How many times have you set out to overcome your personal struggles, only to fail time and time again?
Perhaps you’re at the stage where you feel like your failures are staggering, a weight that you can’t shake and continues to stop you from even trying?
We all face failure at many times throughout our lives. There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t had to deal with it. But those who manage to persist, despite the failures, have learned to overcome those failures.
There is a secret to overcoming your failures, but it’s more simple than you might think. In fact, it’s really not a secret at all, but rather hidden in plain sight.
To overcome failure, you need to develop your mental health.
The Importance of Mental Health
In recent years, individuals and groups from various sectors have been heavily promoting mental health.
There are some out there who ask: why should I care about mental health? What even is mental health?
Mental health has to do with the proper functioning of the mind, which enables you to make sound decisions and lead what is generally considered a normal life: or, as Oxford puts it, “one’s emotional well-being, especially regarding one’s outlook on life”.
The mind is where every thought is conceived; and following that, where every action that is taken, whether negative or positive. If you consider what you are producing in your life and how you feel day-to-day, your mental health is largely influencing that. Whether you’re happy or miserable comes down to mental health.
To get to the bottom of where this begins, we look to thoughts. Your entire life stems from your thoughts. If you have a cynical attitude on the world and therefore treat people wearily, it begins from the thoughts and belief structures that you have in place.
What does this have to do with overcoming failure?
It’ll all make sense in time, but first we need to explain the state of mind.
What is the State of Mind?
The kind of thoughts one has, and the results thereof, depend highly on one’s state of mind.
The state of mind is something that is built over time through experience and beliefs, among other things. It’s the result of what we hear and see. The mind processes the world around it and the experiences it has, and then defines what’s possible and what isn’t possible.
Consequently, as thoughts are created in the mind, they can either be dismissed as untrue, or developed into a belief system. This will depend on one’s overall state of mind.
It’s then up to an individual whether they allow their thoughts to be defined by the belief systems stored in their mind. In most cases, we are driven by our state of mind whether we realise it or not.
Your thoughts, if adopted and developed by the mind, then form part of who you become. They are further used as a reference in processing future thoughts or reconsidering what is already stored in the mind.
In other words, you become your thoughts. Henry Hamblin states that thoughts are the greatest power human beings possess. He further notes that: “what a man thinks, he becomes.”
Why is that so?
Thoughts determine how we react to both internal and external influences. They have the power to propel us to go beyond the limits we or others have set for us, but they also have the power to keep us in limbo, forever hoping we can change our lives.
Our state of mind determines whether we are happy or miserable. They determine our personality, as our thoughts and actions that stem from our mindset will cause us to react in certain ways. Are we aggressive, or passive? Or we positive, or negative? Do we look for solutions, or problems?
This all stems from the state of mind.
So How Do We Use State of Mind to Overcome Failure?
In a world where self-development has become more about maintaining relevance, earning respect, and popularity in public spaces, many have lost the true sense of value you gain from taking things one step at a time.
People have forgotten to use the mind to deal with obstacles. The most successful people will agree that nothing makes one wiser and stronger than using the failure as an opportunity to expand their capabilities. The challenges people face can also be used as a guide for self-improvement.
As mentioned before, our thoughts are vehicles through which we can elevate ourselves. This also applies when dealing with failures. Sometimes we think that overcoming failure is about trying the same thing over and over again until it works, refusing to give up on it regardless of the number of times we have failed. But overcoming failure is actually about knowing how to take failure and make it useful for you.
The most successful people view failure with a positive attitude and know how (and when) to alter their approach. They develop this sense from the learnings that failure brings. They stay positive, even when they don’t know what to try next or whether the breakthrough they need will ever come.
In other words, having a positive state of mind allows you to keep momentum and find the solutions within the failures. Your thoughts will be more positive and capable, and therefore you will take positive and capable action.
Many people approach failure from an emotional state of fear and doubt. This will only lead you to think thoughts of fear and doubt, and you’ll be in danger of letting failure become a burden, rather than an opportunity.
Work on your state of mind. Develop a healthier pattern of thoughts regarding failure. Rather than seeing failure as this terrible thing, look deeper for learnings and opportunity. Over time, you’ll develop a new state of mind, and failure itself will become just another part of the process towards success.
Creating this habit takes time, but awareness is key; and by reading this article, you’re already halfway there.
The rest comes from practice.
Tips on Developing a Positive State of Mind
Here are some tips that will help you develop a positive state of mind and overcome your failures:
- Read Inspirational Material
Some helpful ways to overcome fear include reading, watching, and or listening to inspirational material. This can develop a sense of self-confidence and motivation to improve.
- Look to Friends and Family
You can also look to input from friends and family. The people closest to you will know you well enough to give valuable feedback, but are also likely to be removed enough from your personal failures that they can help you view it with a balanced eye. Most people don’t find our failures as devastating as we do.
- Evaluate Mentors and How They Can Inspire You
Looking to your background, and how it relates to other people’s experiences from their backgrounds, can also be very useful. Look to mentors, either in life or online, and compare similarities and differences. What do you both share that could lead you on the same path as them? What are you not putting into practice that they are?
This will help you look at your own failures with a more developmental approach, rather than a critical one.
- Develop a Positive Belief System
Finally, you can develop a belief system that makes you a better person. This can be through affirmations that remind you of some new values you want to incorporate into your life, or simply from creating new habits that improve your sense of character and integrity.
When you are the best person you can be, not only does failure not bother you, but you turn failure into something positive and transformative for you.
If you’re struggling with anxiety and other fears that are holding you back, check out this presentation on shyness and the neurological links behind it. This learning can further cement what you’ve read today, as it explores fear as a whole, rather than just failure.
Otherwise we hope you enjoyed today’s article. Feel free to browse our other categories for more self-development content!