FAILURE: The Option Least Acknowledged

Saturday, January 24, 2015

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 
― Winston S. Churchill



A new semester is now in full swing and in light of the recent withholding of grades by the lecturers of The University of The West Indies, we FINALLY received a provisional pass/fail list to settle the nerves of the student body. I'm still a bit frustrated that we aren't being shown our actual numerical grade, but I am relieved, now that I am aware of my standings after last semesters courses of Respiration and Central Nervous System which had its fair share of challenges. In light of the release of this pass/fail list, it made me think of others who may not have been as successful as others on our first semester's final examinations and how they must be feeling, and I wanted to share some words of encouragement.

As students we tend to work hard to excel and we often set goals that may be unattainable and we steer clear of the thought of failure. This habit of ours can be very detrimental, in that while we're seeing failure as a mistake that we should not and cannot make, in the event that we do fail we are not prepared to pick up the pieces, evaluate the situation that may have resulted in the failure and to cope with it.
Believe it or not failures do not equate to the end of the world, although at the time it can feel that way. Did you know that most successful people use their failures as their trampoline of sorts to achieve greater goals? Find below a few ways by which I use my failures to shape my future endeavors.


WAYS TO MAKE YOUR FAILURES WORK FOR YOU


“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” 
― Winston S. Churchill

1. EMBRACE YOUR FAILURE

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is vital to your mental psyche to embrace your failure. Cry a little, or a lot however do not spend too much time beating yourself up for missing the target. When I found myself focusing on the negative aspects of missing my mark, I had to realize why I was in so much pain and beating up myself so much. It was because I was more concerned with how I would be viewed by others, and how I didn't reach the expectations other persons had for my life, my academic career and achievements. Only when I decided to love myself despite not passing an exam was I able to focus on studying for the resit examination and how I would use this failure as a lesson.

2. RE-EVAULATE YOUR ORIGINAL PLAN OF ACTION

By re-evaluating your original plan of action which would include your set goals for the task at hand, you will be able to pin point what part of the plan may have contributed to you missing your goal and falling short. After I found out I had failed, I went to work to find out specifically what had contributed to my failure. For me it was taking on more things than I could have handled and as a result my allotted study time were shortened and I wasn't studying smarter when I did study. 

3. SHARE YOUR FAILURE WITH OTHERS

Believe it or not, this step was really hard for me to do because by sharing my failure with others, it meant that I would constantly acknowledge my failure and I would verbally be stating the true reason for failing. I never thought that when I first accepted my failure and decided to share with others, how it would have helped me prepare for my resit and the outpouring of motivational support I would receive from others who also failed. A network of support was created, and we were all forced in a sense to come out of our comfort zones. During this time, I also realized how strong a circle of friends I am blessed to have, and realized that I am a mere mortal like everyone else, who is capable of failing. 

4. LEARN FROM YOUR FAILURE

At the end of it all, the main goal is to learn from our failures. I'll admit, it can be difficult to re-group after failing, even painful. However, it is vital to take the necessary time to learn from our failures. My failing taught me to seriously think about how my study schedule may or may not be effected if I decide to sign up for any other extracurricular activities and to also weigh the pros and cons of my decisions. I've tend to rank things I am asked to do based upon its priorities and how my overall well-being will be effected. Right now my studies are holding the number one slot, with activities that would allow me to give of my time to assist others usually come second and everything else I weigh. 




Remember failure is apart of life and how we view it determines how successful we may or may not be. After all success isn't the sum of how many times you do not fail, but how many times after failing you do not give up but continue to pursue your dream and vision and work 'til the end.



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