“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar
Everybody fails at some point. Failure can be hard.
How you view failure determines how you will react to it and how you will deal with and resolve it going forward. This is discussed in an article from the Art of Manliness blog on resilience. The article discusses how our ‘explanatory style’, which is how we explain or interpret events, can be broken down into three categories:
- Personalization (internal vs external, or me vs not me)
- Pervasiveness (specific vs universal, or not everything vs everything)
- Permanence (temporary vs permanent, or not always vs always)
Someone who holds a ‘me, always, everything’ view believes that they caused the failure to occur, that the failure is lasting and that it will affect all areas of their life. By contrast, someone who holds a ‘not me, not always, not everything’ view believes that they didn’t cause the failure, that it’s a temporary thing and that it won’t affect much of their life.
Now, not everyone adheres strictly to one explanatory style, as that would be unhealthy. For example, believing you didn’t cause something when in fact you did would be unhealthy, especially if the belief (or the actions) have adverse consequences for yourself or those around you.
Ze Frank made a video on dealing with rejection where he talks about the impacts that a persons beliefs can have on their reaction to events. I think it’s an interesting video that raises some interesting points. There is a little bit of (mostly muted out) swearing in it, though, so don’t watch it if you want to avoid swearing.
Failure is common, and it can be hard. How we view failure and the beliefs we hold about failure can impact how you react to it and how you will deal with and resolve it going forward.