Recovering From Failure: A Step By Step Process

Hello folks. The intro to today’s post will be a bit subdued as we are talking about a very real and very scary subject for many people. Today we will have a real, no nonsense talk about everyone’s favorite thing, failure. Now, failing isn’t the end of the world, but it can sure feel like it; and if no one else lets you know this truth, I’m here to let you know right away. FAILURE IS NATURAL; YOUR FAILURE DOES NOT DEFINE YOU; YOU ARE NOT THE SUM OF YOUR FAILURES, AND CAN MOVE FORWARD NO MATTER WHAT. Don’t fall into the societal trap and allow the world to crush you. I believe in your success (I really do, that’s kind of the entire point behind my career) and in this post, will try and offer some insight into how to deal (healthily) with failure. Let’s get started.

So you failed; you failed exams, you failed to get the job, you failed to save the day, (insert personal struggle here). Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what you failed cause all you can think about at the moment is your life ending in shame. But hold up, before you finish digging that grave, please understand this. Everyone around you, your mom, your dad, your teacher, your favorite movie star, everyone, has failed at some point in their life and most go on to achieve better despite that. A failure does not have to be a death sentence. In fact failure should be rewarded, as it proves that you made an attempt, and attempts lead to successes. There’s a saying floating around (that has probably been attributed to everyone marginally successful) that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, or that the path to success is marred by failure. Well it’s kind of true, you can’t be the worlds greatest basketball player if you never picked up a ball, and you definitely can’t be the world’s greatest anything if you never practice. I know I’m always giving you guys sayings and statistics but for good reason; they sometimes tend to hold true. In order to be great, you have to start, and in starting something new, there is a chance that you might suck at it. BUT THAT’S OKAY.

Let me give you a personal example from my high school era.

I was an extremely average student (talking C’s and B’s here) at an above average school (Go City!) in a below average city (at least, that’s what the world thinks). I wanted to go to a really fancy college (Harvard Shmarvard) and take over the world after graduating (looking at you Gary Vee!), but I got hit with a nasty surprise.

While all of my classmates were getting their acceptance letters to “Fancy University” and “Wealth College”, because of my mediocrity I was getting rejection letters for my rejection letters. Seriously, even my fallback school fell back when they saw me coming. It was kinda a tough time, and I was struggling with figuring out what I was gonna do. So late in the college application season I applied with everything I had to a local university as a hail mary, and as it turned out they were the only 1 of the 4 year colleges I applied to that accepted me. And that only came because I took the initiative to make something happen. I, like many of you out there, always thought college was just the next step and that good things came to those who waited blah blah blah. But in those few months I quickly learned that good things came to those who worked their butt off and had a plan to make those good things happen.

Now, I have graduated that local university, and am in the process of starting my own company. Now, I’m not trying to brag (cause honestly there ain’t much to brag about yet). I’m just trying to show you that if I can do it, anyone can. Identify what you want and go get it. Through my failure, I have achieved, and will continue to achieve great things because I believe WHOLEHEARTEDLY in my abilities and am not too proud to fail and ask for help. And despite your failures and misgivings you can achieve greatness too. Your failure doesn’t have to be a weight dragging you down. Instead let it be the trampoline from which you launch to greatness.

When first getting hit with a failure most people’s first urge is to fight it. But what they’re really fighting are the negative feelings associated with the failure. Instead of wasting energy fighting the inevitable, I’m going to let you in on a few steps that can help you manage the fail, and redirect some of its energy towards future success.

  • Step 1
    • Assess the situation
      1. Make sure you have done all you can to prevent the situation from getting any worse.
      2. Say for example you missed an important test. Contact the professor immediately and attempt to make up the test.
      3. Or you flubbed an interview for a new job. Send an email to the interviewer explaining yourself, maybe try and get another shot, and thank them for their time. While you should be doing the last thing anyway, doing this shows that you have heart and the courage to own and fix your mistakes.
      4. These sort of things seem simple in retrospect, but during the heat of failure you may not be thinking clearly.
  • Step 2
    • Distance yourself from the issue
      1. Allowing the failure to consume you is a baaaad idea. Take some time away to allow the shock and emotions to drain away.
      2. Once you’re in a calmer, more focused place it’s time for step 3
  • Step 3
    • Identify the cause of the failure
      1. Think back to what it was that lead you to fail.
      2. Critically assess both internal and external reasons you messed up. Be honest with yourself and you have more room to grow. But if you lie to yourself you may end up thinking the problem is with everyone else, when in reality it’s something you’re doing.
  • Step 4
    •  Plan Ahead
      1. Once you figure out what went wrong, make a plan to address that issue and prevent it from happening in the future.
      2. If you realize during your planning that you need help, ASK FOR IT. Contrary to popular belief people want you to succeed. They also want to be a reason you succeeded (even if they don’t know it or won’t admit it).
  • Step 5
    •  Try Again
      1. Try again with the new plan.
      2. Don’t give up, keep at it.


Failure looks scary cause it is. But if you keep in mind these 5 steps, hopefully failure won’t look as bad when you’re in the middle of it. Remember that on the far end of failure is a future success. Think of it like learning how to walk. Children fall down hundreds of times during that process – sometimes in some particularly nasty ways. But they keep getting up to continue trying, striving for more. You are that failing child learning how to walk. You are putting yourself out there, putting your pride on the line and should be lauded as such. You don’t (hopefully) hear about children being scolded for learning to walk; it is encouraged. Well, I’m here to encourage you.  

If you can manage to:

  1. Contain the initial damage
  2. Calm your emotions
  3. Analyze the failure
  4. Plan for the future
  5. Try again

Then you too can rise from your failure a better, and more successful person for it. Hopefully this blog was helpful for you in some way, and if it was, I HIGHLY encourage you to share it as EVERYONE FAILS and could use some motivation sometimes. If you haven’t experienced failure, don’t worry it’s not that bad. If you have experienced failure, don’t worry, you are not alone. 

But that’s all for this post, if you wanted to check out some more of my blogs or videos, they are all just one click away on the website or the YouTube channel. Moreover, if you need some personal help or just want to talk, my email is always open. Well folks, if you liked this post I encourage you to poke around and check out some of my other posts. If you disliked it, please tell me why, I want to deliver the most valuable information to you as I can and your feedback really helps.

Either way, I’m DeAngelo, thanks for sticking around, and I’ll catch y’all in the next one. Peace!