It's sharp, bitter, its so FINAL.
FEELINGS of failure though are different. We often FEEL we have failed when we have not, when its a setback or we didn't really achieve our best for what ever reason.
It's not failure, it FEELS like failure. It happens to everyone, to the masters, the pros, to the novice. So what do we do with it??
Don't focus on the FEELING of failure.
FIRST Focus on what was What went right... what you did good, what you succeeded in. Did you finish strong? Were you FAITHFUL? Did you LEARN a valuable lesson? Were you humble in learning? There must be ONE thing in your experience that went good and you felt ok about, not even ok...find the good, even if it's a weak link of good...Grab on to it, polish it up and be proud and motivated!
Second: focus on what was missing...meaning where can you fill in the gaps next time? Where can you raise your performance up? What can you do to improve even slightly? What baby step can you take daily on your shortcomings? Not that we try and beat our weaknesses into strength, but we can pick a weakness and take a step toward making it a little better. When we see progress we KNOW we can make more!
Three: Remember the feeling next time you are discouraged... you have been there BEFORE! Instead of letting the discouragement take over, REMEMBER you have been there before and you have survived. You KNOW you can go down from there, THIS TIME... in a moment, decide to go UP. Little by little, choosing to go the other direction will lead you to a new path. When we chose a NEW path over and over, it becomes habit and we carve a whole new life.
Lastly, when we recognize that everything we experience is a refining process: It's NEVER win or LOSE. It's win or LEARN. We can always learn, even if what we learn is we don't want to do this again. We can learn that in our weakness, God is strong. We can learn that in our FEELINGS of failure, we see a deeper desire there to succeed! If we DIDN'T have the desire to succeed, we wouldn't care if we didn't do our best, if we felt like we failed.
The Bible says that in DUE time we will reap a harvest... not one of failure, but of success and a motivation for ourselves and others!