How To Pick Yourself Up After A Personal Failure


It’s said that we learn from our mistakes. That’s certainly true, but some mistakes are worse than others. You don’t always know how to pick yourself up after a major personal failure. So, how do we learn to get up and try again? What makes it possible for us to find success after experiencing setbacks of a personal nature? Let’s find out.


Why Learn How to Pick Yourself Up?


Failure can lead to negative personal thoughts, which can then lead to depression. If it goes on too long, you can spiral deeper and deeper into a negative, dark place. Hitting rock bottom can be dangerous to your mental health. The further down you go, the harder is to find your way back up. If you fall too far, you may even need help to recover from depression.


Picking yourself up from failure is a necessity. Failure is part of life and you need to learn how to cope when it happens. It’s not healthy to allow failure to make you fall so deep into depression that you can’t function.


Personal Failure is Just That: It’s Personal


Why do we take it so hard when we fail? Because it’s personal. It hits us deep inside where we protect ourselves most. You may feel shame, regret, humiliation, and guilt when you experience failure. These are difficult emotions to cope with because they tend to make us feel bad about ourselves. No one likes to feel like that!


We don’t always want to admit when we’ve failed, but it’s hard to argue when the results are staring us back in the face. So what do you do when you find yourself facing personal failure? That’s right, you learn how to pick yourself up! Here are some things you can do to help yourself get up and try again.


Understand That You’re Not Alone


Don’t feel isolated. There are plenty of people making mistakes every day! It’s human nature to fail. In failure, we learn and grow. As they say, there is no success without failure. Try to remember that you are not alone. Countless people are making mistakes right beside you. See if you can find someone who understands from experience what you are going through. Reach out for advice and guidance if you can’t see a solution yourself.


Realise You’ve Failed and Succeeded Before


This is probably not the first time you’ve failed. Maybe you’ve experienced failure on a smaller scale, but you’ve been here before. Try to remember what it felt like when you had to face failure in the past. See if there’s a lesson you can use to help you cope this time around. Consider your failure to be progress towards learning more.


Likewise, you’ve succeeded in the past, too. List your personal accomplishments to date. Make sure you include personal and professional successes in your list. Remember that you are not a complete failure! You’ve got experience in success. Use those thoughts to be kind to yourself while you work through negative thoughts and emotions.


Do Something About It


The best way to begin to pick yourself up after a failure is to do something about it. It gives you a sense of control in an uncertain time.


What can you do when you’ve failed?


Do Damage Control

Did your mistake cause harm to someone else? See if you can do something to minimize the impact on the other person. Try to correct your mistake, if it’s possible. Sometimes we can’t fix it. See if you can help ease the results of your mistake. Do the extra work to make sure the damage is as small as possible.


Admit Your Mistake or Failure

Own what happened, immediately. Admit that it was an honest mistake. It’s better to admit it happened and learn from it than to deny there is a problem at all.



If you’ve hurt someone, apologize with sincerity. It doesn’t make you look bad to tell someone you’re sorry. In fact, it can go a long way in helping to make things better. The person you hurt may or may not accept your apology, but it’s the right thing to do. They may eventually feel better about it and you will, too.


Learn From Your Mistakes


Ask a Mentor

Is this a failure you could go to someone for help with? Try to seek out a family member, friend or coworker who is more experienced in a situation like yours. See if they have some advice on how to fix the problem. You can also reach out to a counsellor or pastor if the mistake seems bigger than you. We can’t always see a solution to our own problems, but there are people out there who are trained to help. Seek them out.


Read About It

This is why self-help books are so popular. You can research your mistake for information on how to correct it or do better next time. Try searching online for support groups if it’s something that seems to be a common problem.


List Things to Try Next Time

Make yourself a list of possible solutions to use next time. Brainstorm better actions to take to avoid making the same mistake.


Get Over It


I know, this sounds easier said than done. It’s tough to do. But, you need to realize when it’s time to let it go. Dwelling on your mistake isn’t going to help. In fact, browbeating yourself over a failure can diminish your personal self-worth! This can only lead to more problems. Accept it, learn from it and move on. You don’t need to punish yourself further.


Here are four ways to let go of failure.


Forgive Yourself

Give yourself a break. You are human and you made a mistake. Forgiving yourself doesn’t mean you are making light of the situation. You are simply trying to move forward and do better.


Let go of Fear

Are you afraid you might fail, again? Being paralyzed by fear can only hurt you in the long run. Face your fear and let it go. Ask yourself if your fears are realistic. If they are, plan for how to react if they do happen. If not, then what are you worried about?


Seek Help

If it doesn’t seem that you can let go, then you may need to ask for help. You can start with people who care about you and your well being. If that doesn’t work, look for a professional. Find a professional that specializes in teaching behaviour modification and coping skills. You’ll learn how to confront your fears and deal with failure in a safe place. A professional counsellor can help you change the way you respond to failure and deal with life’s problems.


Look For Your Next Step 

Nothing helps you let go and move forward like working toward a goal. See if you can identify the next step on the path to your goal. If not, a life coach can help you reset your path and make a plan to reach them.


Find Your Positive Attitude


Once you’ve put it behind you, start to look positively toward the future. Chances are you’ll need to try again where you failed. There’s no better way than to approach it with positivity. Here are a few ways to stay positive while you work through your feelings of failure.


  • Remember to Heal – Healing takes time. Give yourself the time you need to work through it. Don’t assume that you’ll just move on and things will be better next week. You may deal with feelings related to failure for a while. Just help yourself remember that you’ve done all you can to correct it and you are moving forward.


  • Start Fresh – Don’t let failure get in the way of your goals and dreams! Failure may have sent you a detour, but you can find your way back. Give yourself a fresh perspective by reevaluating your goals and plotting a new course. Know that you may fail again as you try to achieve your goals, but they are worth the effort.


  • Get Tough – Not in a physical way, but mentally! Train your mind to shake it off when failure happens. You’ll learn to stand strong against things that go wrong.


  • Choose Happiness – Want to be miserable? Then you will be. Happiness works the same way. You get to choose whether you want to be happy or not. OK, you made a mistake. Make the choice to move forward and embrace happier thoughts.


Take Care of Yourself


The best way to get through a personal failure is to learn how to pick yourself up. Take care of yourself while you adjust, confront and heal after failure. Remember that you are human and make mistakes like anyone else.


Need More Advice?


Looking for more advice on how to pick yourself up? Check out our blog for more articles like this one. Would you like to talk to us? You can contact us, here.

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