Handling Failure and Balancing Success


Failure can be an unpleasant and unwanted experience. It can come in different forms – not achieving the academic grades you hoped for, being unsuccessful in a job application, a relationship breakdown, or a general setback.

While undesirable, failure is also a normal and necessary part of life. Yet, many people will go to significant lengths to avoid failing because the emotions we can feel as a result can be so painful. Nonetheless, a fear of failure can hold us back from taking up the opportunities we might need to succeed – so, a more helpful approach is not to avoid situations that might lead to potential failure, but to change the way we perceive it.

Failure is accompanied by a variety of emotions: embarrassment, anxiety, anger, sadness, and shame, to name a few. Those feelings are uncomfortable, and many people will do anything they can to escape feeling emotional discomfort.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making says you shouldn’t try to slough off feeling bad after failure. Researchers discovered that thinking about your emotions—rather than the failure itself—is most helpful.1

Allowing yourself to feel bad is motivating. It can help you work harder to find better solutions so that you’ll improve next time.

Ways to Overcome Failures in Your Life

Feeling hurt and sad when you’ve failed to achieve something, regardless of how big or small it may be, is only natural and there’s little point in dwelling on past failures. Nowadays people put too much effort into avoiding failure and this does nothing apart from lead to painful situations.

1. Don’t Feel Threatened By Failure

Have you ever heard the saying, “Once a failure, always a failure?”

Unfortunately, too many people tend to take this literally to the point where they start thinking they’ll never succeed again. Such negative thoughts serve to do nothing but hold you back. Once this mindset takes over, you’ll be crippled by an overwhelming fear of failure that’ll prevent you from reaching your full potential. If you’re to move forward and lead a fulfilling life, you’ve got to overcome such thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

2. There is Nothing Wrong with Feeling Bad

When you fail to achieve your goals, deep feelings of anxiety, sadness, shame, and anger take over – it’s only natural. In fact, you could go as far as saying it’s important to feel hurt after a failure. Rather than forcefully suppressing these feelings and emotions, use them to your advantage. Instead of feeling bad and wallowing in your own self-pity, Use these feelings as your drive to do better and to improve future performance.

3. Develop Healthy Habits to Stay Healthy

If you haven’t already, start a healthy habit. Go for walks, practice breathing exercises, take a bubble bath, meet with family and friends; anything that keeps your mind clear and free from negative thoughts. Draw up a list of healthy habits or activities that you might enjoy, decide on a few that you like and make an effort to practice them on a regular basis. Who knows, one of these healthy habits might even be the secret to your success!

4. Avoid Picking Up Bad Habits

Sometimes, people turn to things like drugs or alcohol in an attempt to dull the pain that they feel. Ultimately, drug and alcohol addiction will just make things worse and do more harm than good. It’s best to avoid picking up such bad habits and instead focus on learning skills that can help you heal in a healthier way.

5. Take Reasonable Responsibility for Your Failure

Pretending that something isn’t true or ignoring the true reason behind why things turned out the way they did is counterproductive and will never make up for what really happened. In the same way that taking too much responsibility can make you feel restless and create unnecessary tension, not taking responsibility for your actions will stop you from learning from your mistakes. Don’t make excuses for your failures. Make an effort to find out exactly why things went the way they did, accept any mistakes you may have made, and focus on learning from them.

6. Study Yourself

Many people feel disheartened after a failure, while many others take failures as an opportunity to learn about and improve themselves. Where do you fit in? What mistakes have you made? What areas are you lacking in? By digging deep and learning about yourself you’re able to turn your failures into valuable life lessons and use the knowledge gained to achieve your goals.

7. Keep Looking Ahead

Don’t get stuck focusing on the things that went wrong. Thinking about the same thing over and over again won’t do you any good. While reflection on past failures is necessary, planning your next move and moving on is even more important.

8. Take Inspiration from Failures that Led to Success

History is filled with stories of men and women who’ve all failed at some point in their lives but went on to become major successes in their respective areas. The one thing these people all had in common was that they didn’t let their failures stop them from experimenting and trying out new things. Learning about these people’s past failures and how they overcame them can be a great source of inspiration for you to overcome your own shortcomings.

9. Learn to Accept Your Failures

Running away from failures or trying to avoid them will never teach you anything. Go beyond your comfort zone, explore new avenues, don’t think about the rejection that you may face and come to terms with the fact that you too can fail. As you move ahead in life, you will come to realize that failure is simply a part of life – the sooner you start treating failures as learning opportunities, the sooner you’ll reach your full potential.

Don’t take failure as a sign of defeat. While it’s impossible to completely avoid and prevent failure, the above steps should hopefully help you manage and mitigate the aftermath. If you’re still struggling with failure and feel like nothing is helping, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. No matter how overwhelmed you might feel, never forget that there are people out there dedicated to helping you overcome failure and move on with your life.

10.Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is the practice of offering yourself the same grace you’d give to others — and it’s linked to reduced shame and anxiety in the aftermath of a setback.

Just like failure, self-compassion can be learned. Here are three easy steps, developed by Kristin Neff, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin:

  • Note how you feel without exaggerating or denying your feelings. After my panic attack, I tried to avoid inflating what happened (“My career is over”) or pretending it hadn’t (“Just keep going, you’re fine”). Instead, I tried to connect with the truth of the present moment: I felt embarrassed and scared. 
  • Remind yourself you aren’t alone. I am certainly not the only person to panic in front of a crowd — and telling myself I was would have only exacerbated my shame. Instead, I reminded myself that I was a regular human being, and this happens. I even thought of Dan Harris, an ABC News anchor who famously suffered a panic attack on live television and now hosts the positive psychology podcast “10% Happier.” 
  • Imagine what you’d say to a friend in this situation. Then direct those words at yourself. What would I have told my friend? “You can’t control what’s happening right now. You gave two other speeches today that your client loved. People will understand what happened tonight.” 

Balancing  Success

Life is similar to walking on a tightrope, where we have to skillfully balance our career and personal life to reach our goal successfully.

Our work-life and our personal life are two very important pillars. While work allows us to earn a living to fulfill our essential needs, our personal life brings us peace, happiness, and intangible fulfillment. Work is an essential part of our daily lives, concurrently, we must always remember to reserve time for ourselves, our family, and our friends. Our personal development and personal relationships are just as necessary as our career growth.

Apart from the superficial requirements of our daily routines, we need to focus on 3 fundamental principles that are essential for our growth as an individual and growth in our careers; physical health, mental health, and spiritual health.

Tips for Balancing a Successful Life with an Enjoyable One

Life has a lot to offer; there’s so much to look forward to. It’s important, however, to balance success with enjoyment.

The life well-lived is attained when these two characteristics meet, when you enjoy your successes and thrive off of what you do. If you’re able to find what you’re made to do, something that brings you joy and a living, you have achieved a rare feat indeed. So many people today are successful but do not enjoy their lives; there are an equally large number of individuals who enjoy their lives but are not successful.

1: Don’t Hoard Your Money 

When you start making money, you may be inclined to save almost all of it and hardly spend a dime. It is important, though, to use your money both on yourself and on others to enjoy a life that’s both satisfying and meaningful. 

Occasionally using your money on yourself and other people will help you live a successful life that’s more valuable than how much you have in your bank account.

2: Designate Days Off

It is easy to become ambitious, striving to climb up the ladder of status and success in any way possible. To balance this tendency, designating days off at least once a week will allow you times of rest, relaxation, and recharge. Whether you’d like to go out for a fun event or stay home and recuperate, taking days off for yourself will help you better enjoy your life and be more productive on your working days.

3: Make What You Love Profitable 

Start with what you love to do, and then find a way to make it profitable. Using your creativity, work ethic, and passion, you can strategize a way to make what you love make money. What better way to live than discovering how to make a living that you enjoy? It is also important to find areas of enjoyment that make life worth living even when days are hard and you question the job you love.

4: Dream Big and Persevere

To have a successful life, you must have dreams, goals, and aims to strive for. These goals should be both short term and long term.What do you want to accomplish this week? Where do you want to be in five years?If you work hard now, you can enjoy life even more later on. Sure, find things in life to enjoy now, but also dream of what you can do later on with the money you earn today.So dream big, persevere, and have a good attitude through the highs and lows of whatever life throws your way.

5: Work on Side Projects

Working on side projects outside of what’s required at work is another way to bring productivity and fulfillment into your life. Whether it’s wood working or working towards starting your own business, having something to pursue outside of your required job is one approach to living a balanced life.  

6: Don’t Lose Sight of What’s Important 

Throughout all of this, keep your priorities straight and remember the people who matter most. Having a lot of money is not a bad goal to strive for, but it should not be the utmost aim of your life. Use the money you’ve gained from doing what you love towards the people and things that are most important to you. Care for your family, show generosity towards your friends, and extend a kind hand to those in need.

Keep all things in moderation, however; work hard, live well, and love much, for these are the steps to having a successful, enjoyable life.

7.Recognising Your Achievements

Finding the right work/life balance doesn’t have to be a challenging task. Whether you end up doing more or less as a result of your efforts, you’ll know you’ve successfully achieved the right balance when you feel your mood has improved, your stress levels have eased, you’re able to spend more time with your loved ones without feeling guilty and feel content with your life in general.

8.Use Time Wisely

Most people are time wasters.  They waste their own time, and they waste your time as well.  To be successful and happy, you must discipline yourself to work all the time you work.  The average employee works at about 50 percent of capacity.  Fully 80 percent of people working today are underemployed in that their jobs do not really demand their full capacities.  Only 5 percent of workers surveyed recently felt that they were working at the outside limits of their potential.

9.Set Priorities-Then Stick to Them

Have a written list, and work on your list every day.  Write down everything as it comes up and add it to your list.  Set priorities on your time, and be certain that you are working on the things that are most important to your boss and to your company.  Refuse to get drawn into the time-wasting activities of the people around you.  Work all the time you work.


We need to make sure that there is a clear distinction between our work-time and leisure-time and we should make the best possible utilization of both. Furthermore, all our actions must inspire growth, evolution, tolerance, and contribution to the greater good. Vapid desires for earning money to show off your newly acquired car or watch, to impress random strangers or “friends” will never define you or your success. Substantive achievements fulfill the soul.

Surely our lives are not as ideal as most people perceive them to be. Each achievement is a direct result of countless hours of hard work and determination. Every failure is an opportunity for growth. Each step is an invaluable learning experience. We must learn to appreciate and enjoy each moment to the fullest.

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