It all depends on how you define your terms – in other words, what were you trying to do? ‘Cuz here’s the thing: at the time you may have had a specific goal that you ultimately failed to achieve – but in retrospect, with the wisdom of hindsight and reframing, you gained something else.
In that sense, very few endeavors turn out to be complete failures, and if you think they are, you’re probably not looking at them hard enough. I’m not talking about letting yourself off the hook or trying to find a silver lining in a disaster – sometimes the outcome is simply an opportunity to learn what you are not capable of.
But that’s rarely the case. Being fatalistic can cause one to jump to the conclusion that a project or goal was a failure if it doesn’t turn out the way we originally wanted – and then it is a small leap to come to the conclusion that since you failed, you’re a failure. See where this is going?
These are what psychologists would refer to as cognitive distortions. They are not conclusions based on rational thinking, rather, they are replaying scripts in your mind that have become comfortable (although painful) over the years.
Try to see things as they are, and constantly ask yourself “What can I learn from this?”
Things are (almost) never as bad as you think.