How to Pick Yourself Up And Rise Above Setbacks and Avoid Making The Same Mistakes?
Although failure should be a motivation to learn from our mistakes and to do better next time, many people simply give up after their first attempt.
People who give up after their first failure usually share some of these signs:
- They worry about being perceived as failures by others.
- They only want to attempt things they’re likely to succeed in.
- They’re not likely to try something they failed at the first time.
- They believe that successful people were born with a natural talent to succeed.
- Much of their self-worth stems from their ability to succeed.
- The possibility of failure brings them much discomfort.
Failure shouldn’t be a reason to give up.
In fact, successful people consider failure as a stepping stone to success.
Today you’re going to learn how to bounce back and not to give up after your first failure.
Ready? Let’s dive right in!
- Why We Give Up?
- The problem with giving up
- How Not To Give up?
- How To Avoid Making The Same Mistakes?
Why We Give Up?
Most people’s unwillingness to try something again after their first failure stems from their fear.
However, people don’t share the same fear of trying again. Some people fear disappointing others around them. Others might worry that they won’t be able to handle a second setback.
So rather than facing their fears, many people choose not to try again.
Some might even try to hide their failure by making excuses such as “I didn’t have the time to work on it at all” even when they’ve devoted so much of their energy and time preparing for that project.
2. Allowing failure to define our self-worth
When people attach their self-worth to success, it’s hard for them to feel good about themselves when they fail.
It’s even harder for them to risk another failure by trying again.
To them, failure means they’re not capable enough or smart enough.
3. Our mind-set
Many people have a fixed mindset about their abilities.
They don’t believe that they have control over what they’re able to do.
They think that if you weren’t born with a God-given talent to do something, then you won’t be able to do it.
So they give up trying after their first failure. In their minds, they’re simply weren’t meant to do it.
The problem with giving up
Giving up after your first failed attempt can easily reinforce the idea that failure is bad and that you weren’t meant to succeed.
In general, this will prevent you from trying new things in life and reaching your goals.
How Not To Give up?
#1. Identify Your Self-Limiting Beliefs
It’s easy to develop inaccurate or self-limiting beliefs about failure after failing your first attempt.
These beliefs can influence the way you think, feel, and behave towards future attempts at anything.
Here are some scientific facts about perseverance and failure to help change your limiting beliefs:
– Deliberate practice can be more important than natural talent. Research studies have found that people who practice daily for ten years can surpass others with natural talent in fields like music and sports.
– Perseverance has been shown to be a much better predictor of success than IQ. And while not everyone with a high IQ reaches a high level of achievement, perseverance is an essential component of success.
Don’t let your self-limiting beliefs hold you back from reaching success.
Spend some time examining your beliefs about why you don’t think you can succeed, and replace them with more realistic ones, such as the following:
- Failure is part of the journey to success.
- I can handle any setback on my journey to success.
- Failure is a sign that I’m trying and that I’m constantly challenging myself.
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#2. Change The Way You View Failure
See your setbacks as an opportunity to learn and do better next time.
When you focus on what you can learn, you’ll find it easier to accept failure as part of the process.
Keep in mind that everyone has shortcomings, including you, and that your worth as a person doesn’t decrease with failure.
#3. Face Your Fear of Failure
Emotions can influence your thoughts and behavior. Your fear of failure can hold you from trying again after your first attempt.
Don’t let emotions prevail over your logic. Instead, face your fears and do it anyway.
The more you do it, the less scary it becomes. You’ll see yourself that whatever might happen, you can handle it and that the lessons to be learned are worth it.
#4. Move Forward After Failure
If your first attempt has failed, spend some time examining what happened, and figure out what could be done differently next time.
If you fail at something that isn’t important to you, and that won’t get you closer to your goals, you might decide that it’s not worth the effort and time.
However, if you need to overcome that obstacle in order to achieve your dreams, it makes sense to try again.
This time, conceive a better plan that will increase your chances of success. Learn from your mistakes so you won’t repeat them again.
#5. Let Go of Perfectionism
Perfectionism generates a lot of anxiety because achieving and maintaining internal and/or external unwavering standards means we’re under threat of failure.
Our ideas of perfection can become a barrier to real love for ourselves since self-love becomes too conditional, too dependent on performance.
Many people believe that self-criticism helps them become “better,” or more lovable. But self-criticism is almost always an unproductive use of our energy and attention.
Rather than trying so hard to control everything, self-love encourages you to focus on building your inner resource of resilience.
This way, you learn to handle disappointments with acceptance and learn from them, rather than remaining stuck in fear of failure.
Excellence vs. perfectionism
The pursuit of excellence is quite different from perfectionism.
Whatever goal you set for yourself (e.g. getting higher grades, getting more organized, maintaining a healthy weight, etc.) when you’re striving for excellence:
- You are enjoying making progress, even when it’s incremental.
- You do it even when you know no one else would notice
- You acknowledge that you can’t control everything
However, when you cling to unrealistic standards, you undermine your abilities and obsess unnecessarily over disapproval and rejection.
How to let go of perfectionism?
First, ask yourself, “Whose standards am I trying to meet.”
Often it’s our culture, peers, caregivers, but rarely us.
Next, question these standards. Ask yourself do you agree with these expectations? Do they reflect your innermost values?
By letting go of meeting others’ standards and goals, you get the time and energy you need to focus on what you love.
#6. Allow Self-Love to Come From Within
Most people believe that self-love depends on achievement and the love and approval of others.
In this sense, we’re only lovable when we get that job, or lose weight, or be in a relationship, or never lose our temper or show our pain.
With such standards, the idea of treating ourselves lovingly may seem like a dangerous experiment.
You may find yourself wondering, “If I practice self-accepting, wouldn’t that mean that I’m allowing myself to be lazy?”
Many people confuse self-love with self-indulgence.
While self-indulgence means buying an extravagance you can’t afford and having one cookie too many, self-love, on the other hand, means nurturing your needs and doing something for yourself that’s good for your growth.
How To Avoid Making The Same Mistakes?
Whether they were behavioral mistakes such as showing up late for work or cognitive like never planning ahead, we’re all guilty of repeating mistakes every now and then.
And it’s part of the learning process.
Sometimes we don’t learn the first time, but there are a few steps you can take to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Here are some signs you might be repeating your mistakes:
- You find it hard to give up your bad habits because you keep going back to your old ways.
- When you often find yourself stuck and unable to achieve a goal, you don’t invest much time analyzing why your attempts to reach your goals are unsuccessful.
- You get mad at yourself because you can’t stay on track when you attempt a change.
- It feels like it takes so much effort to change something.
- You’re frustrated by your lack of self-discipline.
#1. Examine The Reason Why You Are Repeating The Same Mistakes
One of the main reasons, why we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, is denying these mistakes.
From a young age, we, sort of, have built the habit of trying to cover up our missteps so we won’t have to face the consequences.
However, when we deny our mistakes, we’re less likely to examine them and learn the lesson from them, which means we’re likely going to repeat them in the future.
2. Getting too comfortable
Another reason why people repeat the same mistake is that they get too comfortable. They won’t invest their energy in finding new ways to do things.
A man would keep turning back to alcohol simply because he doesn’t know any better way to cope with stress.
Avoiding such mistakes means making the effort to look for better ways and that can be too uncomfortable.
#2. Examine Your Mistakes
If you want to avoid making the same mistakes, you’ll need to learn the lesson and figure out exactly what needs to be changed.
Set any negative feelings you might have aside and look for the reason why you keep repeating the same mistake, without giving yourself excuses.
You can do this by asking yourself the following:
– What went wrong? Examine what thoughts, behaviors, and external factors are contributing to the mistake.
Someone might find it difficult not to overspend on their budget because the friends they’re hanging out with are shopping all the time.
– What could I have done better? As you examine the mistake and what lead you to repeat it, look for things you could have done better. If you failed to make a change, consider that maybe you didn’t stick with it long enough to become a habit.
– What can I do differently next time? Identify a clear strategy you can follow to avoid repeating your mistakes.
#3. Create A Plan
No matter what type of mistakes you want to avoid repeating, the key to success lies in developing a good plan including getting rid of any unhealthy temptations.
Sometimes developing healthier habits requires changing, not only your behavior but also your environment. If you want to quit using drugs, you might find yourself unable to hang around with these friends anymore.
This is why you need to develop a plan you can follow in order to resist repeating the same mistakes.
To create a successful plan of action, follow these steps:
– Replace your old habit. Instead of shopping every time you’re feeling down, you can find alternative strategies to make yourself feel better such as calling a friend or exercising.
– Be aware of signs you’re going to repeat a mistake. It’s important to be on the lookout for old behavior patterns that may come back. Maybe you’re beginning to skip going gym for a few days.
– Hold yourself accountable. It’s more difficult to hide your mistakes when you’re being held accountable.
A friend or a family member can help you stay on track, or you can simply use a calendar to chart your progress.
#4. Practice Self-Discipline
Self-discipline is something you develop with practice.
The more you control yourself and resist temptations, the more self-disciplined you become.
Here are some ways to help you achieve that:
– Start tolerating discomfort. It’s easy to give in to your old ways when you’re feeling uncomfortable.
Often, people convince themselves that if they just give in this once, it’ll make things easier.
The truth is, the more you give in, the less able you become to control yourself and vice versa.
– Talk positively to yourself. Instead of putting yourself down by saying things like “I can never do this”, or “this is too hard for me”, try reciting positive affirmations such as “I’m doing a great job working on achieving my goals.
It’ll increase your confidence and help you stay on track.
– Impose restrictions on yourself. Take steps that will make it difficult for you to give in to your old habits.
If you know you’re likely to spend so much time scrolling on social media, try leaving your phone in another room.
– Carry a list of all the reasons why you don’t want to repeat your mistake. Whenever you’re tempted to give in to your old behavior pattern, read this list for yourself.
It can help increase your self-control.
Repeating the same mistake is a sign that you need to find a new way to solve the problem, and it’s all part of the learning process.
Learning from your mistakes is the greatest key to growth and reach your full potential.
However, learning from your mistakes requires self-awareness.
Failure can teach you lessons you wouldn’t have learned otherwise. It can challenges you in new ways and identify hidden strengths you’ve never recognized before.
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Portions of this article were adapted from the book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, © 2013 by Amy Morin. All rights reserved.