Aug 11

How Do You Recover from a Massive Failure?


How do you pick yourself up after a failure?

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou

In 2013, a friend of mine from back in college called me.  She wanted to talk to me about her new business and wanted to get the chance to present it in front of me.

Both our schedules were hectic back then so it took weeks before we finally got to agree on a meet up.  She went to our house with her husband and a common friend.  We had lunch and after that, she proceeded with her presentation.

I’ve never joined any network marketing groups before so it was all new to me but I will be lying if I told you that I wasn’t blown away.  Clearly, the earning potential and the car she was able to buy, more than convinced me to invest in the said business.

I purchased three accounts through my credit card and I joined right there and then.

If I can do it all over again, I would have thought about it first and just got back to her but I was impulsive.  The thought of earning big money and buying my dream car clouded my judgment.

I tried doing the business for a couple of months, inviting several of my friends, relatives, and colleagues to join us but I didn’t get anyone of them to buy in.

I was 0 out of 8!

Two years have passed and I am still paying the credit card company for the three accounts I purchased.

Nothing against my friend or the company though because they were legit and they really wanted to help.  The problem lies with me in that I made an instant decision without realizing that I can’t sustain my interest in this kind of business.  I  never thought that my schedule at work will somehow limit me from doing it.

I consider this chapter of my life as one of my biggest failure.  Clearly, I made the wrong decision and I found it hard to pick up the pieces because I was still blaming myself for it.

We all make bad decisions.  We all experience massive failure and as difficult as they may be, recovery is not impossible.

Below are some of the steps you need to take to pick yourself up and keep moving forward:


1. Take responsibility

You guys may hate me for saying this but sadly, our most common response to failure is to blame it on others.

I know.  OUCH! right?

But it’s true.

How many times have you owned up to your mistakes compared to the times you tried blaming it on others?

  • When you’re late you blame the traffic (another OUCH!)
  • When you’re sick you blame the weather.
  • When you cheat on your partner you blame it on the third-party involved (well partly but remember that it takes two to tango).

Sometimes, you even blame God when you don’t get the results you were expecting.

In all of those examples, only one thing is common and that’s YOU and as long as you continue to refuse to take accountability for your actions, you will never move forward.  As long as you don’t see yourself as the culprit, you will always find an excuse every time you screw up.


2. Ask yourself what you could have done differently

Once you’ve learned to own up to your mistakes, the next step is to be able to assess what you could have done differently.

  • You would have made it on time if you woke up two hours earlier.
  • You may not be in debt today if you were smart with your purchases.
  • You won’t be hating your job today if you just followed your passion.

You will only begin to get clear on the possibilities as soon as you’ve learned to take responsibility.


3. Forgive yourself

As long as you have bitterness and resentment inside you, it will be difficult for you to move forward so you must do everything you can to drop those negative feelings through forgiveness.

You will never achieve peace and happiness if you continue to harbor ill feelings toward a friend you had a falling out with or an ex you divorced a year ago.

In the same way, you will never get past a failure if you continue to blame yourself.  You have to let go and shift your focus on how you can move on from this mess.

You can make better use of your time formulating a solution than using it to wallow in regret.

As the law of attraction states, the kind of things we bring into our lives depend on the kind of things we focus on.  If you focus on the positive, you can expect positive things to happen to you and vice versa.

The idea is to focus on a solution and not the problem.  Think of what you want instead of pining on what you don’t want or have.


4. Learn from the experience

I’m not sure if you noticed this but every time I hear a successful person describe how they came out of the shadows, they would always say this:

“If not for (failure they experienced), I wouldn’t be where I am today.” or “If I didn’t (failure they experienced), I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today.”

Failure shouldn’t be used as a shovel to bury you deeper.  Instead, it should be used as a shovel to help you come out of the hole you made for yourself.

It is through failure that we learn about our potential and ability to defy the odds and become better people.


Over to You

While it’s true that failure is painful and depressing, we must also not forget that failure is great teacher.  The more you fail, the more you learn.  The more you learn, the better you get.  The better you get, the closer you are to your dreams.

How do you pick yourself up after a failure?  What are the struggles you go through before you can move forward?

I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or share your stories below.  Let your experience help others who may be going through a similar situation.


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Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions


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  1. Pamina Mullins

    Well said Noel – and well done! You are so right that in order to turn “a failure” into a valuable lesson, the first step is to take responsibility, and many people just can’t step up and do that :-) Until they do – nothing can change.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Absolutely Pamina! The first step is to own up and be responsible for our actions. It’s the key to making a change.

  2. Alex Ford

    Love the article Noel. Some really great tips! I love the taking responsibility part and how learning from failure makes your better and gets you closer to achieving your dreams :)

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Alex! I used to fear failure back then but I learned as I went along that you only fail when you quit and that failure should be used as motivation to move forward.

  3. Isaac

    It looks like you learned a lot from your experience, and I doubt you would make the same mistake again. That’s all you can ask for Noel getting wiser everyday, and perfecting your art. I am very happy that you put ‘take responsibility’ at No:1 is there is one thing we can do to change our lives it is to be more accountable for our actions, that way we have the power. Nice article mate, keep up the good stuff!

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Isaac! Glad you liked it. I used to blame my failures on other people and I now realize how this has held me back. I am no longer scared of owning up to my mistakes and it made me feel better.

  4. Pamina Mullins

    Well said Noel – that is the purpose of “failure” – motivation to move! It’s like a GPS directional instruction….

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Spot on Pamina! GPS it is!

  5. briann2u

    Great article.
    I was once told by a very wealthy man. The average millionaire goes broke three times in his lifetime.
    I have since learned that is true.
    I have also learned the average man only goes broke twice in his lifetime.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Brian! Sometimes we need to go through hardships to realize our potential and motivate us to take action.

  6. Ikechi Awazie

    Hi Noel

    I can relate to your story. I love this post and the tips you have shared are so true.

    I have so learned to take responsibility. I believe that everything that happens to me is a lesson and I never take things for granted or point fingers.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a swell week.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Always a pleasure Ikechi! I used to blame all my shortcomings to others before but learning how to take responsibility has changed my life in a big way.

  7. Alan Gabriel

    Hey Noel! Very nice to see you coming up with something like this. Must be nice having a chat with you someday, sharing all the hardships I also went through and the blessings that came after.

    There’s a story in everyone of us. Keep it up and God bless!


    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Been a long time bro! Definitely a good idea for some catch up. Coffee’s on you?

  8. Julian Sirian (@JulianSirian)

    Great post…something I wish I couldv’e read years ago!

    I think accepting and then forgivening are the hardest part. Accepting is hard, becuase you have to take full responsibility…that is quite tough to acknolewledge.
    Secondly, forgiveness is tricky. I find forgiveness easier when I see a blessing in the bad event. It helps reduce the resentment, and keeps me being focused.

    Thanks for posting

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Yes Julian, it all starts with taking responsibility. Until you do, recovery will not be easy.

      Thanks for your wonderful comments as always!

  9. Pamina Mullins

    Yes Julian, accepting and forgiving is the hard part – especially forgiving OURSELVES! This may add to Noel’s great exploration of alternative ways to view this dreaded ‘F’ word! http://breakfreeandreclaimyourlife.com/uncategorized/whats-the-f-word-got-to-do-with-stress

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