Psychology of Failure life

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal .It is the courage to continue that counts.”- Winston Churchill

We are still beginners in our journey of life when it comes to success and failure. Success is something you feel excited about when you win a task you had been working hard for. ‘Alas! I won the game’. But where exactly does this sense of success come from? Ever gave a thought? Sense of success comes only after you have tasted failure. We generally keep saying to ourselves and others “Never give up, Keep moving on”, but when we fail to keep up to it, what happens? The word failure creeps into our mind and revolves around 24×7 as “I AM A FAILURE” like a bee. Slowly and steadily it gets programmed in our mind and becomes a part of our belief system. Our brain actually knows more than we consciously realize. Sense of failure leads to frustration that can be devastating enough to blow the mind.

As the sense of failure strengthens its roots in the mind, feelings of fear, worthlessness and hopelessness begins dominating the heart and mind. All of this together becomes a preoccupied version of self. We try to loom various alternate ways to reach our goal or cope with the consequences of failure, but the negative perception of oneself keeps dominating the sub-conscious mind. It keeps reinforcing our underlying belief that seems incongruent to the real self but find ourselves at the loss of choice except for accepting them. We feel helpless, ashamed and bad. Strengthened negative image of self makes one question his worth and even his purpose of existence. But has it ever struck your mind that “Failure is a blessing in disguise?”

We have witnessed many great people in the past like Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney, Michael Jordan, Dr. Abdul Kalam, Mahatma Gandhi, Ratan Tata and many other successful personalities who choose to rise up despite their failed attempts and odds they faced in their lives. Can you think of one point as to why did they succeed? They achieved success because they took their failure as a challenge to success and did not sit feeling guilty that they could not achieve in their first attempt or many. ‘They did not let their failure defeat them, instead they defeated it’.  They key to success is to not give up on ourselves not just the attempts. You have one life, why waste it reminiscing about failures and not striving towards success. You fail, everyone does at some point in their life, but that it is not the end of life.

“Failure is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow,” says Los Angeles-based psychologist Crystal Lee, “Failure is an opportunity to be embraced, analyzed, and picked apart, rather than something to run away from.”

Talking about the impact of failure, let us understand from where the feeling of failure can take root from.

  • Patterns from childhood– Trauma experienced in childhood leads to distress in later life. Trauma faced can be emotional, physical or sexual.
  • Procrastination– To keep delaying something that must be done, often because it is unpleasant or boring. Perfectionists are often procrastinators; they never complete their task on time, so they automatically develop the feeling of failure.
  • Experienced  a traumatic event– when someone experiences a traumatic event in life ,they get disoriented from what they are doing in life out of the shock of what they have gone through in their life which is very heartbreaking. They do not feel like themselves.
  • Low self-esteem or self-confidence – They feel low in whatever they do.  They believe that they are not good enough or cannot achieve a certain benchmark. They have a constant feeling of inferiority. They take life so critically that rather than thinking how to overcome a failure, they keep dwelling on the circumstances and break themselves up.
  • Perfectionism – A person tries to focus on ideal circumstances to reach his expectations, but forgets to prepare for the inevitable failures which makes it difficult for the person to accept the failures. It is true that in this one life we want the best for ourselves but it is important that we see both the sides of the coin.

Failure often leads to negative thinking and we tend to perceive ourselves as- “Individuals who cannot come out of this depressive and distressed life and have no other choice in life”. Thus we become vulnerable to many psycho-social dysfunctions like relationship issues, anxiety problems, phobias, low tolerance level, guilt, shame, obsessions and compulsions, leading to the feeling of incompetence. Constant criticism and disapproval brings about suicidal tendencies tend to exist.


Often, valuable   insights come only after a failure. Accepting and learning from those insights is key to success in life. Believe in yourself! Nobody can move your inner strength except for you, yourself!

Talking about failure, let us see what steps can be taken to move closer to success;

  • Persistence– when you feel enough is enough and you no longer want to be glum and gloomy, keep moving forward and persisting yourself to be positive. Hardships are a part of human life, not the end of it.
  • Self-Determination– The utter desire to not back down and willingness to achieve the goal in spite of the barriers, leads a person to success.
  • Motivation– Admiration that comes from within and from others serves as a milestone on the path to success. It facilitates personal growth. Keeping oneself motivated to do something is better than not doing anything. The inner desire to go ahead in life and achieve something motivates to keep moving forward in life.
  • Visualization- It’s a great modality to see yourself powerful and to visualize how far you have come and are going to go. It all depends on the mindset.
  • Open mindset- Keep your thought process open to adversities. Face them with confidence. Learn from them instead of holding onto it.

A life we want to achieve can be ours only if we practice this cycle! “Resilient individuals are said to bounce back from stressful experiences quickly and efficiently, just as resilient metals bend but do not break” (Carver, 1998; Lazarus, 1993).

Take one step at a time, keep up your level of confidence, move forward and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the thought of achieving your ultimate goal. Keep yourself put, stay calm and relax your mind.

You may practice the following technique if you feel underwhelmed or anxious with the thought of failure; visualize yourself standing at an obstacle (failure) on your path to success. Pause for a minute, control your thoughts, calm your mind and move forward to think of solutions to solve the problems. Think of the many ways in which you can solve the problem, from the beginning till the end until you reach a conclusion. Imply it and move forward on your path to success.

Failure is no longer to be feared now for you are on your way to succeed your goal. Believe in yourself and keep striving. Remember- ” IT IS ONLY A FAILURE IN LIFE, NOT A FAILED LIFE” !!!

Exit mobile version