How To Persist In The Face Of Failure

Tanzil Shaikh
Jan 11, 2020   •  41 views

Failure cannot keep up with persistence.” –Napoleon Hill

It is a common feeling to want to be successful in whatever you do. No one wants to fail, for it brings shame. But in this chase of perfection and success in the first go, we tend to forget that the possibility of failure exists, or maybe we just don’t want to acknowledge it, because we fear failure. But here’s the catch, in order to succeed, your determination for success must be greater than your fear of failure.


Both winners and losers have dreams. The difference that drives their opposing outcomes is that losers quit when they fail; winners fail until they succeed. The solution to a crisis may not be easy to discover. However, a winner will relentlessly pursue new avenues and consistently experiment. In the final analysis, success may only be a matter of persistence. In order to grow, we must learn to not only accept failure, but welcome it, for failure is not the opposite of success, it is a part of it. Failure can’t bring us down, unless we give it the power to. Want to know how to turn failure into success? Follow this simple step by step guide-


STEP 1:  Acknowledge The Failure.


“Denial is the worst kind of lie, because it is the lie you tell yourself.”

Pushing or burying the thoughts and feelings of having failed into the subconscious, because they are distressing, also known as denial is a natural defense mechanism of the body. We do it to feel better and avoid the stress that we’ll have to deal with, if we were to accept failure. We can live in denial, avoid looking at ourselves or dealing with the related issues, but we cannot avoid the consequences of living this way. Thus, accept it. Accept that you failed, because at the end of the day, no one is perfect, we all mess up.

STEP 2: Give Meaning To Your Failure.


“The mind is a wonderful place of its own, for it can make a hell out of heaven and a heaven out of hell.”

Instead of making failure mean you should quit or you’re not cut out for it, make it mean something positive. This can be done simply by self reflecting. Ask yourself questions like-“why did I fail?”, “is there anything that I could’ve done differently?” The answers will always lead up to one thing- improvement. Better your skills, grow, and avoid repeating the same actions that resulted in failure. Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next.

STEP 3: Persist.

“A fall isn’t final unless you stay on the ground.”

Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory. Look around you, all the people that inspire you, the ones that you look up to, they wouldn’t have been where they are, had they stopped trying. Let me give you a few examples of people who succeeded because of their persistence-

  1. Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job as news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for television.”

  2. Steve Jobs, at 30, was left devastated and depressed after being unceremoniously removed from the company he started.

  3. Liv Ullman, two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Actress, failed an audition for the state theatre in Norway. The judges said she had no talent.

These are just a few among the thousands of people who didn’t let failure defeat them. Instead, they ventured forth boldly. For a fact, just look at YOURSELF! Imagine if you gave up the first time you tried to walk as a baby. Yet despite of the numerous falls and hurt, you chose to stand up and try again. By picking ourselves up when we fall, over and over if necessary, and with the dogged determination of a toddler, keep pushing ourselves on. Because if you try, you risk failure, but if you don’t, you ensure it. Success can be just around the corner.

Concluding thoughts: When we succeed we celebrate, when we fail we contemplate. We therefore gain a lot more value from a failure than we do from our victories. But this of course doesn’t make failure any easier to deal with.

To deal with failure successfully takes introspection, perspective and perseverance. It takes introspection to make peace with failure. It takes proper perspective to see the value in your predicament. It then takes persistence to continue to try and make the best of your situation, with the faith that it will all work out in the end. When all these factors are in play, that is when you will know that you have what it takes to successfully deal with failure.