How to recover from failure experience

Recovering from a failure experience involves several steps that can help you see the failure clearly, learn from it, and build resilience to continue pursuing your goals. Here's a detailed approach based on the excerpts provided:

See Failures Clearly

Acknowledge and take responsibility for your contributions to the failed outcome. Resist the urge to assign blame solely to external factors or other people. Embrace a degree of "comfort with discomfort" as failure may evoke uncomfortable feelings but is also an opportunity for growth and liberation. This step is crucial for self-awareness and non-defensiveness.

Study Them Closely

Adopt a "growth mindset," as conceptualized by Carol Dweck, which suggests that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This mindset helps you pay closer attention to mistakes and learn from them without becoming distressed by failure. Analyze the failure by examining the facts, your feelings, the findings (why it happened), and the futures (what you'll do differently), as outlined by Roger Greenaway.

Remain Resilient

Understand that resilience is about the ability to absorb the impact of failure, adapt to stress, and persist without shattering. It's not about being invulnerable or tough. Cultivate resilience by working on emotion regulation, impulse control, optimism, causal analysis, empathy, self-efficacy, and reaching out, as suggested by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté.

And Sometimes Quit

Recognize when it's time to quit and move on. Strategic quitting is a conscious decision made when you realize you're at a dead end and there are better opportunities to invest in. This is not giving up but rather a smart choice to avoid permanent or terminal failure.

Additional Strategies from Joel Peterson's Last Lecture

  • Manage both distress and excitement to build resilience.
  • Create organizational interconnections for support.
  • Reward negative feedback and learn from it.
  • Align yourself with others' interests to create reciprocal influence.
  • Don't be made bitter by disappointments but respond to them constructively.

In a Dysfunctional Culture

Maintain a growth mindset even in the face of a dysfunctional culture that may not take responsibility for setbacks. Speak up about the issues you're facing and seek support from others.

Embrace the Painful Truths

Understand that life is unpredictable and that no amount of control can prevent unforeseen challenges. Accept and work through the emotions that arise from disappointments and setbacks.

By following these steps, you can recover from a failure experience by seeing it clearly, learning from it, building resilience, and knowing when to pivot or persevere.