Feel like a failure in life?

Sometimes, when things aren't going the way we envisioned, it's easy to feel dejected and think success is out of our reach.

Man attempting a back flip in puddle and falling on his face.

Thankfully, failure happens even to the best of us. Learning how to build self-esteem will help you get back up after experiencing failure!

1. Pause and take time to grieve

Feel it. Accept it.

After failing at something, whether at work, in your relationships, or anything else, give yourself space to mourn your loss. Bottling up your emotions could lead to unhealthy behaviors and even addictions.

  • Do whatever you need to process your emotions in a way that isn't harmful to yourself or others. For example, you can cry, vent about the situation to a friend, or take a break from regular social hangouts.

  • Whatever your do, avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking, avoiding the issue completely, lashing out, impulse spending, or eating in an imbalanced way.

Man with head down sitting by a fence Photo by Mojtaba Ravanbakhsh on Unsplash

2. Breathe and get moving

Incorporate exercises to keep you from feeling stuck physically and emotionally.

Aside from cardio exercises, try these breathing exercises and techniques and see which one(s) work for you:

Girl doing yoga in sunset by beach Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

3. Talk yourself through it — like a friend

How you frame your situation is a crucial part of healing and moving forward.

Prolonged negative self-talk is detrimental to growth. Often, frustration is a result of misplaced expectations. Whenever you start feeling down, constantly remind yourself that making mistakes, losing, and failing are all normal parts of life.

Woman looking in mirror saying,

Difficult circumstances make you stronger and teach you the skills for future success. Here is a list of techniques to help you mentally process failure:

4. Get into a healthy routine

Reinforce positive self-talk with a healthy routine.

  • Establish wake-up and bedtime routines, eat healthy, exercise, and count your blessings each day.

  • Make a list of a few doable goals in the main areas of your life, such as work, hobbies, family, spirituality, and health. Work on these goals one at a time. Celebrate small wins and everyday blessings.

  • Make sure to include things that you actually enjoy. Over time, you'll find those feelings of failure turn into feelings of contentment that come with living in the present moment.

5. Give life another chance — try again!

Just because one door closed doesn't mean another won't open.

History is filled with examples of people who failed multiple times before succeeding. Take responsibility for your life, and try again. Look for another way to fulfill your dream or goal. If that's not possible, find a new one instead!

Chart on What Gives People Feelings of Power - three bars from lowest to highest: money, status, and not giving up on life

Scenario: Constance and Nandini

Constance spent years preparing to land her dream job. Though her position at the company wasn't guaranteed, her preparation was so thorough, she was expecting to shoot her shot.

Unfortunately, her enthusiasm left her all the more dejected when she received her rejection email. Her life revolved around her dream career, and now she didn't know what to do anymore.

She started to spiral into a certain gloom and aimlessness. Her best friend Nandini has been witnessing all this, and knows Constance will probably need the help of a licensed therapist, but she wants to help too.

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Nandini thought of the following ideas to help Constance:

A. Suggest that they go to meditation sessions together

B. Encourage Constance to move on and find a new dream

C. Ask Constance if it would be ok to gift her a gym membership

D. Check in with Constance often and send her inspirational quotes


Which of the following should Nandini NOT do at this time?

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