How to retain confidence during failures?

Having read my previous post – the value of failures – someone asked me, “I agree that we should learn from our failures but the problem is that our confidence gets shattered due to failures. What can be done for that?”

Indeed, confidence shatters during failures. However, there are ways to work around this.

Let me first share a short story:

A bird got tired of flying and landed on a branch. The bird rested there safely, enjoying a good view from the branch. Suddenly came a strong wind. The tree swayed and it looked like the branch will break. However, the bird was not worried. Why? First, it knew that it was able to fly; and second it also knew that there were other branches and other trees. Not all branches were going to fall due to wind.

We can draw some important lessons from this to retain our confidence during setbacks, failures, and unforeseen events.

First, let’s always remember that failures don’t reduce our abilities. Just like the bird knew it was able to fly, we must know that we have the ability to pursue our goals. Failures can never take that away from us. For example, not getting good grades in an exam does not mean you will not do well in future exams. Just draw your lessons from this experience and try to do better next time.

Second, like the bird knew it could sit on another branch, let’s always remember that there are always other options, other destinations and other goals. We should not give up. Writing a post on – Train yourself to develop a never give up attitude – I had shared story of Derek Redmond and stressed that this attitude can be developed only when we train ourselves to respond to failures that come along the way or to have a new goal if the previous goal becomes unfeasible.

Third, an out of box solution. In the event of a setback, take your attention off it for a while and do something that can give you a sense of achievement. For example, last week, I did a two-hour online course and felt good to have passed it in the first attempt. It helped lift up the mood, the confidence and had an overall feel good effect. Try this. It really works.

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