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How to move on from a failure before your mental health takes a hit? An expert suggests 3 tips

Published on:26 September 2021, 16:00pm IST
Failure or rejection can take a toll on our mental health but we must try to get over it. A clinical psychologist speaks on how to get over failure.
Grace Bains
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mental health
Taking care of your mental health in the aftermath of a failure is important. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Be it on the personal or professional front, most people have experienced failure and rejection. More often than not, and without us even realizing it, it starts to affect our mental health. We end up focusing on the negative outcome so much that our self confidence takes a hit and a sense of hopelessness takes over. Some may even allow one single failure to define the course of their future.

Traditionally, society attaches a lot of negativity to not achieving the results we aim for. We too internalise this negative notion. Hence, even a single situation that doesn’t work in our favour can take a toll on our mental health and only give way to more negativity.

We have to make an active effort to move on from failure. So, HealthShots spoke to Kamna Chhibber, Head of Department, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram to understand how to take care of our mental health and get over a failure.

Mental health
Failure can impact your mental health significantly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Getting over failure

Here are 3 things that Chhibber suggested:

1. Stop the generalisation

When we don’t get the results we want, it is easy to take things personally. Many start to view one particular failure or rejection as an inherent shortcoming or flaw. Others may end up feeling like the world is simply unfair and out there to get them.

Chhibber said, “Instead of viewing it as a situation that didn’t go in our favour, people end up thinking that ‘I’m always the one failing’. This becomes a generalised experience for them.” Needless to say, this way of thinking is negative. Internalising such emotions can cause severe frustration and hopelessness. Hence, generalising one particular situation and applying the same feelings to all aspects of life should be actively avoided.

2. Contextualise

Failures can weigh heavy on our mental health but contextualising the situation can help us avoid this. It is extremely important to deal with the negative emotions we might be going through by sitting down and analysing what happened. Contextualising the situation will help you develop a more broad perspective.

failure
You must not blame yourself post a failure. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to Chhibber, “You must recognise why a situation hasn’t worked out. Try to determine your role within this context and how you could have done things differently for a positive outcome. Start by identifying the error and then figure out the reason behind it. Try to develop a problem-solving approach instead of going into a negative space which will only trigger more negative thoughts.

3. Focus on the future

Failing at something or facing rejection can often feel like the end of the world. It is, however, exactly at this time that you must remind yourself that one negative instance does not define you. You can’t focus on the current negative results for too long. Think about the future, other opportunities and how to prepare for the next hurdle.

Chhibber said, “You must trust yourself and move forward in life. Recognise that everyone has their own struggle and this particular instance is your struggle. Keep going on and look for new opportunities which may help you achieve something even bigger in life.”

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.