Social Question

Christian95's avatar

How do you handle failure?

Asked by Christian95 (3260points) February 2nd, 2010

Everyone has experienced this at some point in his life.Some have experienced bigger failure than others but everyone did.So how did you handle it?

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47 Answers

nikayamo's avatar

I usually start out by shouting and freaking out. But then I eventually realize that it was still a learning experience, and I remind myself of all the good things that I still have.

pearls's avatar

Pull up my boot straps and move on and hope I learned from it.

belakyre's avatar

I usually won’t get a good night’s rest for a period of time (ranging from one night to a couple of weeks) and then I will move on.

Life goes on, with or without you.

partyparty's avatar

My uncle always said to me ‘it’s all part of the rich tapestry of life. Pick yourself up and put it down to experience’.

I try to use this philosopy whenever necessary.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I’ll let you know when it happens.;)

Your_Majesty's avatar

Fix it as soon as possible. Don’t let it becomes an obstacle.

Steve_A's avatar

Step back from what I failed at and look at the overall picture and see what I did wrong. Re-approach it with a new plan.Try my best not to lose motivation or courage, but rather get my gears moving even more.

But it does not always work that way for me but thats the idea anyways.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

From childhood I’ve never been able to “fit in” socially. By age 15, I had completely stopped attempting social contacts. Much later in life I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. When I was a child, the condition was unknown and there was obviously no treatment.

Conventional wisdom says “if at first you don’t succeed, try again”. In this case though, withdrawing from social situations was the correct thing to do. The inability to read social cues such as body language, subtle facial expressions or make any sense out of eye contact would have led only to continuous failure had I kept trying.
In other situations, not involving social cues, I do “try again”.

BoBo1946's avatar

why sure…got a lot of practice at it! In this life, you better be able to put up the pieces and “keep on a trucking!”

Cruiser's avatar

I honestly can’t think of something failed at…I made some stupid moves but that is part of life. Everything I have done good or bad has never been a failure in the classic sense. For better or for worse I get everything done I set out to do. Like they say it’s not whether you win or lose it is how you play the game and everything I do is a learning experience and again some are crazier than others.

TheJoker's avatar

Depends on the circumstances. If it’s something important then I tend to get angry… other than that I react with total indifference.

mowens's avatar

I don’t accept it. I try until I don’t fail.

slick44's avatar

suck it up and get on with your life. lifes to short.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Fall down 7 times, rise up 8.

And watch what you tell yourself!!! After being stubborn about this in therapy for years (“My story is right!”), I have finally come to accept that the worst damage that can happen is not from “failure”, or what someone did to us or didn’t do for us, but the story we tell (and repeat to) ourselves about it. Even the absolute worst situation has something to teach us if we make it out alive; yes, even losing your job, a divorce or break-up, being abused as a child, losing your shirt in the stock market, battling mental or physical illness, doing a stand-up routine that bombs, being in the “wrong place at the wrong time”, anything.

So don’t tell yourself the “Woe is me!” story if you fail. Tell yourself the “Huh, I guess I try some other way, then. What’s the next step?” story.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Became depressed.
Had a pity party.
Got a grip on it.
Moved on.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Analyze it, detrmine what went wrong, discover what can be learned, and apply the lessons wherever applicable in the future.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Not that I actually can follow his advice, but Rudyard Kipling had the best advice that I’ve ever heard on the topic:


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

tedibear's avatar

Wow, what a great number of rational people on fluther! That’s a good thing, and they’re all giving excellent advice. In particular, I like what @aprilsimnel said.

As for what I do, I typically get mad at myself, call myself two or three choice names (idiot and moron often show up), clean up whatever the mess is without throwing things, slowly calm down, possibly cry about it later, but also try to figure out how to not make the same mistake next time. This usually takes place while I’m busy hating on myself. This round of going back to school really taught me that I have to figure out how to fix my mistakes quickly and without letting too much of the “me-me feeling” get in the way. There’s time for that on the drive home.

SundayKittens's avatar

Pout. Over eat. Blame the system. Sleep. Repeat.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Cruiser guess how we answer the question would depend on each person’s definition of failure. Everyone here would probably give a different answer in regard to the definition of failure.

Actually, my only real “failure” in life, was my marriage. Jobwise, familywise (immediate family), athletics, etc. did good.

In answering the question, thought about all the “small failures” that we deal with on a daily bases. The situation that we did not handle correctly…or the traffic ticket we got, etc. Again, depends on the person’s definition of failure.

After reading your answer, it lead me to rehash my answer!

RAWRxRandy's avatar

I just keep going. Trying not to think too much on the failure but learning from it. I get over tings easily and quickly so failure doesnt hinder me

CMaz's avatar

“How do you handle failure?”

By learning from it.

wundayatta's avatar

Failure, it seems to me, is about how you think about it. Only you can decide if you have failed or not. There are many ways to reach a goal, and maybe it isn’t directly, but if you are stopped in one way, and maybe give up directly seeking that goal, you may reach it in an unexpected way in the future.

I failed two classes in my life. One was somewhat crucial for my graduation, but the other I was taking just to learn what it was about. The professor wouldn’t let me audit the course. I didn’t need the credits. I learned an awful lot in both courses—stuff that remains with me to this day. At the time of the first failure, I was pretty freaked out. Right now, it seems like nothing.

I have failed to find a lover several times in my life. Often I would find one after giving up. My wife and I were unable to have children. We did all the infertility thing and failed. We gave up. Then discovered a new technique which worked for us!

I believe in giving up. Sort of. I guess what I mean is that you have to pick your battles, but even if you withdraw from the scene, that doesn’t mean you’ve finished working towards this goal.

Silhouette's avatar

Try, try again.

Just_Justine's avatar

I get really upset, beat myself up (not literally), then relax back and look at it objectively, like what have I learned, what could I do differently, how could I have changed this outcome. In the end my failures have been my biggest blessings, because they made me smarter, next time.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Silhouette you talk too much!

oreo45's avatar

I get up, dust myself off, asses the problem see were I went wrong, and give it another try.

Cruiser's avatar

@BoBo1946 I had a marriage that didn’t work out too, but I don’t view it as a failure… we had a great 8 years together until we got married and then apparently she couldn’t handle the responsibility or whatever. S#!t happens…I just try and enjoy the ride…life is too short not to!

ninjacolin's avatar

Losers are crushed by defeat.
Winners are inspired by it.
hopefully closely quoted from Robert Kiyosaki

life_after_2012's avatar

I take the opprotunity ti hold myself accountable for my errors, put it behind me and keep on pushing.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I haven’t failed much at life – when I do fail, I over-analyze and tell myself to stop being so hard on myself.

babaji's avatar

See it as a real experience to understand and grow.

ratboy's avatar

I amend the goal to coincide with the outcome.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I could say “routinely”.

TehRoflMobile's avatar

Take as much experience from it as you possibly can.

Sometimes it is good to lose or fail. It is a cleansing experience, or a new start. It knocks us down and makes us remember we are only human.

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

I hold “Lessons Learned” and “Start, Stop, Continue” meetings with myself in my mind and from the results of those meetings, I adapt new behaviors, methods, and approaches to ensure a higher probability of success in the future.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

with Rage
...against the machine
Turn that shit up

YARNLADY's avatar

I hate making mistakes. It makes me very mad at myself. After I get over that, I try to figure out how to avoid doing it again.

DrMC's avatar

SNAFU is a military term
situation normal, all Fxxked up.

The key idea is that this is “Normal” to be expected unhappily. “Suck it up”

the very function of the 2 competing military sides is to degrade the function of each-other.

Carry on.

“only the dead know the end of war”

Personally I don’t advise others to suck it up. I didn’t expect a rosy hike however.

talljasperman's avatar

I complained , brooded and then moved back home with my mom and watched lots of t.v. bewteen naps

BoBo1946's avatar

@Silhouette loll…plus, you are a great sport!

BoBo1946's avatar

@Cruiser that is a good way to see it, but personally, think my marriage failed for lots of reasons. Some of it mine..and some her’s! Maybe too many years together and got tired of each other. Really don’t think about it much anymore, that is History!

Ron_C's avatar

If I fail, it is because everything I tried didn’t work and none of the experts I consulted were of any help. The fact that many people were involved in a failure doesn’t make me feel better about the failure and I find that very depressing.

I find that I can’t just let it go and will tend to revisit the problem until it is finally solved or the entire project is scrapped.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Ron_C Perhaps you could benefit by reading Better by Mistake

Ron_C's avatar

@YARNLADY I’ll try to fit it in but the next month and a half will be very busy for me. I do, however learn from my mistakes. Since I work on and train people to use sophisticated control systems, I have notice that my people never learn much about equipment that functions flawlessly for long periods. Equipment that fails gets the most attention.

I don’t count problems as mistakes. Problems are to be solved mistakes are to be corrected and a learning experience. Further mistakes are noticed, and probably corrected, almost immediately. Problems, however are usually no ones fault and may take a long time to correct. It is my belief that the same situation exists in life outside of business. The only place that problems are ignored and mistakes are added to is in politics. That, to me as a troubleshooter, really bothers me.

Those that fail to learn histery are doomed to repeat it. That to me, is the most disturbing aspect of today’s life.

noraasnave's avatar

I see failure as part of the process to accomplish all this is worth accomplishing in life.

The words that drive me?

It isn’t failure if I get back up and press on.

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