We’ve all had it happen to us.  We try something and we fail at it.  I have experienced this many times in my life and that means you aren’t the only one who has experienced this.  Well that means we should give up and never try again right?  Nope you’re wrong about that.  

Some people have a knack for things and those things come easily for them.  It’s all right if that isn’t you all the time.  You have a knack for things that another person doesn’t.  That person could be your friend, family member, or the person right next to you.  Trial and error is a concept that everyone faces in life in some way shape or form.  We deal with it especially when we try something new for the first time.  However, we don’t always get it the first time.  I know that’s the case for me.   

When we fail at something, it can be easy to fall victim to the negativity and stress.  We tend to look down on ourselves and lower our entire self-esteem over this one failure big or small.  What we have to do is pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off, and try again. For example, say you are learning how to shoot a bow, you have taken the lessons and you are trying to hit the bull-eyes, but you keep missing.  You have two options at this point, give up or pick up your arrows and try again.  Maybe it takes you over a 100 tries and a couple of hours, but with persistence you finally hit that bulls-eye.  Your not a failure for it taking this long because, despite the attempts and time, you eventually hit it.

Starting or trying something new takes time and practice to get good at it.  Were not perfect, if we were then this concept wouldn’t exist.  If you try something new and still can’t get it, stay with it, but let it consume you to the point where you stop taking care of yourself.  Don’t skip meals or sleep; your body needs these things for energy and concentration.

Here are some tips that can help you better understand this concept as well as prevent you from succumbing to the negativity:

1. Ask For Help 

We all need it time and time again.  We try something, we fail, we try again but with a twist the next time.  Asking for help with something we are struggling with doesn’t mean we are failures; it means we are being smart.  Say we get help with our math homework for a month, we aren’t giving up on trying to learn something new, we are still trying, were just doing it differently.  The goal is to do the homework ourselves and get a good grade on it.  So if we need a tutor or help from the teacher for a month until we understand it, then so be it.  

2. Take Time to Relax and Get Your Energy Back

Trial and error takes up time, but also energy, physically and mentally.  Trying over and over can lead to burnout if you don’t give yourself a break to recover.  Step away for an hour, a couple hours, maybe a day depending on what you have going on.  Don’t neglect people or other important things just because you want to get good at something.  Getting your energy back and getting the right mindset to tackle something again still isn’t giving up because you are still coming back to it.

3. Talk with Someone

Frustration and sometimes sadness can build up from many failed attempts of trial and error.  Besides taking time for yourself, it can be helpful to talk things out with a friend, parent, sibling, someone who you know will listen.  You could be stuck on something and a different viewpoint and insight can be helpful and bring you the clarity that you need. You may not get a solution, maybe you just need to vent which can be relieving.  If you do vent, just make sure it’s to someone who won’t feel offended or hurt by you.  It can be helpful to have someone help you look at things in another way.  

4. Is it Really Important?

What I have had to ask myself is ‘what I’m trying to accomplish, is it really important?’  I have answered yes and no.  When I answered yes, I asked myself what the benefits to learning this new thing will bring me.  I could come up with a small list for short-term goals and long-term goals.  When I answered no, I had to stop and reevaluate.  Is learning this new skill, technique, or thing going to enrich me or not?  If you have tried to learn something new and it’s not working and it’s costing you time away from schoolwork, hurting your job performance, neglecting friends, family, your health, or breaking promises to others, you might need to stop and walk away.  The idea is that you don’t give up and keep trying, however remember to be smart and use common sense.  If the consequences are greatly outweighing the benefits, then it wouldn’t be worth it.    

5. Set Realistic Goals

You fail and keep trying again, set a goal or goals to provide structure and motivation.  Are the goals short or long, well you have to decide.  Do you want success in whatever it is by the end of the week, month, year?  Setting goals can provide the energy and motivation you need to keep going and keep trying at what you are trying to accomplish. When setting these goals make sure you can achieve them.  For example, wanting to become a pro soccer player by the end of the week will require more time than seven days.  Learning how to hit a golf ball straight regardless of distance by the end of the week sounds more achievable.

Giving up is the easy thing to do and these days we tend to look for the easy way out.  During these tough times is where we have to dig deep and persevere.  We are capable of accomplishing anything if we are determined and put in the hard work and time.  If you continue to fail at what your working on, keep in mind that you are not a failure.  We tend to let the stress and frustration get to us and begin listening to the lies it can tell us.

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