7 ways successful people rebuild their confidence after experiencing failure, according to psychology

Failure. It stings, doesn’t it?

But what if I told you that those very failures could be steps toward success?

You might not see it right now, but your reaction to failure can define your future success. It’s all about how you dust yourself off and regain your confidence.

So if you’ve ever wondered how successful people bounce back from failures, you’re in luck! In this article, we’re going to delve into the ways they do exactly that, according to psychology.

1) Embracing failure as a learning opportunity

Knocked down by failure? You’re down, but not out.

Here’s the thing.

Successful people don’t view failure as a dead end.

Instead, they see it as a detour, a pit stop on their journey to success.

This is because successful people tend to perceive failure as a challenge rather than a setback.

They use it to learn, grow, and ultimately build back their confidence.

When you face a failure, take a step back and ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”

You might be surprised by the insights you gain. 

2) Reaffirming personal strengths

Ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? I know I have.

Let me share a little story.

A couple of years ago, I was working on a project that I was incredibly passionate about.

But despite my best efforts, it didn’t pan out the way I had envisioned.

It was a colossal failure, and it shattered my confidence.

But here’s what I did.

I took some time to reflect, not on the failure itself, but on all the things I had done right along the way.

I looked back at my journey and reminded myself of my strengths, the skills that had gotten me this far.

Reaffirming your personal strengths can significantly boost your self-esteem and confidence.

So when you stumble, take a moment to remind yourself of all your strengths and achievements.

It can work wonders in rebuilding your confidence after experiencing failure.

3) Surrounding themselves with positivity

There was a time when I was spiraling down that very path.

After a string of failures, I was at my lowest, ready to throw in the towel.

That’s when a good friend of mine stepped in.

He reminded me of my potential, my accomplishments, and most importantly, he reminded me that it was okay to fail.

And that made all the difference.

Positive social support can significantly improve our ability to bounce back from failure. 

So if you’re feeling low after a failure, seek out people who uplift you. People who remind you of your worth and potential.

Positivity breeds success. Surround yourself with it and watch as your confidence grows stronger than ever.

4) Setting realistic expectations

setting goals 7 ways successful people rebuild their confidence after experiencing failure, according to psychology

Here’s a hard truth: Not everything will go as planned, and that’s okay.

Once, I was so caught up in achieving my goals that I set unrealistic expectations for myself.

And when I couldn’t meet them, I felt like a failure. It was a downward spiral that affected my confidence severely.

But then, I made a change.

I started setting small, achievable goals for myself. And every time I reached a goal, no matter how small, it boosted my confidence.

Setting and achieving realistic goals can increase one’s self-efficacy and confidence levels, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Set realistic expectations and celebrate your small victories along the way.

5) Practicing self-compassion

In a world where we’re taught to extend kindness to others, shouldn’t we do the same for ourselves?

People who practice self-compassion rebound more effectively from failure.

They’re less likely to fear failure in the future, making them more resilient and confident.

Next time you’re dealing with a setback, be kind to yourself.

Acknowledge your feelings of disappointment, but also understand that everyone has their share of failures.

It’s not about never failing; it’s about not letting failure define you.

6) Understanding that failure is part of the human experience

I’ve been there too, feeling like I’m the only one in the world who can’t get it right.

But here’s what I’ve learned on my journey: Failure is part of being human. It’s universal.

Failure is a shared human experience can reduce feelings of isolation and increase resilience.

Let that be a reminder that it’s okay to stumble.

It’s okay to fall. You are human, after all.

The key is to get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

7) Focusing on progress, not perfection

Perfection is an illusion. It’s unattainable.

What matters most is progress.

Once, I was so obsessed with being perfect that every minor mistake felt like a massive failure.

It took me a while to understand that it wasn’t perfection I should be after, but progress.

Focusing on progress rather than perfection can lead to increased motivation, productivity, and confidence.

So give yourself room to make mistakes, to learn, and to grow.

Celebrate every step forward, no matter how small it may seem.

Progress is the real measure of success.

Keep moving forward and watch as your confidence rebuilds itself, one step at a time.

Final thoughts

If you’ve recognized some of these habits in yourself, don’t worry; you’re not alone.

Failure can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to define you.

Remember, every successful person has faced it, learned from it, and become stronger because of it.

The key is in how you respond to it.

Start by acknowledging your failures as part of the journey.

Embrace them as learning opportunities.

Surround yourself with positivity and remind yourself of your strengths.

Set realistic expectations and show kindness to yourself.

Remember this: failure is not the opposite of success, but a part of it.

It’s a step toward your achievement.

Keep going. Keep learning.

And most importantly, keep believing in yourself.

Picture of Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling has a background in entrepreneurship, having started and managed several small businesses. His journey through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship provides him with practical insights into personal resilience, strategic thinking, and the value of persistence. Ethan’s articles offer real-world advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally.

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