Overcoming Failure

October 11, 2018

              Earlier this week, we discussed the cost of perfection and how expecting it from ourselves and others can be incredibly disappointing and emotionally costly. So, the next logical step would be discussing how to cope with failure. The first step is to examine our mindset around failure and rejection, ensuring that we believe in the ability to grow and improve in all areas of our lives.

              A common sentiment often heard in therapy is, “it is easier to not try then it is to try and fail”. This mindset likely comes from the belief that if we don’t try, we don’t have to cope with the idea that we may fail. Thus, we can hold on to the belief that we would succeed if we just felt like trying. However, with the right growth-centered mindset, we can overcome the fear of rejection and failure, learning to get back up and try again when things don’t go our way. Learning to argue with what may often be negative self-talk, (i.e. “I can’t do this” or “I don’t have the skills to succeed”) can help us to reframe our struggles into a positive, (i.e. “I just have to try harder” or “I am learning to new skills to do better next time”) motivation-building exercise for the next hurdle we face.

              We can also overcome failure by praising others for their efforts, even when they are not successful in reaching their goals the first time around. By praising others, we are subtly reinforcing our own positive self-talk and gaining knowledge learned from the journey others take, rather than the outcome. Also, it helps to remember that we take on tasks and problems to improve our lives and reach our own goals, not for the approval of others. Developing more internal and intrinsic reasons for our pursuits will make the journey a learning experience, and the eventual success will be that much sweeter.

              If you struggle to overcome fears of failure and rejection, preventing you from reaching your goals, give Main St. Psychiatry a call to learn how we can support you in altering your mindset towards a path to recovery.

Original material found at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-social-thinker/201810/six-simple-tips-overcoming-failure

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