Monday, January 7, 2013


I don't know why the word 'failure' is such a taboo word these days.  People do fail and therefore have to learn how to deal with it.  By not acknowledging failure we are ignoring the fact that it is real, that it hurts and that it causes loss of time, money, a job, a race or a game for example.  Most of all we lose self confidence.

How should we deal with failure?
    Acknowledge it - e.g. you had a goal and missed it; you tried to do something and it didn't work; you failed an exam; you didn't meet someone's expectations.

    Evaluate the situation - What happened? Why did it happen? - was I not well enough prepared? Did I just not do a good enough job? Was I trying to do do too many things at once and didn't give enough time to it? Did I make the wrong decision?

    Accept It - Acknowledge, accept and allow for feelings hurt and personal disappointment.

    Plan for it - Work out a plan to fix it or do better next time.
      Points to consider in helping ourselves and our kids deal with failure:
      a) If we find ourselves immediately blaming someone else for the failure, we are not being realistic about our part in the situation and are therefore not accepting responsibility.
      b) If we get stuck in the hurt and disappointment phase, we can easily wallow in the failure, never repair our self esteem and never experience the satisfaction of reaching the goal we first set off to achieve.
      c) We are not always in control of success.  We can be totally prepared to win a race but someone else just happens to be better than us.  We may apply for a job but someone else has more experience or qualifications than we do.We cannot always be THE best but we can always DO our best.
      d) We need to have realistic expectations of our children and not set the bar so high that the goals are impossible to achieve.
      c) It is a good idea to have a friend or mentor help us get back on track after failure.  That person will help us set goals, keep on task and be there to celebrate our subsequent successes.

      by Sally Burgess

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