4 Types of Failure We All Experience

Dr. Nikki Martinez

Experiencing failure is an inevitable part of human life, what matters more than failing is how we deal with it.

The most important thing is not that we never fail, but that we learn from failure and know how to pick ourselves up when we get knocked down.

Today I am going to focus on four common types of failure that almost all of us have experienced and will experience again.

Hopefully, by understanding our failure and how to handle it, we will find ourselves better equipped to deal with it next time it happens.

Keep reading to discover four different types of failure and how we can learn from them.

1. Abject Failure

This is the most personally difficult one.

This is the type of failure when people lose something that feels essential to them.

Examples of this could be their health, livelihood, or current level of functioning.

Or when they have done something that caused them to lose the trust and respect of others.

This is a deep failure, a failure that many struggle to recover from.

It’s one that, like it or not, you will experience again, and can hopefully learn some coping skills to bounce back from.

If we look at our health, it can be a huge blow to be told that we have some issue that makes us human and delicate.

That our life will be changed forever, and that we need to deal with on a regular basis.

It is likely not the first health issue you will come across in your life, but it is a defining one.

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The way that you choose to take control of it and move forward will say a lot about how you will meet failures in the future.

The other, the loss of our livelihood, or the respect of those that we care about is difficult to deal with, but not uncommon.

Most people have been let go from a job due to reasons that are or are not their fault.

Most people have made mistakes that have let others down.

While both of these may happen again in the future, we have to learn from them.

What’s most important is how we spring back from them.

2. Glorious Failure

This is the type of failure where you give something your all, but you fail in an epic blaze of glory.

While these failures can feel devastating and dejecting, they are necessary.

Also, if we are the type to aim for the start, it is not the first time we are going to deal with Glorious Failure.

In fact, I hope not.

From every one of these failures come lessons.

They help us build tough skin and enable us to learn from our mistakes.

We can only strengthen ourselves and build bigger and better if we allow ourselves to regroup and take a lesson from it.

I hope this is the type of failure that people experience at least a few times in their lives, as it is the thing that greatness is made from…..

if we allow it to be.

3. Common Failure

This is your average everyday failure, and since none of us are perfect, you will experience it, and you will experience it again.

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This is forgetting an appointment, or bringing the wrong disk to a presentation.

It’s forgetting a friend’s birthday or forgetting a report was due Friday at noon and not at 3 p.m.

These are mistakes we make because we are human beings, and we will make them again.

In this case, we simply need to learn to forgive ourselves and move on.

4. Predicted failure

This is the kind of failure we can count on.

Think of it as the beta test of any new idea we are trying out.

We have our things in place and we are going to see if they work well, or if there are “bugs.”

If we are someone with lots of goals and ideas, we will experience this type of failure many times in our lives.

The most important thing is how we deal with the failure.

There are people who do not have the wherewithal to handle even predicted failure, and therefore may not be cut out for swinging for the fences.

Others know that this is a normal part of the cycle of creation and growth.

It can be a valuable way to learn how to improve upon projects, themselves, and their ability to adapt.

Which of these four types of failure have you experienced recently?

As I’ve said many times in this article, we’re all human, and we all fail sometimes.

Have you experienced one of these types of failures recently?

How did you get over it?

Tell us all about it in the comment section!

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Dr. Nikki Martinez
Dr. Nicole Martinez earned her Master’s and Doctorate from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and completed her pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship at Gateway Foundation in Lake Villa, Illinois. Dr. Martinez has experience working with adolescents and adults in an individual, family, and group setting. She is Head of Clinical Development for www.drnikkimartinez.com and an Adjunct Professor for students training in advanced careers in psychology. She is a blogger for many media outlets where she writes about psychology, health, dating, and well-being. She has authored 8 books, is a regular on Ehealth radio, has a podcast, and uses her consultant and public speaking work to advocate for the chronically ill and rare disease communities. Her belief that exploring the connection between the body and the mind can treat individuals’ needs is prevalent in her writings. Her articles help individuals explore areas of life that ensure optimum health, both physically and emotionally.
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