When things go wrong in life, or we fail, we tend to be pretty hard on ourselves about it.
And sometimes that self-criticism can keep us from being able to dust ourselves off and jump up right back to our feet again.
Nobody likes to fail, it’s disappointing, but you’re in for a whole life of disappointment if you put pressure on yourself to be perfect 100% of the time. People fail.
Things go wrong. And not one of us will walk through our lives without experiencing it.
And it won’t just be the once, oh no, there will be plenty of times when we get rejected, we get misunderstood, and things go will go wrong.
But life isn’t measured by failures. It’s how you deal with and learn from that failure. And in fact, you really won’t become a compassionate and experienced person without it.
While it may not seem like a comfort right now, you will look back at these failures and know that you wouldn’t be who you are today without them.
But to effectively bounce back from these failures and keep pushing forward you’ll need to up your resilience (see also ‘From Regrets, Discover GRIT & Resilience‘). You’ll need coping mechanisms (healthy ones) and you’ll need to train your behavior.
It’s not always easy, but not all things in life are. And understanding that will help you battle and push onwards.
1. Honest Self-Appraisal
The first thing that you’ll need to do if you’re on the floor looking for a way to get back to your feet is be honest with yourself.
Most issues have an underlying root cause, that sometimes we like to ignore because it may be painful. But until you let yourself admit your issues you can’t fix them.
What about this knock is causing your emotional response? Are you harboring unresolved issues? What deep down upsets you the most about this issue?
Can you try again? What went wrong this time? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself.
Reframing is a psychological technique that involves trying to rid your mind of all the excess noise and drama.
A lot of not being able to move on and carry on comes from your frame of mind, and you need to find ways to shift it.
You can rewrite the story in your head. I’ll show you an example of this. Let’s say that you’ve told someone that you like them and you’ve been rejected.
The narrative in your head may go something a little like this:
They don’t like me because I’m not good enough for them. I’m not attractive enough. I’m not funny enough. I need to be better.
Whereas you need to try and move into the mind frame of This didn’t work out, but there is someone else out there who will love me for exactly who I am – that person obviously wasn’t right for me. I deserve better.
The way you approach the world with these two mindsets will be completely different.
3. Set Boundaries
For many of us saying no can seem like a scary thing. Setting boundaries can be scary (see also our article on being a pushover). Telling someone this gets in the way of my goals and needs can be intimidating.
And many of us can feel selfish for doing so or worry that setting boundaries may push people away.
But the fact of the matter is, that if someone can’t accept reasonable boundaries that you set in place to help better your life, then they’re not really a friend worth having around.
There’s a difference between being there for others and being kind, and being a people pleaser. And this issue with desperately trying to people please is that it’s not possible.
And if you feel like your values and beliefs are being threatened or pushed aside, you will lose yourself completely.
4. Take Responsibility For Your Actions, Not Someone Else’s
Guilt is a prison that you’ll never escape. And if you blame yourself for other people’s actions, you’ll spend your whole life on the ground. Because they’ll let you.
They’ll let you take the blame for things that you can’t control. And you’ll allow them to bounce back because you take all those negative feelings on their behalf.
Let’s use the relationship example from above. Say your partner cheats on you.
They may turn around and say well, you haven’t been meeting my needs. You’re not as emotionally invested. You’re not like you used to be…
But you are not responsible for their break in trust. No matter what is going on, it is up to them to speak to you about their issues, and either resolve them or end the relationship.
You can not take on their guilt or it will leave you crushed. Others are accountable for their actions.
5. Sever Ties With Toxic People
The people that you choose to keep in your close circle, is so very important.
These are the people that are going to help you bounce back and if they are secretly rooting for your failure, they’ll end up just kicking you while you’re down.
Though it may feel hard, you need to cut out the people that threaten your resilience.
The ones that tell you that you’re in the wrong, the ones that tell you to give up, the ones that laugh at you when you fail – they need to go.
Getting back up is so much easier when you have an outstretched hand to grab on to. Make sure that person isn’t going to let you go.
Bouncing back up after failure is never easy. But each time you do it, it gets a little easier. Each time you’ll learn something you never knew before.
And you’ll use that the next time something comes around to knock you off your feet again.