General Question

fremen_warrior's avatar

How do you deal with failure?

Asked by fremen_warrior (5487points) January 17th, 2013

I just realized a “once in a lifetime opportunity” has just passed me by, because I did not pay enough attention over the past year or so… thinking nothing could change (so rapidly) in this respect… and yet it did, and the chance is now lost. I am struggling to “go with the flow”, and accept what I no longer have any influence over. The realization that it’s “game over” though, that I could have easily prevented a negative outcome if only I paid slightly more attention… it’s actually causing me some mild chest pain now, I feel dizzy, somewhat sick to the stomach… need to lie down. Talking about remaining calm in situations like this one and actually doing it = 2 very different things as I am discovering (yet again).

Summary: how do you remain grounded, when you recieve news that absolutely shatters you, knowing you could have done something to prevent it from hapenning (or so it seems)? How do you regain peace of mind after something like this?


Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

23 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Learn from the experience. Forgive yourself.

YARNLADY's avatar

Give it time, and it gets less and less important.

Pachy's avatar

Let it go. Easily said, not so easily done, but it’s all you can do. You can’t change the past, only learn from it.

NostalgicChills's avatar

I know I’m still very young (I’m only 17) but for those difficult things I have gone through, I just cried and cried and got angry and let it all out and then… I let go. I saw a quote one time that really stuck. “Our eyes are in front because we’re meant to look ahead.” And it’s so true. Once something is in the past, I mean sure if you still have a chance to change things for the better then go for it, but dwelling on the past is seriously not good. I pick myself up again and remind myself that things are going to happen that I won’t like, but I just have to keep going.

picante's avatar

I’m sorry for your pain and the many self-inflicted wounds that you’ll likely deliver.

I can only offer advice from my experiences. First, truly feel all the pain. Take that pain in your chest and your dizziness and give it a voice. Cry like a baby, as long and as often as you need (in private, of course; lest the authorities are called.) Cry till you have no more tears.

And while you’re crying, try to envision the other side – months, years, decades ahead when this is a distant memory. Envision yourself remembering the sadness and knowing that you don’t have the urgent grief any more.

Can you be absolutely certain there is nothing you can do? You don’t need to reveal details of your situation, but it’s in the abstract as presented; and you mention that you weren’t paying attention. Is it possible you’re not fully attentive now? Ponder your own powers a bit more. Perhaps there’s more there than you can see at present.

I wish you peace.

lifeflame's avatar

Know that in a parallel universe, everything went exactly as it should have gone.

skfinkel's avatar

Is it a death?
Otherwise, whatever else it is, you probably didn’t really want it, if you let it slide for a year….
Maybe try facing up to that (if that feels plausible) and then see what is really wrong—why you let it go for so long and what you really want (I am thinking: job? relationship? I don’t know what you have lost…)

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Oh god, I know this feeling too well. I’m sorry for your pain.

Do you have a person close to you to whom you can open up? I’m thinking of someone like a therapist or a doctor or a holy person. These people will not judge, and they will offer concrete suggestions for your daily life.

I have thrown away two great career opportunities in my life because of lack of foresight. It also turned out later that my bipolar disorder probably played a major role, but that’s a digression. I made decisions that cost me untold fortune and personal satisfaction.

I deal with it by breathing, meditating, and concentrating on here and now. That’s a tall order for a mind gone mad with self-reproach, and it’s taken me years to learn the skill. It’s called mindfulness. I perform simple tasks and think about nothing but the physical actions I’m making to perform whatever I’m doing like washing dishes or mopping the kitchen floor.

Give it a try, and I wish you the best of luck.

Coloma's avatar

There will always be those ” shoulda, woulda, coulda, moments, but yes….be easy with yourself. How do you know that this is not a “blessing” in disguise?
I have been having a bout of the “shoulda, woulda, couldas’ too and I just keep reminding myself that it is what it is. Fighting with reality is always futile.

There is a saying that goes ” Pain happens, suffering is optional.” I believe this to be an ultimate truth.
Feel your pain and regret but know that you don’t HAVE to suffer. :-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Oh, it’s hard. I’ve been where you are now. Time helps eventually.

tranquilsea's avatar

I am a perfectionist so failing has not been an option for most of my life. I’ve had to actively be ok with failing.

augustlan's avatar

Mostly, I agree with @picante: Grieve fully, in any way that feels right to you. Then get up and dust yourself off and move forward. Repeat as necessary. Get a hug, if you can. We’re sending virtual hugs your way, too.

kess's avatar

Destiny rolls on…
There is nothing you can do to prevent it
There is nothing you can do to make it happen
But yet all you have done and going to do is because of it….

So stand aside observe, be at peace with yourself…

For in the end destiny is just that.


lightsourcetrickster's avatar

You can only be held down for as long as you allow yourself to be held down by whatever life throws at you, or by whatever life throws past you. If you remain in that moment, held down by what it is that you missed, or what it is that you didn’t do that you could have done, you are lost in that moment for as long as you lie there, in whatever state, shattered, frustrated, in whatever sense you have, of hopelessness, of self-loathing or whatever negative state you have at that time.
Life moves on, the clock keeps ticking, would you rather exist in that second for a day or a year or a lifetime, in your own mind, when you could just as easily pick yourself up and keep moving on yourself?
Blaming yourself makes you weak. It wears you down, and you don’t get lethargic with it, you choose to wallow in it. Whether you decide to not wallow in it or not is what makes you either move on, or stay put. We fall many times in a lifetime, some people choose to remain fallen, never to make another mistake, to take another risk, some people pick themselves up, and take risks and make mistakes, only to learn that good things can come from those risks, and good things can be learned from some mistakes more than others.

rojo's avatar

Everyone suffers failure at some point in their lives.
How do you remain grounded? With friends. With family. With realizing that you have support to fall back on; to hold you up when you are sinking or kick your butt when you need it kicking.
Don’t try to take it all on yourself; let others help you.
I don’t give martyr points.

9doomedtodie's avatar

Learn from failure. If opportunity comes again, try to avoid the same mistakes you previously did. Try to implement something new. Following points may be useful to you:

1. If you have a chance to change the choice, then change it.
2. If you have changed(unwillingly), then wait for a chance to re-select your choice(willingly).
3. If you don’t get any chance, consider the change as choice.
4. If you have lost the chance, then change is the remaining chance you have.

Best of Luck!.

JessK's avatar

What kind of situation was it? A little detail might help create advice more relevant to your problem.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Thank you everyone for your suggestions and kind words. I will keep this vague, details are irrelevant here – all I will say is it’s not health related, neither did anybody die, so it’s not all that bad you might say. Recently I started to notice I didn’t like who I was becoming, and this experience, while it did take me aback, at least makes me the more determined to change. I’m pretty sure the damage is permanent, so I have no choice but to accept this, and move on. Still it’s hard to do and not blame myself for this blunder. Sure it may turn out that in the long run this will hav ebeen a “good thing” for some reason… just hope it’s a damned good one. Cheers

KeepYourEyesWideOpen's avatar

The only thing that is reasonable is to move forward, even though this small misstep. You just have to remind yourself about the things you did accomplish. People look too much at the downsides and the negative sides, instead of looking at their achievements and positive sides. A little bit of self-critisism is always okay, but don’t let it get to you too much. So, grow up.

Response moderated (Spam)
mattbrowne's avatar

There is no success without failure.

rojo's avatar

There is no failure withouth success.

Kinda like the yin and yang of life.

Paradox25's avatar

Once I’d hit the age of about thirty the concept of failure became an illusion to me. I see failure the same way that I see success, as lessons and experiences.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther