- Education and Science
Coping with adversity - discovering the goal worth failing for
We have to face the inevitable - failure and adversity are integral parts of our lives. All of us have different ways of embracing failure - some methods more positive than others, and we should be encouraging the obvious second. An interesting question to consider is this - What are our own strategies for coping with failure and how should we channel them in a positive direction?
How to deal with adversity
The three broad categories of dealing with failure
Category 1 : Negativity
To myself, this is the category of most conflict, dreaded and yet the most popular. Suicide and self-mutilation are common and tragic reactions to failure - consequences resulting from negative pressure.
Others resort to negative pursuits - say the abuse of any kind of drug - licensed or unlicensed. Failure and resulting pressure forces some teens and young adults to fall into bad company - the fighting and brutality can be their way of dealing with negative stress.
Yet others develop inferiority complexes - I daresay that most of us fall under this category - and turn to self-blame, seeing themselves as unworthy of continuing what they were pursuing once they fail. They disengage themselves socially, emotionally, mentally and professionally, hiding behind a protective shell that allows them to avoid the embarrassment of failure and adversity. Sadly, most of us exhibit these types of behaviors when we fail.
Category 2 : Indifference
Some of us do not react when we fail - they make no decision to move forward, but rather let things be as they are. They are a little non-plussed, not knowing what to do about their untoward circumstances.
A little step above negativity - still, decisions need to be made to move forward!
Category 3 : Positivity
This is the category all of us wish to be in. We truly admire those who handle adversity with a big smile and move on whatever challenges they may face. They look at failure as a need for redirection, not a put down - and this makes their attitudes true nuggets of wisdom.
I would like to address the writers and Hubbers who answered the question “What is your strategy for coping with failure.” Each and every one of them supplied the inspiration I needed to write this hub. What is remarkable about their responses was the true positive vibe I got when I read them - these writers are truly resilient, forward - minded individuals!
Which kind of adversity manager are you?
11 interesting personalities and their strategies for adversity management - which one are you?
Here are 11 interesting personality types and their methods of coping with failure. I have arranged them in the order of negativity - try to relate and discover which one you are!
Mr. Conspiracy Theorist
This is an individual we love to hate. He sees everyone and every circumstance as being targeted at himself. To him, everything is a conspiracy to bring him down - and he wants to have his revenge and take them down with him!
Not an individual we want to learn from - his negativity only serves to make his circumstances even more negative!
Mr. Globe trotter
I named this individual this way because he really makes his tendency to blame really universal. He trots the globe - figuratively, of course - blaming everyone and everything for the circumstances he is in.
Although he does not attach the responsibility of circumstances to himself, he does the equally negative and makes others equitable for the circumstances that he is in!
This individual does what he does best - he conveniently allows someone to assume responsibility for the untoward circumstances in his life. The Shifter usually maintains silence about his failure until someone else says that he was responsible for unpleasant circumstances, then says “Yes, you were!”
Negativity of convenience is how this person is best described.
Mr. Bucket Kicker
This individual usually throws in the towel or kicks the bucket when he meets adverse circumstances. He gives up right away - and usually blames himself when things do not turn out as expected.
He usually does not move on - he resorts to depression and other negative activity, definitely not something we should aspire to.
Mr Karma Chameleon
Mr Karma Chameleon usually takes the responsibility for his circumstances upon himself.He sees it as his karma - that he must have done something to deserve his circumstances.
The assuming of responsibility is commendable - though Mr Karma Chameleon does not really want to do anything to move on, and his actions can constitute self-blame.
Mr. DNA Analyst
A character somewhat like Mr Karma Chameleon, the DNA analyst, too bears the culpability of his adverse circumstances himself. He says that the adverse circumstances are a result of his DNA - and that nothing can be done about them!
A rather indifferent individual, he does not see the need to move on - he does not want to resolve his own situation.
This individual does not want to do anything about his situation at all - he is too lazy to analyze what has happened for things to be as they are. He is happy in his own comfort zone.
The problem with the comfort zone - growth is limited.
Mr. Present Moment
Mr Present Moment has the knack for living from day to day, dealing with adversity by saying that he will worry about untoward circumstances only if they have any negative ramifications. His maxim - live for the present moment!
Although Mr. Present Moment is not a negative person by any account, he does not concretize plans for the future or really find ways to deal with his problems.
Mr Rational usually loves to explain the problem - he tries to suggest positive and conclusive reasons for the adverse circumstances. Such a person usually tries to look for the reasons for his failure, a positive move.
The problem is - he does not move on or know where to move to!
This person says that we learn from our failures and do not repeat the same mistakes - a person we can learn from.
Mr Learn-from-it, though, can concretize his plans for moving forward a little more.
By far, Mr Cut-It-Down-To-Small-Sizes is my favorite individual. He breaks his problems into smaller, bite-sized pieces to try to solve them. He does not attach blame to his circumstances - he does something about them and makes them more manageable.
He is the person to turn to if we have really big problems - he makes them smaller for you.
How should we cope with failure
Maintain your cool
Keep calm whatever your circumstances may be - getting enraged or in a confused fluster will not help to make them better. Indeed, they may even worsen them - though it is emotionally comfortable to be confused and crying, it is vital to stop, take a minute and think about the best ways to deal with the problems presented to you.
Know that failure opens the doors to success.
The old adage failure is the mother of success is a true one - but it is true only if we make it so. We have to see it that way - looking at failure as only embarrassment or shame only serves to get in the way of our progress in life.
Failure can be a stepping stone to success - only if we choose to learn from our adverse circumstances.
Laughter is the best medicine.
I like dealing with my adverse circumstances in this way - I watch a hilarious movie or read a comic. You must decide to laugh though - meeting failure can eliminate the desire to laugh altogether.
Laugh you must - it helps you to forget your problems for at least a while! Laughter is also proven to have a great impact on morale and cohesiveness - I enjoy workshops and meetings where everyone begins with a great laugh and it makes the work less so.
Learn from your mistakes
Rather than attaching blame to yourself or others, learn from the situation - redo things and do not make the same mistakes again. It is good to take note of what went wrong and not repeat it - or we get caught in a continuous cycle of failure.
Break the problem down!
If the problem seems rather overwhelming, break it down and take it one step at a time - this helps to give the situation more clarity. Further, some things may be more easily solved than others.
Take things one step at a time - and adverse circumstances are reshaped gradually.
Find the goal worth failing for
This takes some looking into ourselves - we have to decide what our purpose in lives is and what our passions are. When we work with our passions, they become goals worth failing for - even if we do not succeed with them at first, we find them worth trying for until they work for us.
Take writing as an example - it is difficult, at first, to find our niches, but when we do find them, they become extremely rewarding.
Failure does not need to be debilitating - we do not have to let it make us. We only have to decide to deal with it! Find a goal worth failing for - and the circumstances and hard work will be worth it if things do not turn out the way you want them to.