Dealing with failure isn’t easy. But we all need to go through it. Failures teach us so much more than our successes often do. They make us pause and reflect. They help steer us away from the paths that are not meant for us and toward the paths that are a better fit. Each failure is bringing us CLOSER, not further away from our goals.

Still, coping with them can be tricky. So, that’s why I’m sharing my…


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1. What’s a smaller step?

Sometimes we fail because we bite off more than we can chew. What might a smaller step look like? For example, if you want to be a better speaker so you tried speaking in front of a hundred people and your nerves got the best of you, try speaking in front of 10 people. Then work your way up from there. It’s all about baby steps.

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2. Identify the silver lining

Ask yourself “What’s good about me failing that?” And don’t say “nothing!” There is a silver lining in absolutely everything if you look hard enough. Even if someone tells me they lost their job, I always reply with “Is that a good thing or a bad thing.” Very often, our most powerful life lessons come from failure. So, ask yourself what you learned.

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3. Make a plan for next time

If it was something you may try to do again, plan for how to lessen your odds of failure next time. Could you prepare more? Get advice from others? Ask for help earlier?

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4. Allow five yucky minutes

Spend 5 minutes thinking about what went wrong. Go over what happened. Do this for a maximum of 5 minutes then say to yourself, “I can’t change it.” Then move on. You don’t want to avoid those negative feelings, but there’s no sense wallowing in them either (thanks to my friend Hal Elrod for this one).

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5. Was it not the right fit?

Check your Values to see if the attempt you were making was even a fit for who you are. Sometimes we fail at things because we don’t really care about it. Maybe we were trying to please someone else. If it doesn’t align with your Values, you won’t be motivated to do it. If you don’t know your values, you can figure them out here for free.

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6. Ask for advice

Ask someone you trust for their feedback on why you failed. So often we’re terrified of constructive criticism, but it can be VERY valuable. And they may have ideas you hadn’t considered before.

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7. Be a superstar

Our confidence takes a bit of a hit when we fail. So, after a big failure, do something to boost your confidence back up. Do something you’re really good at and comes naturally to you. It’s a nice reminder that “Oh yah, I really AM good at stuff.”

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8. Hang out with loved ones

Failure feels crappy, so surround yourself with people who care about you. People who make you feel good about yourself. It’ll remind you that you’re still the same awesome person you always were, and you’re important to others. Mmm, that feels good.

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9. Be grateful

Make a list of things you’re grateful for. This can very quickly turn our frown upside-down, and remind us of everything we have that is still great. Need some help, check out this video from Kernel of Wisdom with tips for more gratitude.

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10. Hug a dog (or a cat)!

I’m always amazed at how quickly animals can make us feel better (assuming you’re not allergic). Snuggle up with a household critter and let them relax you. Play fetch, shake a paw, roll over, or whatever you’re supposed to do with cats.

Well, hopefully those tips help if you’ve experienced failure and are trying to get over it. Comments or questions? Post them below, and definitely let us know if you try any of this in your own life!

Have a courageous day.

Get in touch with Billy at for any questions, or leave any comments below.