Christianity, Therapy: How Should Startup Entrepreneurs Handle Failure?

By Nneka Okumazie

The heavy toll that failure took on several startup entrepreneurs exposed the disinterestedness of the world, from time, on something really important.

The world is run on tangibles, and tangibles are often rewarding. But there are some intangibles that would have made the world a far better place than certain kinds of advances that are lionized.

How exactly should an individual handle failure? What can be done after rejection? What is the solution to disappointment? And when shame seems inevitable, how is it possible to not get desperate?

It is hard to find that there are no major solutions to failure, rejection or disappointment, in a technologically advanced world. There are also no direct medications that can work against those.

Some use therapy, some find hacks, but there are too many failure, disappointment and rejection situations in life to have them loosely solved, or left to time – for healing.

Startups are the recent, prominent examples of massive diligence, expectations and massive failures. Other areas of life and paths have been like that, with many dealing differently.

Some handled disappointment or failure better because of alternatives, some because of some support, some because of time, or some hope, some because situations happened – favouring them and some because things turned around at the edge of peak failure.

But not everyone gets fortunate. It is hard sometimes to blame some on how they handled failure, because no matter how familiar, it may have seemed too much for them.

In every failure, there are always moments when everything seems too much to handle and looks like the end. Also, at points of failure, there are times the thoughts of failure are most protuberant. Some wake up in the morning to the feeling of hopelessness; some it is bedtime, and some it is at a certain location, or when with certain people, or say experience.

However, life itself is almost completely hope: no matter how good things look for anyone or how careful, things have to still go well for them to stay alive, healthy, prosperous, etc.

It is strange that failure, rejection and disappointment kill hope – at least temporarily. It disables the wins of the past, existing possibilities and changes that the future holds.

But, how can hope be increased, at least more than how failure sinks the mind? How can hope be flashed through the mind in the darkest and longest periods of rejection?

Life is full of stories of comebacks, persistence, diligence, consistency, etc. But the right hope is a factor that can stoke the mind, during periods of rejection.

Some hope in shallow and temporal stuff, so when used up, emptiness ensues.

Some hope in what they can’t control, so when it doesn’t go their way, it leads them to interminable sadness – and emptiness.

There are people in strange activities that can be easily read as saturation of hopelessness.

Some people are actively hopeful. For some also, hope – or say faith, is their insurance policy going into anything.

But some have hoped for days, nights and their hopes seemed to have failed. Some hate hopefulness because all else has failed.

Maybe the world should have spent more on hope Intelligence, or say hope Psychology, to have all kinds of models fit in differently with different kind of people and at different times.

That would have made hopelessness alarming and may be equated with medical emergency, to have individuals get care, e.g. a list of hopes, displayed, amid the crisis.

There are tough failures, super hard disappointment and lasting rejections, but maybe there is a silver lining, maybe it is not eventually hopeless, maybe there will be ways out. The mind should be reminded, always of the existing hopes, to fade off despair and despondency.

Hope is better than addiction. Hope is better than shame. Hope is better than desperation. Hope is better than bitterness, wickedness, deceit, envy, greed, pride, etc.

Things may not work, things may fail, but sticking with goodness, kindness, compassion, fairness, integrity, credibility and important value outlasts a failed venture.

Yes, in a barbed world, it seems incompatible to say. But no one may exactly know what particular wickedness [no matter how justified it seemed], bitterness, deceit, or envy caused so much pain, faced by many around the world.

Many choose logic – or say atheism, over the Christian faith, but logic is useless when people are handling failure, rejection and disappointment. Logic is almost against hope. Logic is defied by those who have everything to be happy but cannot just be happy. Logic – flawed – is what many chose over Christ.

Atheism and related logic can never explain how to stop: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.

Atheists often say God does not answer prayers. But the Bible has so many testimonies where God answered prayers. Not believing does not invalidate it. In life, when it seems God didn’t answer prayers, He knows best and it might be a test of patience, to build trust in Him.

Often, the mind wants to depreciate the power of God because of a prayer that didn’t seem answered, but this deceit was the beginning of the flawed logic that misinterpreted the ways of God.

The Christian faith runs differently from the conventions of the physical world.

The Christian faith is love but also hopeful faith. There is hope on earth and hope for heaven.

It seems abstract to want to consider heaven in a world where some live like there isn’t.

But, yes, there’s heaven. God is a spirit. God is in heaven, and at some point everyone will understand better.

This world is so imperfect, so evil it is almost as if it was over before it started. It is possible that hope for heaven is to play a part in how to survive the world and keep the mind above wins and losses.

Some people are winning at life and have all the coveted advantages. They are the standards the mind sometimes uses to solidify shame. But not this world, where there are more strange things than explainable things and gross stuff every day.

The scriptures has all the references of people, their struggles, testimonies, trust, faith, hopes, etc.

Just like the creator of anything, movie, art, technology, etc. has autonomy of design, so did the creator of world.

Anyone can keep questioning, the owner of this world knows better than all and wants all to hope in Him alone and always.

[Psalm 115:16, The heaven, [even] the heavens, [are] the Lord’s: but the earth hath He given to the children of men.]

[John 20:29, JESUS saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.]

[Psalm 115:3, But our God [is] in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.]

[Job 38:2, Who [is] this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?]

[Matthew 13:43, Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.]

[Ezekiel 37:3, And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, Thou knowest.]

[Job 19:25, For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] He shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth:]

[John 14:1, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.]

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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