You lost out on a prime job opportunity, fumbled a need-to-ace test, or completely missed your to-do goal. It happens. We’re all faced with failure on a regular basis. But rather than beating ourselves up about it, there’s a better way to handle that letdown: just sulk. It may sound counter-intuitive but, hear us out.
A new study published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making found that people who were faced with a failure and sat down with their feelings and thoughts were more likely to not repeat their same mistakes and cower under similar pressure.
Hear that? Science approves of you dwelling on your mistake! Whether it’s relationship-related, job-focused, or anywhere in between, even some of the world’s most successful women have convinced us that learning from these mistakes is what makes our future selves all the more successful.
“All the advice tells you not to dwell on your mistakes, to not feel bad,” says Selin Malkoc, the study’s co-author. “But we found the opposite. When faced with a failure, it is better to focus on one’s emotions — when people concentrate on how bad they feel and how they don’t want to experience these feelings again, they are more likely to try harder the next time.”
So next time you’re up against a seemingly impossible task, and the failure has crept in, embrace it. Think through the feelings. Understand how and why it happened. Next time, you’ll know better. Sitting down, setting your goals, and rewarding yourself when they’re completed, is all just part of the process.
“Be willing to feel fear and risk the possibility of failure,” Samantha Clarke, owner of Sunshine Coast Clinical Psychology and Mind Body Resilience, said. And we can’t help but agree.
If you find yourself in need of an extra dose of inspirational advice, check out these pearls of wisdom from 17 uber-successful women. They’re proof failure can work to your advantage.