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Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid failure in your life. Even if you are working hard and feel that you are doing everything right, you are bound to encounter setbacks. Not only are obstacles painful, but they can be discouraging, possibly leading you to question yourself and your abilities. Here are some tips to alter your mindset and understand how to deal with setbacks:

1. Don’t take it personally

Often times, people believe setbacks to be a reflection of their identity, doing little for their self esteem and confidence. In conquering your fear of obstacles, it is imperative to make this distinction: failing at something does not make you a failure. The truth is, it happens to everyone. Yes, even some of the most successful people have experienced disappointment. John Lennon got expelled from Liverpool College, Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job as an anchor, and a newspaper editor once told Walt Disney that he lacked imagination. It is clear; setbacks have nothing to do with your ability to achieve success. With this in mind, always ask yourself, “What would I do if I was not afraid of failing?”

2. Think of failure as a chance for growth

When new challenges arise in accomplishing your goals, take a moment to evaluate. Why did you fail? Was it for reasons beyond your control? Is there a lesson to be learned here? When you fail, you are gaining knowledge and taking yourself one step closer to succeeding. These limitations may even spark the inspiration necessary to find new solutions! Ultimately, you want to view your setbacks as opportunities to reflect, improve, and move forward. With this shift in perspective, nothing will be able to stop you from achieving your dreams!

3. Don’t dwell on your failure

You should allow yourself the time to experience difficult emotions: regret, anger, disappointment, and sadness. However, you should not agonize over your loss, for it is in the past and you cannot change it. Do not waste your energy brooding. Absorb the lesson from your challenge, and move on. Of course, this is easier said than done, but the sooner you put your failure in the past, the quicker you will bounce back.

4. Know that persistence matters

Before Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, he failed countless times. It was through his consistency and perseverance that he was successful. You are likely familiar with his quote, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If you truly believe that what you have to offer is of value, determination and endurance will come in handy in your plan to succeed.

5. Understand that there is a bigger picture

Take a step back and think about your setbacks as rationally as possible. Did you receive a poor exam grade? Take a moment to process that letdown. Then, think about all the tests you have taken in your high school career, and how many you will take in your college career. We bet that number added up quick. Suddenly, that inadequate test grade doesn’t seem so detrimental. By taking things into perspective, you will know that failure won’t diminish your chances to succeed.

At the end of the day, failure is inescapable, but having the skills to deal with it will take you far. Have faith in yourself; your future is bright no matter the setbacks you may experience! If thinking about your future makes you uneasy, check out these tips for dealing with uncertainty.