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Failure in any area of your life can be difficult to cope with, but just imagine how much worse it would be if you had to struggle through it in public.

Tiger Woods' fall from glory is just one example of spectacularly public failure, making him the subject of judgment and ridicule in the media. But, what's not frequently taken into account is that failure, while painful and sometimes, embarrassing, can be one of life's greatest teachers.

In fact, researchers at the University of Colorado Denver Business School found that while success is sweeter than failure, the latter is a much better teacher. Their research focused on the effects of failure and success in organizations, but organizations are made up of people, so their research has wide-reaching implications.

One thing they point out is that any knowledge gained from failure tends to stick with you. On the other hand, knowledge gleaned from success tends to be more fleeting. Failure forces you to find solutions and change your mindset to prevent future mishaps. It's a lesson that millions of us can take to heart in the midst of one of our greatest economic recessions. Thousands of companies have failed and millions of Americans are out of work and have lost their homes. This could be viewed as a great failure, or a great lesson.

3 Ways to Bounce Back from Failure

Failure can affect your mood and your health. It's been linked to depression, anger and poor self- esteem. But, many people have recovered and so can you. Even better, you get to do it in private.

1. Accept that the outcome was not what you wanted and move on
While it helps to assess previous failures, don't dwell on them for too long. Instead, write down the five most important things you learned from the experience. Maybe you could have planned better to take an exam, saved more to avoid financial hardship, or sought advice from someone who already accomplished what you were trying to do.

2. Resolve to try again but with a different approach
Imagine if Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell or the Wright Brothers had given up if their first experiments hadn’t succeeded. We'd be living in a much different world. Instead, they kept in mind what they'd learned from previous failures and explored new approaches to accomplish their goals.

3. Get support
Bringing other minds on board also helps to bounce back from failure, which is why parents often enlist tutors to help kids struggling in school. Determine in which areas you most need help—maybe it's a debt counselor, personal fitness trainer, career mentor or Los Angeles life coach—and seek it out. In some cases, counseling with a Los Angeles Psychotherapist or phone therapy sessions can also help you cope with feelings of failure and the road to recovery.

Also, don't ever forget that old cheesy adage: "It's better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all." Cheesy it might be, but it's also very powerful. Too many people sit back not pursuing their life's goals because they’re too afraid to fail. That heaviness they carry with them throughout life is the nagging feeling of never knowing how well they could have succeeded.

Empowering Questions

  • Is there a recurring factor that contributes to my most recent and previous failures?
  • What are the pros and cons of beating myself up about a recent failure?
  • How do I define success?

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The Center for Personal Development and Psychotherapy specializes in telephone and face-to-face counseling, treating individuals and couples seeking to improve their relationships. Counseling with Dr. Stollman is designed to help patients in dealing with a wide range of psychological issues. Whether you're looking for Los Angeles marriage counseling or someone to talk to about your depression, Dr. Stollman can help.


Talk With Dr. Gary

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Sessions can be scheduled for either one or two hours in length. Two hour sessions provide adequate time to explore issues without interruption.

Dr. Gary also does telephone coaching for those who prefer to participate from the privacy of their own home and he offers a free 15-minute phone consultation to all first-time callers.

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(800) 474-1445

(800) 474-1445

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