You are not a failure. Graduate school is really hard. I had to quit my paying job in grad school (which I really needed) in order to work an unpaid internship that I needed to graduate. To make matters worse, I had to pay for the credits at my internship. Essentially, I quit my paid job in order to PAY to work. It was very stressful financially and emotionally. In the end, it all worked out, but I feel for you and wish you all the best. Grad school is hard, but it is totally worth it.
5 Healthy Ways for Overcoming Failure March 26, 2019
Failure sucks. How we cope with failure doesn’t have to. Whether you’re a blogger, a student, a creative, or another working professional, failure is a part of life. We all go through periods of failure at some point. Unfortunately, failure (and the fear and disappointment that comes along with it), can lead to downward spirals and faltering confidence. If your perceived failures are weighing on your heart, read this post for 5 healthy ways for overcoming failure.
If you think you’re alone in your failures – you are not. In fact, I’m going to share some of my 2019 failures.
About my 2019 Failures.
I ended 2018 on a super high note. Not only was I feeling grateful for my growth, but I genuinely felt hopeful and excited about the future.
- I was going back to school to chase my professional dreams.
- I set a range of personal, professional, and blogging goals that I was certain I’d crush.
However, it wasn’t long before the realities of my life began to weigh my spirit down. The below failures started to wear me down.
1 | I Quit My Job
After a few weeks of working part-time and going to school full-time, I quickly realized that I couldn’t handle the workload. Even though I loved my job, I knew I needed to quit. My graduate program needed my full attention. This unexpected change made me so sad.
2 | I Had to Readjust to the Student Grind
By the beginning of February, my course load started to pile up. As my work load intensified, so did my anxiety. After years of post-undergraduate life, I felt ill-equipped to handle my work load.
Although I’ve always been studious, I can procrastinate. Unfortunately, I learned very quickly that procrastinating is not an option for graduate coursework. To do well in my program, I’d need to get my shit together.
3 | Loneliness Set In
By mid-February, I felt alone in my program. Even though I was ”surrounded” by other students, I struggled to make friends. It was at this point that I learned another hard lesson:
Undergraduate school is your life. Graduate school is only a portion of your life.
4 | I Failed an Assignment
By the end of February, I received a failing grade on one of my assignments. This is the second time in entire collegiate career that I’ve failed an assignment. Needless to say, I cried.
Unlike undergrad, my program does not offer the same tutoring opportunities for students who are struggling with assignments. Moreover, it is even more frustrating that the course that is the least applicable to my career goals is the one that is causing me the most turmoil.
5 | Lack of Motivation Consumed Me
Eventually, my stress and disappointment crept into every aspect of my life. Everything seemed tainted and nothing I did felt good enough.
In fact, I even stopped putting effort into my blog. Moreover, I actually took a two-week blogging break. More specifically, the only reason my blog was still active was due to the fact that I had pre-written so many posts head of time. Therefore, I missed all of my monthly blogging goals.
The Impact of my Failure.
I felt like a failure. A fraud. An imposter.
But most of all, I felt scared that I made a huge life mistake. I took a big risk in moving home, quitting my job, and going back to school. What if it doesn’t pay off? I let this crippling fear of utter failure dictate my life and my emotions for weeks, before finally snapping out of it.
If you are tired of letting the fear of failure dictate your life, please keep reading for 5 healthy ways for overcoming failure.
5 Healthy Ways for Overcoming Failure.
Over the years, I’ve finally come to the realization that self-doubt is a liar. Self-doubt tells us to believe all of our worst fears. It poisons our minds, telling us that we are no good at anything. Moreover, self-doubt and fear are the voices that cloud out rational thought when faced with failure. These negative voices block our ability to remember our best qualities and proudest accomplishments.
Although it’s tempting to give in to fear of failure and feelings of self-doubt, there is a myriad of healthy ways to effectively cope with failure. The following tips for dealing with failure are methods that I use when feelings of self-doubt and fear attempt to paralyze me.
1 | Clear My Head
Before you start to actively deal with failure-driven emotions, it is important to clear your head. By clearing your head, you are capable of calming yourself down and detaching from overwhelmingly toxic emotions. Common methods of clearing your head include:
- Praying for peace / meditating
- Taking a Bath / doing a face mask
- Going for a walk / exercising
- Artistic pursuits (coloring, drawing, painting, etc.)
The above tasks do not require a ton of effort or thought. However, these simple activities provide you with ways to calm down without needing to address your current emotional state head-on.
2 | Write or Talk It Out
One of the healthiest ways to deal with set backs is to have an inner dialogue. More specifically, when dealing with failure it is important to spend time reflecting on (1) what occurred, (2) how you feel about it, and (3) why you feel that way.
Take time to reflect on your personal experiences, either through journaling or speaking to a trusted advisor (family member, friend, counselor, etc). Reflecting back on your experiences will help you to fully address your feelings.
It is important to note – there is no shame in feeling like a failure. Not every emotion needs to be a good emotion. It is healthy for us to experience ups and downs. Therefore, there is nothing long to taking time to truly feel the full depth of our emotions.
Let yourself feel sad, embarrassed, or scared when you experience failure. However, do not let yourself wallow in failure.
3 | Create A Game Plan
I will not lie to you. Immediately after experiencing failure, it is challenging to snap out of a toxic mindset that prevents you from doing anything productive. Failure can feel utterly paralyzing.
However, there are ways that you can help to get yourself on the right path. List-making and and creating a game plan can be your best friends during times when you’re feeling low as a result of experiencing failure.
- Brainstorm a list of ways to improve your life now
- Create specific plans to help you accomplish the goals that you brainstorm
- Add measurable goals & time-frames to keep you motivated
The key in this step is challenge yourself to change your situation and move past your failure. Read this post on for more details on creating achievable goals.
4 | Read About Other Notable Failures
There are countless famous entrepreneurs, actors, musicians, and politicians, etc. who openly speak about their past failures. While I do not recommend celebrating others’ failure, there is some level of comfort in reading about the failures of others. Why?
By learning about the failures of seemingly ”successful” people, we are provided with hope that we can overcome our failures. Plus, we are able to better understand that we are not alone. We aren’t the only people experiencing failure.
5 | BE KIND.
What do I mean by this? Be kind to yourself. Remember, the self-doubt that comes from failure is a liar. One way I am kind to myself is to write down or say positive affirmations daily. I try to focus on the positives rather than dwelling on past negative experiences.
These tips for dealing with failure aren’t a magic solve to all your problems. However, trying one or all of these methods can help you cope with failure-driven fear or disappointment in healthy and constructive ways.
Failure is a GOOD thing.
Experiencing failure is a good thing.
Failure challenges us to grow. Everytime I experience failure, whether professionally or personally, I learned something valuable about myself or about what I want in my life.
With each setback I’ve faced, I developed my problem-solving skills and develop true self-confidence. What does this mean? True self-confidence means having the courage to take risks despite the possibility of failure. True self-confidence means having the courage to try something new when you aren’t sure of the outcome. True self-confidence means having the courage to carry on even when times are tough.
As a side note, since writing this post (nearly a month ago), I improved my grade in the course that was giving me trouble. Also, I am already working at another job that is less strenuous and more accommodating to my schedule.
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Did you find my 5 tips for dealing with failure helpful? Is the stress of 2019 overwhelming you? Check out this post full of wellness tips if you’re looking for ways to relax and love yourself.
Have you tried any of these 5 healthy ways for overcoming failure? What are your top tips for dealing with failure? What is the best advice you’ve ever received for coping with failure? Please let me know in the comments below.
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