in the moment.


Perhaps you got fired from a role you were passionate about, experienced a serious break-up, or had a failed business venture. Whatever the failure is, it can feel all-encompassing at the time and affect other aspects of our lives.


However, we cannot stay stuck in that moment of failure forever! We can only learn lessons from it, grieve the loss of “what could have been,” and then move on. Here are some tips on how to cope with failure.


Feel Your Emotions

The first step is not to rush past your feelings. When you fail at something that’s important to you, it truly, truly hurts; that’s only natural.


Welcome those feelings of pain, disappointment, and whatever else you might be feeling, and acknowledge that those emotions are valid. You won’t be able to move forward until you recognize the pain that has been caused. Talk it out with a friend or therapist, if you need help identifying and feeling your emotions.


Identify Irrationality

While your emotions are valid, during turbulent times we can jump to some irrational conclusions. Failing at one business venture doesn’t make you a terrible businessperson. Having a failed relationship doesn’t mean you will forever be alone. Although we know these things rationally, experiencing failure can allow this negative irrationality to creep in.


Do you have proof for these conclusions? If you don’t, it might be stemming from emotion, rather than reason.


Practice Coping Mechanisms

The next step is to regulate your feelings. There are a number of different coping mechanisms that help you feel calmer and move into a more positive space. Some will work for you, while others won’t, so be prepared to try a few and see which ones you like best.


Activities like talking to a friend, practicing deep breathing or meditation, spending time outside, or cuddling with your pet are just a few examples of healthy ways to deal with your negative emotions.


Know When to Seek Support

Of course, there are times when all the coping mechanisms in the world won’t help. If you are feeling down, anxious, or just can’t shake negative feelings about failure (or anything else), don’t be afraid of seeking professional support. There’s no shame in talking to a medical professional or a therapist about your problems to help find a solution to how you’re feeling!

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