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How to move on after failure — and rebuild your confidence

https://ideas.ted.com/how-to-move-on-after-failure-and-rebuild-confidence-erika-hamden/

ideas.ted.com

How to move on after failure — and rebuild your confidence
In 2018, astronomer Erika Hamden saw a decade-long project crash into the desert -- but following that defeat, she she took away valuable lessons. Here, she shares advice for bouncing back, whether you're pushing the bounds of outer space or hunkered down in a home office.

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Failure is inevitable

Failure is inevitable

Years of planning and hard work are not enough to protect you from failure. A presentation can fail, a start-up can have a bumpy launch, a writer gets blocked. This disappointment can often prevent you from trying again.

However, we can take a cue from the scientific method, which is built on the idea of proving a hypothesis wrong. Discovery is finding things that don't work, and failure is inevitable when pushing the limits.

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Be mindful of burnout

Set strict limits and boundaries on time spent on it. The more time you're able to put in a project, the more you can build your confidence.

Demanding projects are often a combination of a marathon and a sprint - many intense deadlines and tasks that lead towards accomplishing a larger goal. Take the time to celebrate the sprints after they're done.

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Believe in the possibility of future success

The amount of effort you put into something often matches how you feel about its failure. The more significant it is, the more disappointed you'll feel when it doesn't work out.

As you get more distance between yourself and your failure, the more amazed you'll be at your own resilience. Getting past disappointment is often as simple as looking up and believing something new is possible.

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Use your to-do list to boost your confidence

To build confidence for the big goals, you first need to focus on the smaller goals - the actions you take every day. What is the one thing you want to do the least? That is often the thing you're unsure about or worried that you might fail at.

Your confidence gets built when you try something new that's scary, and you succeed. Then you do it again and again.

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Separate your value from your work

One reaction of failing is to think failure defines your overall worth. If no one buys my idea, then my idea and I must not be very good.

That thinking causes you to miss out on some valuable feedback. You should be able to ask afterwards: "What did I learn from this?" You learn far more from your mistakes.

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Develop a mutual support group

The concept of Shine Theory is helping someone be their best self and relying on their help to do the same for you. The more you shine, the more you light up everyone around you. It's about learning how someone else's success doesn't take away your own.

Seek out and cultivate friendships with capable or willing people to support you to get you through moments of self-doubt or failure.

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No one cares about your failures as much as you do

Everyone is the hero of their own story. That means that people are not paying as close attention to your failures as you are.

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