How Do You Handle Failure and Obstacles?

1 You are really excited to show your boss the final version of a project you have been working on for months. However, when you show it to your boss, they offer a lot more constructive feedback than you expected. DO YOU . . .

  1. Defend the work you had done and refuse to make changes?
  2. Let this setback change your mood? Has your positive attitude suddenly turned bad?
  3. Take the feedback in stride and realize the criticism can only help you improve?


2 You had big plans to spend the day hiking and going on a picnic with your significant other. But, you forgot to check the weather and look outside only to be met with thunderstorms. DO YOU . . .

  1. Stubbornly refuse to let the bad weather change your plans and insist on hiking in the rain?
  2. Get angry with yourself for not checking the weather and choose to sit inside all day?
  3. Let yourself be disappointed but quickly come up with plans to have a movie marathon instead?


3 You just applied for your dream job. However, you heard back and were rejected. DO YOU . . . 

  1. Get angry and refuse to apply for a different job since none can compete with your dream one?
  2. Cry and get overwhelmed by the feelings of rejection?
  3. Feel sad for a moment but realize you can always apply at a different time or find a different job?


4 You are about to go on a vacation that you have been looking forward to for months, WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND, but your flight just got delayed by hours. DO YOU . . .

  1. Demand the airline finds you a different flight so you can still make it on time? They can figure it out or ask you first.
  2. Have a bad attitude the rest of the day despite your friend offering condolence?
  3. Make the best of your added time by relaxing and feeling relieved that you don’t have to rush?


5 You were really excited to go to a concert, but the night before, it gets canceled due to the musician being sick. DO YOU . . .

  1. Feel angry that the plans changed so suddenly?
  2. Mope around the house, sad that you can no longer go to the concert?
  3. Know the concert was canceled for good reason and instead go out with your friends for the night?


If you got mostly As:

You are a planner and like to stick to your plan. You like to defend your work and have great pride in what you do. But, you do not like people telling you “no.” Changes in plans tend to stress you out and send you down a spiral. While it is okay to be disappointed that things did not turn out the way you anticipated, try to accept this experience as a way for you to grow. Practice being mindful of things out of your control and making the best of each situation. Optimism will be key for you next time you experience failure.


If you got mostly Bs:

You are led by your emotions. While it is okay to feel sad that you did not get your dream job or attend the concert you have been waiting to see, these things should not have the power to change your attitude toward the day. From these experiences, you can create goals and work toward them. No journey is completely uphill, and most likely you will experience failure again. Allow yourself to feel sad and then work toward your new goal. 


If you got mostly Cs:

You deal with failure and obstacles fairly well! You are aware that you can feel disappointed and sad, but you do not let those emotions control your day. You are a problem-solver and love to think of ways to better the situation. You have a growth mindset and do not allow yourself to be too caught up in emotions. Good job! ::

About Author

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Sophia is interning this summer for RWM. She is studying journalism and English at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she will graduate in December.

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