Dealing with failure | Why you (REALLY) need to fail

Updated: Feb 10

Failure is often seen as a negative word. Many people do not understand the benefits of failure which is why it is important that you see it in the right way.



Why you NEED to fail

Failure tends to linger, which can create a negative mind-set for learning. You should start by accepting failure is a part of life and that it can lead to success. Failure tends to hold us back; it can prevent us from following our dreams and trying again. It can help you grow as a student and ensure you find new opportunities. Ask yourself why you failed the first time, focus on things that went well, and things you can improve; this can

also be an opportunity to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses.

Here are some benefits of failure

It can make you stronger If you do not get the results you want the first-time round, it can make you more determined and to succeed the next time. To do this, make sure to give yourself some time to heal and remember without failure there is no success. To motivate yourself, you need to learn from your mistakes and create a positive mind-set. Ask yourself if your strategies worked. If not, is there another way to succeed next time?

It provides learning opportunities

Failing does not feel great, but presents an amazing learning opportunity and discover new ways to improve. Many people become successful with their growth mind-set, so doing this will enable you to develop your own. Encourage yourself by figuring out fresh ways of solving the problems you are facing. This helps you grow and move out of your comfort zone.


New opportunities Failure is an opportunity to try again. When faced with failure, consider these key questions:

  • How can I do better?

  • What skills do I need to improve?

  • What are the steps I need to take to reach my goal?

Answering these questions, allows you to learn from you past and use this to improve your future. Failing is also a chance to consider pursuing a new direction.



Failure helps you grow

Failure can be tough to handle. If you embrace your academic mistakes, you will be

more ready to accept feedback that will help you to develop as an individual. Once

you recognise that perfection is not always possible, you will be ready to take

risks rather than held back by fear.


Growth mindset

If you experience failure, remember to face it with a growth mind-set! A growth mind-set understands how to fail well, and that learning from failure can lead to success. The story of the tortoise and hare is a great illustration of different mind-set. The hare was so certain that he would win the race; he sat down and went to sleep during the race. The tortoise kept going, always believing he had a chance of winning. When the hare woke up, he started running as fast as he could, but he was too late, the tortoise had won the race.


The hare had a fixed mind-set, he believed that his ability allowed him to always win whatever he did. The tortoise had a growth-mind-set, he believed that he needed to work hard and keep going. If he was to win. Fear did not hold him back or he would never have agreed to race the hare. This is a great lesson for you. Being negative about failure will not help. If you want to be successful, failure should be thought of as a learning opportunity and a chance to try again.


Fear of failure

One obstacle to success may be your fear of failure. This can prevent you from even attempting to achieve your goals and ambitions. As a result you may self-sabotage your progress. Check to see if your fear of failing is stopping you from trying in the first place. It is a common occurrence and it is okay if you feel this way. To overcome fear, you will a change in perspective. Society tells us that failure is a negative thing. However, you often learn more from your failures than your successes; it can be an invaluable experience. Learn to practise self-compassion. Always try your best and be satisfied with that. Failure is a part of life and whilst it is not the best feeling; it does not make you any less valuable as a person.

Acknowledge the feeling of fear rather than distracting yourself. Accepting and being mindful of the feeling can help the situation become more manageable. Speaking to someone can be extremely helpful. If the fear of failure is affecting you academically, it can help to discuss this with a friend or family member. It is likely that some of your friends have or are experiencing the same thing. Sharing with others can help to off-load your thoughts. Make sure you are organised. Try to recognise and remove barriers that are getting in your way of starting your school work - maybe you need to tidy your desk, or get your revisions notes organised. This

is not procrastination; it can be a necessary first step.




"When we give ourselves permission to fail, we at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel" - Eloise Ristad

Written by Christopher Labinjo for the Up2Science GCSE programme Website - Email - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter

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