4 Ways To Deal With Failure

Life is incredibly unpredictable. One moment, we are celebrating our successes-riding on the high of our accomplishments and dreams. The next, we are surprised by an unexpected event, which derails our good mood.

When we don’t win the battle, it can be hard to bounce back and have the motivation to persevere. And as a creative, it seems there are countless obstacles lining up to knock you down. That negative voice in your head always seems to make an appearance during these times, making it not only an external fight but an internal one as well.

But, there are tools we can use to help us as we try to recover from failure.

deal with failure, failure

Give Yourself Permission to Feel

One of the worst things we can do is avoid our feelings, try to push them down or rush through them. If you feel sad, allow yourself to feel sad. If you feel angry, allow yourself to feel angry. We live in such a fast-paced world, people have resorted to trying to fit their mood into their ever evolving schedules.

But humans don’t work that way. The key here, is to not let your mood affect your day to day actives and it’s important not to stay in a negative space for long periods of time. Of course, what is considered a “long period of time” is going to be different from person to person. But important thing to understand, is that we are going to experience disappointment, and it’s okay to feel however you want to about it.

Look For The Lesson

When things don’t go as we planned, the thought of returning to the scene of the crime to examine what happened doesn’t appeal to most. We don’t want to relive the experience, but this is often the best time to assess what happened. Why didn’t people buy tickets to the event? Was it a marketing issue? Did you pick the wrong venue? Was the pricing too high? Why didn’t you book that job? Was the proposal you prepared well written? Were you fully qualified for the position?

If you allow yourself to think critically about what went wrong, you can usually come up with a few things to work on for next time.

Reflect On Your Perception

Your perception is everything.  We can not choose what happens to us in our life, but we can change how we react to it or how we perceive it. Just because you view your situation as a failure, doesn’t mean that’s what it actually was. I can be a learning experience, a chance to grow and get better. It’s also important to remember that anything work having is going to require effort, and there are going to be guaranteed bumps along the way. Instead of seeing every setback as the end all be all, see it as just one hiccup on your overall path.

Move Forward

While it’s important to reflect on the potential lesson of your failures, you don’t want to become  consumed by it. It’s important to get up and try again as soon as possible, so that you do not lose any momentum that you have worked so hard to craft. Fight the urge to become stuck, push against the resistance and start again. Progression towards your goals should always be the goal.


We all make mistakes, but with thoughtful actions we can move forward stronger than we were before.

What are some ways you deal with failure? Leave your comments below!

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.”-unknown

Olivia J

Olivia J is a video producer, writer, and director specializing in corporate video, events, documentaries and film. To see some of her work visit oliviaj.me