How to respond to failures
“I think it is all over for me- my dream of becoming a doctor, following my parent’s footsteps, serving humanity. I failed to meet the expectations I set for myself. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t think there’s a way out. I am a failure!”
These were some thoughts continually resonating in my head when I did not qualify the med -school entrance test. Yes, I was disappointed and worried that nothing in my life would work out. My life seemed to have stopped for that moment. I am sure many of you would correlate to such experiences; we have them every now and then.
I would like to define failures as life lessons which pave way for a better future. You might think I am being too optimistic but let me warn you that it is an individual’s attitude that determines how a failure would shape their life. Life is not a straight road and often we stumble upon roadblocks. We often re-route to reach our destination. Sometimes the destination changes in itself and we realize we were meant for something else.
All of us have our own ways of coping with failures. But there are some universal facts that facilitate the process of accommodating to changes in life. Here are few by the Huffington Post that emphasize on the habits of resilient people. 1) Don’t run from experiencing negative emotions: We are scared of the word -’negative’, but to be honest we can never know what positive is unless we experience the opposite. So we should not be afraid to take the good with the bad. According to the author of Positivity, Barbara Fredrickson, “resilient people let themselves experience what they’re feeling in any given situation, whether it’s good or bad.” It is important to go through this stage of confusion to be at peace in future. 2) Be optimistic: Your outlook towards things determines how you can force your way out of tough situations. Attitude is everything, so staying positive will allow you to see things in a bright light and hence pave way for bigger and better events and achievements. 3) Reject rejection: Never give up, strive harder and try to reach where you want. Do not take failures seriously, learn your lessons and move on. 4) Have a strong social support system: Your friends and family are always the best advisors, seek their help and use them as great resources to build you strength again. 5) Seek out opportunities for growth and learning: Do not get stuck at the same place. Nobody expects you to be a ninja but it is absolutely necessary that you move on from the point of failure and invest in opportunities that would boost your self confidence, provide you with the decision making ability to bounce back from the failure. 6) Be grateful: Sometimes failures lead to a more self satisfying life path so don’t let one bad thing make you feel defeated. Be thankful for the great opportunities and people in your life and take this event as a lesson.
An update on my story, just in case you are curious… Clearly, I did not become a doctor, I pursued business and I am really passionate about my profession. I am currently working in marketing and feel determined to make a mark in the industry one day.
Areej Shah is a graduate from the BBA program, University of Toronto. She currently works as the Marketing Coordinator at Grade Learning and shares her passion for communication and writing through informative social media posts and blogs.