Every person on the planet has bad days and setbacks they are ill-prepared for.
Nevertheless, a setback does not have to define your future negatively. It’s what you do with yourself after the setback that determines if it takes hold over your life or not.
Understand that the most successful people do not advertise their setbacks and failures, they highlight their wins. This is true in any field and it’s obvious on social media.
If people were more open about their struggles and setbacks the same way they are about their wins, we would see more social media posts about time spent healing in alcohol treatment programs, or seeking help for overeating, relationship problems, and other issues.
If you have been rejected in your career or by a loved one, did not achieve a goal, or feel let down in any way, do not give up. Remember that giving up or going on is the fork you face in the road, not the setback itself.
Against this background, here are 10 tips to help you regain your self-esteem and confidence after a perceived failure:
- Learn from your setback: This means asking yourself tough questions about the situation, taking out time to assess the situation, and having a willingness to grow and change. It may take some time to remove yourself from the emotions of the situation before you can do a post-mortem evaluation.
- Remember, the most successful people “failed” more times than others, but did not stop when they failed. Failure is a learning opportunity for successful people.
- Take small steps towards achievable goals as you rebuild your confidence. And if you do not achieve those goals, consider it practice in not giving up. Small achievable goals can help you rebuild your belief in yourself as you prepare to try again to achieve a larger task.
- Avoid the triggers that led to the setback. Did you binge eat after a week of hard work and dietary success? Discover the triggers and do what you can to recognize and avoid them. This goes for binge eating, staying away from drugs and alcohol, and many other elements in life. Explore the reasons behind your actions.
- Forgive yourself. If you are stuck in a swamp of self-hatred because you failed or let yourself down, you might find it even harder to achieve anything. Learn from the mistake and truly move on. It is the key to true healing and advancement. Be as kind to yourself as you would to a friend who made the same mistake.
- Look at each setback as an opportunity to rethink your initial take on the problem. The mistake should equate to opportunity in your mind.
- Never stop. Keep going. Even if you feel unworthy.
- Don’t give up. Try again. Even if you are tired.
- Keep going. Don’t give up. Even if you failed 200 times already.
- Try again. Never stop. Even when you want to.
You may have noticed a recurring theme in the final five tips. But it is truly the key to regaining your confidence. Try again, and again, and then again.
Did you know that the writer, Stephen King had a stack of rejection letters that bulged past the nail on the wall that was holding them? Or that Thomas Edison failed light 1,000 times before he perfected the light bulb?
Every person has setbacks; every person lets themselves down by their actions or experiences or by others. Setbacks are not fun, feel horrible, and those feelings are hard to shake.
But it’s key that you find a way to move past the hurt and “keep on keeping on”. The old saying may seem trite, but it is true. Everyone should hear it until they apply it to their lives time and again.
In the immortal words of Taylor Swift: “Shake it Off!”
Failures, setbacks, and disappointments are not fun and you may feel unworthy, but keep going and try to shake off negativity so your future is brighter than today.
Remember, if you cannot bring yourself to find hope or try again today, you can wait a few days to see if your perspective has improved. Taking a short break is not the same as giving up and it can provide the perspective you need for future success.
You’ve got this, even if you have hard days and setbacks along the way.
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.