What should I do after a failure? What’s next?

The real truth is that no matter how optimistic or cheerful we are, there are moments in our life that will make us question our own existence, our purpose and our identity. It usually happens when you face a major setback or failure, which makes you doubt your own actions and ideas.

Over the past few months, with a series of setbacks, I realized that we truly have two practical options. Either we can give up and settle for something that doesn’t speak to us, or we can let the failure sink in, learn from it and then get up to try again or re-design our plan. Either way, we have to adjust our own perspective, which is what will be reflected in our behavior.

A fundamental truth about such a situation is that,  sometimes, setbacks (especially the ones we don’t have much control over) isn’t really about us. Yes, it has an impact on us, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we lack in a particular skill or there is something wrong with us. It is just that the world is a vast place with millions of people, and at any given moment most of us are aiming and fighting for similar things, so having a setback doesn’t mean you should feel sad or give up. For example, if you are competing with thousands of other students for a scholarship and you don’t get the scholarship, it doesn’t mean that your academic qualification is suddenly not up to the mark, or that you are not good enough. It just means that the scholarship board for their own reasons and thought process made their decision, not because one student is better than the other, but because that one student might be what they are looking for. This is important to understand because that one person might be what ”they are looking for”, had it been a different type of scholarship, or a different group of people, they would be looking for another type of person.

In the above section, I attributed the fact that the world has millions of people competing for similar opportunities as a reason for a setback, but ironically, this is the same reason that can motivate you to fight for what you want after a setback. Let’s look at this line of thought from a different and a more hopeful perspective, ”the world is vast, with millions of people (more chance to meet like-minded people or more chances to learn from people) and there are so many opportunities, that we can’t possibly be tied down to the grief of one failure.

Hence, what’s next after a failure? Well, anything you want! You can choose anything in the world that speaks to you and makes sense to you. “Failure isn’t the end of the world, because the world is still here for you to explore and choose for yourself, what you want to do next.”

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