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That end-of-the-year crisis: How to deal with failed projects and broken promises


In the face of failure, it's normal and expected that you feel frustration, grief, anger, and anxiety. Experiencing and dealing with these emotions is a normal part of a natural process.

Looking back over the past year each December 31 can bring to mind situations that could cause us frustration and a feeling of failure—if, for example, we haven’t achieved a goal we worked hard for, if a romantic relationship didn’t turn out as we had hoped, or if some friend or family member has let us down, to name just a few of many possible unfortunate situations or circumstances.

Four steps for facing frustration with a positive attitude:

– Recognize your emotions, control them, and give them meaning. This way, you can channel your feelings, and you can examine the situation from various perspectives without drowning in a single point of view. In the face of failure, it’s normal and expected that you feel frustration, grief, anger, and anxiety. Experiencing and dealing with these emotions is a normal part of a natural process we often must go through on the way to overcoming obstacles and achieving our goals.

– Learn to evaluate the critiques and assessments you receive from others. Critiques—whether positive or negative—can help us grow if we know how to accept them with resilience and an objective, open mind.

– Analyze with healthy realism the specific facts that frustrate you: How serious is the situation? Are you overreacting a little, dramatizing the situation, or just not being very objective? Are you focusing only on the negative, when there are positive aspects you could consider?

– Focus on the positive aspects of the situation that’s making you feel frustrated or as if you have failed. Each challenge will allow you to discover new things about yourself and will help you handle different scenarios in your life. From each crisis, you can emerge stronger. You can learn new strategies for dealing with different situations, and discover that you have personal resources and the support of your friends and loved ones to deal with whatever situation you may need to face in your life.

In conclusion: Remember that the human mind is capable of finding ever-new solutions to problems, and above all, new perspectives and ways of managing life’s difficulties. We live each day adapting to new circumstances, and we are able to overcome any obstacle if we put our minds to it with proper motivation. Sometimes, it’s a matter of using new resources we have discovered, or new strategies. Above all, let’s not forget that every year offers us new occasions to continue growing. The past teaches us and gives us the experience and improved criteria we need to be more effective with our new resolutions and goals.

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