How to Bounce Back from Failure

When you’re gunning for good grades, a promotion, fame, wealth, success, or any accolade, you must know how to bounce back from failure.  You must be able to wipe off your collar, tuck in your shirt, regroup, and strut forward—with a smile.  That’s because anybody reaching for the stars faces countless roadblocks, pitfalls, and failures.  And perhaps the simplest, but most testing, path to success is to never quit.  So how do you do it?  You could try what I do.

Take ownership of error.  Don’t blame others.  Even if someone else appears at fault, casting blame complicates finding a solution and inhibits innovation.  Take responsibility, but with a positive mindset.

Recognize failure as a growth opportunity.  Failure is a way to become a better version of yourself.  Just like success should be relished, so should failure, but with the determination to rise above.  Better still, embrace failure with a fire in your belly.  Review your failures to find the gold that will cause you to grow.

Recognize failure is a normal part of the journey.  Everybody who strives for big goals experiences failure, sometimes hundreds of failures.  If you want to achieve anything in life, expect to face—and overcome—failure after failure.  It’s the overcoming that takes you to the next levels.

Learn empathy for other people’s mistakes.  That way, you develop greater empathy for your own mistakes, too.

Help someone in greater need.  When rocked by a failure, set out to help someone in even greater need.  Doing so adds perspective, gets you problem-solving, and improves another human’s world.

Seek a better solution.  Evaluate the failure in ways that help you find positive solutions.  Positive solutions have a flavor of optimism; they also demand the right level of effort.  So, up the effort and positivity while researching new solutions.

Test your solutions.  When you implement a new strategy, think of as many ways as possible to measure its success, and move forward with readiness to try even better solutions.  Ask yourself, “Does my solution generate better grades, save time, increase resources, reduce risk, improve relations, and so forth?” And find ways to measure it.

Assess whether the goal was truly important.  Think your goals through before you set them.  What are the short- and long-term implications?  Is this the right goal, or should you tweak a few variables until it feels “right”?  Do you need to research the goal more thoroughly before committing?  Once you set the goal, commit to it.

Don’t give up.  It’s wrong to think you’ll experience success the first time you try something.  It can take a thousand failures before you get it right, but once you “get it,” you’ve mastered the stage and can move onto the next level.

Find your passion.  When you follow your passion, failure can often be met with joy.  Getting better at something you love, even during the pitfalls, can be outright fun.

Go for expertise.  Learn your craft with great proficiency.  Seek courses, books, tutors, and coaches.  When you fail, study as many resources as possible to advance your skillset.

Feel gratitude for every opportunity.  Whether it be an education, a career, a hobby, or some other positive goal, each opportunity—and each failure—causes you to grow even more spectacular.  Gratitude puts this into perspective.

Go for the stars.  Dream big.  When your goal is grandiose, failures and pitfalls become Indiana Jones adventures.  Going for the glory turns failures into badges of honor.

If you’ve only failed once at a task, chances are you didn’t get far.  But if you failed a thousand times, chances are you’ve honed a craft.

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