How You Can Succeed When You Fail,

Sometimes you can't win. Take full advantage of it,

you wanted and worked for it, but all your efforts were in vain.

Maybe your relationship collapsed, your company collapsed, or you were fired. Maybe you failed your exams even though you studied hard, or you did not find a publisher for your book, or you downgraded what would have been a successful click.

This is not a case of regretting it when you wish you had tried harder. Worse yet: You have done all you can, and it is not good enough. Such a failure is very painful, and it can be difficult to move. If a book, game, or activity is important to your identity, you may begin to see your defeat as part of who you are.

So what are you doing? Do not just sit back and hope that time will heal. But you may want to deal with your pain and take control of it. Doing so will not simply reduce your discomfort; with a little knowledge and practice, you can turn your failure into a source of growth, and even happiness.

Read: Losing a new win

But even if it is only 0.25, your failures, like mine, may sound bittersweet, especially if you do your best. If there are no easy excuses, you can look and look for explanations for your missing fall. This is a bad idea: The threat of failure keeps you at the forefront and can lead to disaster. You may think of a series of events leading up to our permanent loss: “I was fired from my job. Now no one will want to hire me, I will be unemployed permanently, and I may lose my house. My health is deteriorating. ”

Emotional stress after failure may help us to learn not to try the same thing twice. In the Pleistocene, feeling the unhappiness of failure after failing to navigate with a large hominid to the next cave almost saved lives. But in today's secure world, such misery is pointless. This instinct-shaped feeling of kicking after your ancestors failed to carry the mastodon bothers you today because you were rejected in Penn State. That negative feeling does not make you more likely to live — and it can even lead to depression and anxiety.

Read: Live with negative emotions, do not dismiss them

Instead of shielding you from future disappointments, the cycle of disappointment after failure can lead to further failure, or at least miss out on success. Thinking about defeat has been found to lead to avoidance and hesitation to try something new. After a failed relationship, for example, backtracking can make you focus on the past rather than on the future, so there is little chance of you stepping out and trying again. You are stuck in your own time of failure as you turn the defeat over and over in your mind. You become nervous, lose confidence, and miss out on your new opportunities for success.

To find out how to cope with the aftermath of failure, I contacted Xiaodong D. Lin, a professor of cognitive studies at Columbia University's Teachers College. Over the years, Lin has learned of the inevitable failures of scientists, athletes, and ordinary people. Here are some suggestions on how to improve after failing — and perhaps to benefit from it.

1. Think of the failures of others (and of yourself).

Doctors and therapists have long known that exposure to a frightening substance can make it appear normal and thus less frightening. Examining this theory, Lin and colleagues set up a study a few years ago in which students learned about the successes and failures of famous scientists or their own success. Researchers found that learning failure encouraged students to cope better with failure and helped them achieve higher grades than students who had successfully studied science alone.

Read: Failure value

Studying your failures as well can make it seem as though the world is not moving. One researcher suggested in the 2010 Nature article that people should keep a “failure CV,” a list of things that have not yet happened in life. This may sound like a lot, but a failed CV is very different because it is written. Circling things in your head keeps them in a quiet place of emotions, which is hard to control. Placing them on a page may force you to use more mental processing, which gives you a clearer, more realistic view of events — and it may also help you to see their positive side.

2. Stop looking for success.

One of the reasons why failure can be detrimental is that we set goals for success, instead of progress and learning. The pursuit of success may seem to be the ideal course, but it is wrong — and much easier to do in a world full of CVs. Lin noted in the email that the amount we create at work and in health is less related to our achievements than our knowledge and experience, including education we receive from failure.

Read: ‘Successful addicts’ prefer special rather than fun

The evidence is clear that failure is a powerful force for good. Experts who recently reviewed the activities of research funding applicants from the National Institutes of Health found that those who were severely disadvantaged at the beginning of their careers continued to excel, over time, those who enjoyed early success.

To make the benefits of your disappointment visible, in your CV of failure, add a line of lessons learned. For example, next to "I never got a job as a tall window washer," you might write, "I've learned that I'm afraid of heights." This practice will train you to see the progress in each relapse, and remind you later that the rejection does is temporary, but the learning benefits can be permanent.

3. Keep your ideas front and center.

Proper goals are often motivated by something deeper than success. In an interview with Nobel laureates, Lin stated that “everyone has an insatiable appetite and a hunger for the truth about a particular problem. Winning the Nobel Prize was not the motive for these people's efforts. ” This is not just a moral code; it is also a reality. Unlike dreams of winning medals, our core values, which are fundamentally “resistant to disappointment,” as researchers put it in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Read: Are you dreaming too much?

In addition, focusing on your core values ​​helps you understand why you put yourself at risk in the pursuit of a goal in the first place. “I'm a loving person — I take risks and therefore get hurt” is constructive and probably more accurate than “Someone hurt me, and the pain is pointless.” It also measures the cost of failure and the reward for remembering the person you want to be.

Some people experience greater loss and disappointment than others, because of luck, circumstances, judgment, or even the tendency to take on too many risks. Read: Go ahead and fail

People who seek higher well-being find meaning and purpose in their problems, and thus become stronger and more successful in their endeavors. At one point, a young laboratory assistant became disillusioned with conducting post-test tests without results. “No results?” Edison replies. “Why, man, I got so many results! I know a few thousand things that will not work. "Whether you are lighting a lamp, applying for a job, or pursuing a romantic career, this perception of failure is correct.

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