How to Deal with Failure

Marta is a second year student at Henley Business School, and she’s working part-time for the Henley Careers team too.

“Hello ! My name is Marta and this post will be about failure and what is my experience in dealing with it!fail

It doesn’t matter if you talk about education, careers, sports… Failing could be really hard to accept and deal with for everyone. The feelings of bitterness and disappointment are some of the worst, especially when the person responsible for that is yourself !

If we get a deeper look into the psychology behind it, Professor Martin Covington affirmed that the fear of failure is directly linked to our sense of self-worth. Professor Covington’s research on students, found out that self-worthness is a way to protect ourselves from the other’s opinion, and if we convince the others we are competent, we convince ourselves too. To fail would mean proving that we are not worthy in some ways and this lead to a process of ruining self-confidence and losing motivation.

Failure has happened to me in different occasions in my lifetime and the last time was related to a potential employer and placement opportunity. In the process of research of a job it is normal to be rejected (at least once), we all know that, but when it happens to you it hard to accept.

I remember when I went for my first placement job interview, I went all the way to London with lots of excitement and hope, then they contacted me a couple of days later telling me they “decided to proceed with another candidate”. Most of the people would say, “well, it is normal, it’s hard to get a job at the first time you try!”, but inside, I really felt upset and down! Especially if you are a dreamer like me, very confident about it and thought the interview was a real SUCCESS! 😂

Well, I was lucky enough to talk straight away with the careers consultants (lots of love for them) who gave me the best advice! Don’t be to harsh with yourself! Self-forgiveness is everything in life, and is key if you want to get up from failing stronger than before.

Failure happens, it’s part of the human nature and it is also positive if you learn how to recover quickly and use it in your advantage! Kristin Neff, Professor in the University of Texas’s Department of Educational Psychology, found out that people who practice self-compassion recover more quickly from failure and are more likely to try new things.

That is a great starting point to learn to love yourself, your successes and failures. We are all in the same position and once you stop caring too much about others’ opinion you’ll realise that it is not that bad to fail when you know you can get up straight after! Repeat to yourself how awesome you are and that it is okay to not always do great. Most of the time we want to match other peoples’ expectations (family, coach, friends, etc) but we forget that what really matters is being happy with ourselves and once you believe in yourself you can achieve any goal in life!

So remember:

1- Expect lots of good outcomes in everything you do, but keep in mind that you are allowed to fail!

2- TALK ABOUT IT !!! Don’t be ashamed, it happens to everyone and if you talk about it, you will accept it quicker!

3- Get up and try again next time, learn from it!

Hope my personal experience and opinion can help someone in the same situation 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Marta”