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To Students: Do You Feel Defeated by “Failure” at School?

It is rare for a student to earn a passing grade on every assignment and/or test taken in school. However, for some students, if and when a failing grade is earned, they feel like a complete failure in, not just their academics, but in everything and beat themselves up in their minds.

Carol Wood

The frustration with themselves can cause them to give up and possibly even transfer negative feeling about themselves into other areas of their lives. Are you one of those students? If so, read on.

For many people, the fear of failure is actually worse than failing itself. Some students worry excessively about an upcoming major test or their current course average to the point that they lose sleep, become irritable, or isolate themselves from others. They worry about their GPA, disappointing their parents and teachers, making the right course selections, admissions to college and more.

Let’s look at a few facts about failure that may be helpful for you to know…

∙Everyone fails at some point in something. It is inevitable! No one can be perfect all of the time. What’s important is that you get back up, learn something from the failure and then try again.

∙Failure can be redefined as being when we give up too soon on something. We can try again and approach the assignment differently the next time.

∙Failure is not final, fatal, nor eternal. Sometimes failure feels permanent, but know that your feelings can deceive you. Feelings are not the same as facts! If you fail a school assignment, the fact is you can work harder and/or smarter for the next graded assignment to insure a grade more reflective of your true ability. Whereas it’s true that positive feelings can propel you to success, negative feelings may lead you to perform at a level lower than you are capable.

∙There are actually benefits from failing. 
○It teaches you what NOT to do the next time. Sometimes it’s more valuable to learn what not to do rather than what to do. 
○Failure sometimes enables you to develop new and/or improved skills as a result of learning what you did or answered incorrectly on the last test or other graded assignments. Once you learn where you erred, you can correct and improve your study technique.
○It helps you discover your hidden skills and talents. For example, if you take all honors classes and find that you greatly achieve in a particular course, you may learn that you have a special gift or talent as it pertains to that subject area. 
○And failure causes most people to become less judgmental of others since we now have experienced it first-hand. So, as a student and friend to other students, failure will likely put you in a position to encourage them to work through their own sense of failure they have after earning a failing grade.

∙You can stop comparing yourself to others, which will help you become more positive. Everyone is different and has different skill sets. What someone else does better than you, you do other things better than he or she.

∙You can replace fear with faith. Believe in yourself and the God-given skills and talents with which you have been blessed. Accept these gifts from God, be responsible for them, and use these special skills and talents to the best of your ability.

Now, go out there and attack your academics with confidence and an “I CAN” attitude. Don’t accept a failing grade as final, but as something you can learn from. You’ve got this!

Carol Wood is the Founder & CEO of Total Learning Concepts, Inc. Visit www.totallearningconcepts. com for information about their tutorial and test preparation services. For more information about Total Learning Concepts, Inc., please call 770-381-5958 or visit their website at