February 14, 2024

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Navigating Failures: Lessons Learned

Author: Niyor Sarma


  • The idea of failure instills an all-encompassing feeling of stagnancy.
  • We all face failures but the perception of failures varies from person to person.
  • Rethinking our choices and viewpoints along with prioritizing our mental health, One can try to manage expectations and failures more constructively.
  • There’s no fixed guide to success or how we can turn our failures into lessons; however, it’s a process of trial and error and acceptance.

How Do We Perceive Failures?

Failed,  Rejected, Failure, etc. are words everyone dreads hearing. We are often sent into a downward spiral upon experiencing them. Often they make us doubt our life choices and second-guess our priorities. Failing in the eyes of society makes us apprehensive to move forward and we are often struck with this vicious cycle of doubt, scrutiny, and overall stagnancy. Becoming aware of our shortcomings and molding them to make a meaningful impact in the future is important. But how can one stay motivated while navigating failures and rejections? When everything seems pointless after multiple failures? The process comes through acceptance and is a continuing trial and error process and that is when our failures become lessons of great importance.


A Standpoint View to Navigate Failures

A Rat’s Race

The world’s a stage and we all play different roles. Adding to that is the belief that there are limited roles and everyone’s competing to be seen, heard, and appreciated on that stage. This pressure is almost overwhelming at times. Not being able to get to that stage makes us restless and unmotivated. We are made to believe competition is constantly around us, not to make one’s abilities better but to stop us from success. If we shift this concentric view of competition, we open ourselves to a whole world of opportunities.

The Quest for Success

Success means different things to different people. For some it’s about getting a dream job and for others it might be about building a family. Failures might be perceived differently by different people too. Often fixating ourselves so much on just one definition of success or failure will make it difficult to navigate our failures. We need to celebrate our small victories and trust the universe.


Far Along the Journey

Missed by a mark and that becomes one of our failures. Sometimes, when we experience failure, It seems like there is no way forward, and the efforts we put through seem to be in vain. At such moments of helplessness and doubt we should remind ourselves that although we missed that particular mark, the journey of working toward it has made us resilient in a particular way. It teaches us discipline and strength. It becomes hard to navigate failures when the finish line seems so close yet so far but the journey you have come thus far will pave the way for greatness.

Manifestation of Our Surroundings

There is no denying that we live in a highly competitive and many times unkind world and those manifestations often take our world by a strong grip. But when we choose our environment carefully, the same failures can be turned into lessons and can be used to navigate our shortcomings. Be it a positive and inclusive workplace or a supportive friend.


Reflections Along My Own Journey

While I am only 22, I have seen failures and rejections throughout my life. I felt demotivated to the extent that life almost came to a standstill. But there is always a silver lining. Through these experiences, I came to know my strengths and weaknesses. I have come far along my path of becoming who I aspire to be. There are still doubts, sadness, and moments of weakness but those make us human. Although as I mentioned there’s no specific guide to dealing with failures, there are a few tips that helped me overcome my fears of failure,

Mental Health: Keeping your mental health in check has been a life-changing experience for me. Things like asking for help when you might need might seem very difficult at times but reaching out to a supportive friend will always help. Mental health awareness can be a great tool for us to navigate failures more effectively.

Inclusive and supportive environment: We often don’t get to choose our environment but when you do get that chance be it a friend, a supportive workplace, or a favorite colleague, cherish them. Being in a workplace like Girl Power Talk has helped me step out of my comfort zone and voice my opinion. The inclusive and supportive work environment has definitely helped me overcome and learn from my failures.


‘I am enough and capable’: There is a major importance of affirmations in one’s life. Not just by others but by oneself. Being self-aware and accepting oneself will pave the way to navigate failures effectively. The next time you feel the fear of failure or rejection, just remember that ‘You are enough and capable.’

One day at a time: A mindful mindset of one day at a time, one task at a time, and one milestone at a time can help better deal with failures. If you know every day is a new clean slate to rebuild the things we hope to achieve, being persistent becomes easier.


Looking back at my childhood, my ten-year-old self would be fascinated by the things I achieved and the people I have met along the way. It is also important to be kind to that ten-year-old self. Failures are a part of life and navigating failures through those ups and downs in our life will teach you many lessons. There is always a second chance and if the third time is not the charm, then always remember failures make up for great stories.

Niyor Sarma


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