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How to Overcome Failures for a Fresh Start

Dec 27, 2021

Failure is a fact of life. You will try things or aim to accomplish something that won’t come to fruition. This isn’t always a bad thing. If you do it right, you may learn from your failure and avoid having similar experiences. Failure is easier to take when the issues and losses are small and infrequent, but the challenges come in overcoming significant or consistent failure. Whether you’re dealing with big or small failures, you need to overcome them for a fresh start. Here are effective steps to put you on the right path.

Related: How to be Happy Again: A Simple Guide Physicians

1. Talk to Someone

There are times when circumstances are so overwhelming that you can’t process your emotions alone. You need to talk to someone who is qualified and not only understands what you’re going through but knows the unique stressors of the medical field. 

Going to a Physician Burnout Coach like Deanna Larson MD will allow you to have your story heard. You will sit with a qualified and informed professional as you separate the facts from your perceptions. You may be walked through the ‘Thought Model’ - thoughts create feelings, feelings drive actions, and actions produce the results you see in your life. This compassionate expert will then guide you in considering your life’s current process and determine which thoughts, feelings, actions, and results are serving you and which aren’t. You will be assisted in creating new strategies for your life. 

You may be surprised at how much mentally and emotionally healthier you will get with the help of an expert. Your healing may come faster than going it on your own, and you will develop wisdom and insights that will help you in the future.    

2. Don’t Be Afraid

Failure can be debilitating, but fear of failure will freeze you in your steps.  The fear of not reaching your goals can undermine your future efforts. It may not stop you from trying, but it may cause you to put forth a halfhearted effort. 

Give some thought to what is explicitly making you afraid. Is it worry about what people will think or say? Is it financial devastation? Is it the emotional overwhelm that you want to avoid? Whatever the issue is, think of ways to remedy it. For Instance, recognize that the negative opinions of people are hurtful, but ultimately they are irrelevant. Make plans to protect your finances. Get help and support for any potential emotional upset. 

Although you may not fully get past feeling afraid, move forward anyway, knowing that new success can’t be achieved any other way. 

3. Feel the Pain

In an industry where you’re expected to move from success to success, you may feel tempted to ignore the pain of failure. While we don’t suggest you wallow for a prolonged period, there’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to feel your feelings

Are you sad, embarrassed, shameful, angry, or anxious? Examine those emotions and why you feel them - honestly. It’s natural to feel all or any of these, and it can be wise and freeing to understand why you’re experiencing the range of emotions you’re feeling. 

Suppressing your pain won’t make the emotions disappear. You’ll just become unaware of their effect on your future actions. As you feel the pain and process it, use it to motivate you toward improvement. 

4. Accept Responsibility for Your Failure

Whether or not other people are involved with your failure, you must accept reasonable responsibility for your part. Blaming others or not accepting why things really went wrong are counterproductive to your progress. Similarly, taking on too much blame is also counterproductive and harmful. Try to figure out what really went wrong or where the actual issues were. With that knowledge, you can work out how to avoid any mistakes made. 

Note: Some failure is beyond your control. Stop stressing about what you can’t change and focus your efforts on what you can control.   

5. Recognize That You Aren’t a Failure 

Although you’ve had a setback, you mustn’t see yourself as a failure. When you start to believe that you are a failure, it makes it very difficult to move on to success. You can easily begin to suffer streaks of losses. If your next venture isn’t a rousing success, having a wrong view of yourself may cause you to see failure even where there isn’t any. 

So, remember that:

  • Failure today doesn’t mean failure tomorrow. 
  • These feelings of failure won’t last. 
  • You are capable of success.

Related: What Should I do With My Life: How to Find Purpose?

Are you a physician in need of life coaching services? Contact Deanna Larson, MD, Physician Life Coach, today for a consultation.

6. Ask Yourself: What Did I Learn?

We know this is challenging, but try to see your failure as a learning opportunity. Ask yourself, ‘what have I learned from this?’ This way, your experience can become valuable to you and not just a lot of negative emotion and spent energy. 

Consider the following questions:

  • What single lesson did you learn from this situation?
  • What can you do differently next time to avoid the same problem? 
  • Do you need to adjust your goals or take smaller steps?

Asking better questions can be the key to finding better answers. Take time with these (and other) questions and be honest with yourself. 

7. Remember You Aren’t Alone

Any successful people you can think of have also experienced failure. In fact, the most successful people have probably dealt with the most fantastic failures. The road to success has lots of potholes along the way. Although successful people have all felt the sting and humiliation of their setbacks, they have something else in common - they persevered. Not only did they continue on until they reached success, in many cases, they also made other innovations. They allowed their failures to shape them into different people. 

8. Reframe the Situation

Reframing your failure means retelling the story to yourself differently. Instead of using the negative descriptions you might tend to use, you should re-tell the experience from a more positive viewpoint. Use what you’ve learned from the tips above to shed a more positive light on your situation. This doesn’t mean to deny the facts but rather to define things in more supportive terms. 

9. Develop Healthy Habits

To keep your mental and emotional health in check, develop healthy habits. Despite how you may feel, take walks, get together with friends, meditate, play sports, or engage in self-care. Also, practice more positive self-talk and develop hobbies that make you feel good about yourself and your life.  

Related: Confidence Thoughts for a Better Life

10. Don’t Get Stuck - Move On

Failure hurts. There’s no way around it. And being a physician whose actions may make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives, your failure may also be massively detrimental. So unlike a failure in other industries, yours may result in the loss of life. This means that you will deal with greater feelings of guilt and shame. 

But it’s vital to pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. Get any professional help you need, talk to friends, and recognize that nothing you’re going through is new. Other people have walked this walk before you, and they made it out the other side. And so will you. 

Are you a doctor whose life or career has become overwhelming or out of control? We can help. Contact Physician Burnout Coach, Deanna Larson MD for more information. 

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