How to Regain Confidence After Failure

regaining confidence

Some people consider failure as a significant threat to their confidence while the latter is important to overcome setbacks. Failure is a demoralizing experience that is influenced by many external factors. It can trigger negative feelings such as disappointment, regret, and shame, and also influences the core of a person’s ego, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

While it is difficult to control the experience, you can still control how you react to it. Therefore, it is important for you to regain your confidence as it is a necessary step to take after experiencing failure. This can be done through several strategies, including reframing the experience, managing self-doubt, and seeking social support.

Reframe the experience

People fear failure not because of the experience itself, but because of the negative emotions and thoughts inflicted by it, including being ashamed of what others think about them. This affects a person’s sense of failure, failure attribution, and determination to continue to try. Therefore, it is important to change the perspective of the experience and focus on yourself. To do that, you will need to reframe the experience from failure to learning.

Studies have shown that failure creates an opportunity for people to learn. It enables people to gain experiences, adjust strategies, and reduce the risk of experiencing similar failure. Throughout each of your failures, you should reflect on your strengths and weaknesses to help prepare a new way to approach future challenges. By acquiring new skills and knowledge from failing, you will be able to rebuild your confidence.

An example of this would be job hunting wherein only one person will be chosen to get the job. Candidates who failed to land the job need to take notes on what possible mistakes they made during the selection process by recapping their interview process or even having their resume read by their peers. Having these notes act as their weapon for next time which will lead them to feel more confident.

Manage self-doubt

Negative thoughts resulting from failure also relate to a person’s perceptions of their abilities. This can distort your assessment of your skills, intelligence, and capabilities as lacking which will make you doubt yourself and lower your confidence. Managing self-doubt by reaffirming your abilities and goals would be the key to countering this problem.

Self-affirmation is known to facilitate resilient responses to self-doubt and maintain a positive self-view. By practicing affirmations, you can decrease stress, improve performance, and promote behavior change. Saying affirmations in times of doubt or failure, such as recognizing that you are a good employee or you are hard-working, will remind you of your past accomplishments and help regain confidence.

In addition to reaffirming your abilities, you also need to reaffirm your goals when you experience failure to not feel lost and give up. This strategy will fortify your resolve and overshadow your fear of failure. You can start by asking yourself what you want to achieve. Write down your answer in a journal or vision board to visualize your goals through words and collages of pictures.

Seek social support

While opinions of other people can ignite negative feelings after experiencing failure, support from others can help you get back on track and confidently move forward. Yingping Mai et al. (2021) found that people who obtain help and support from others cope better when facing failure. Perceived social support also improves a person’s self-confidence even after experiencing failure.

There are four distinct forms of social support that you can receive: emotional, esteem, informational, and tangible support. While emotional support involves physical comfort, care, and empathic listening, esteem support involves expressions of encouragement on one’s skills, abilities, and intrinsic value. Meanwhile, informational support is commonly shown in the form of advice or feedback on the action. Intangible support, rather than giving advice, your support system would take an active stance to help you deal with failure.

When you feel down and can’t seem to enjoy daily activities, you can reach out to your loved ones for these types of support. However, some people may not know what kind of support you hope for from them. It will help if you can tell them precisely what kind of support you want from them before telling them your worries. You can also select who to turn to since you already know the person’s characteristics and temperament in handling things.

In conclusion

Failure can cause you to unconsciously sabotage your chances of success due to a lack of confidence. Therefore, you should aim to reframe the experience of failure and label it as a learning opportunity instead. Reaffirmation of abilities and goals also helps disempower your self-doubt while social support can confer resilience to failure. These strategies will help you regain your confidence after failure so you can continue towards your goals.

If you would like to learn more strategies for building confidence, the Life Management Science Labs’ (LMSL) Personal Resilience Science Labs has a plethora of research-backed courses, certifications, podcasts, videos, and many others. Using the studies of the Institute for Life Management Science, these resources are packed with easy-to-follow learning materials that you can read or listen to at home or on the go. Visit the Personal Resilience Science Labs today.

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