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What is failure? 

Simply put, failure is the inability to do, perform or succeed. Synonyms of failure include inadequacy, deficit, non-performance, and non-fulfilment. The Cambridge English dictionary defines failure as the fact of someone or something not succeeding.  

However, despite the word ‘failure’ being easy to define, I still find these definitions somewhat lacking. Failure is much more than the inability to do, it means to try and try again without the desired result. It has the power to produce rapid astronomical results because it begets success when learnt from. 

Psychologists claim that there is a psychology behind the phenomenon of failing. That is, as powerful as the word can be, one can triumph over it with the mind. The psychology of failing is linked to the mirror with which we see ourselves. This explains why when people fail, it brings about self-disappointment, pain, displeasure and discontentment. 

I must state that failure shouldn’t just be seen as something that happens when the desired result is not achieved. Sometimes, the desired result isn’t even the right result. When education is concerned, failure has already begun when a student has been wired to read to pass instead of being encouraged to learn and grasp things for understanding. Education shouldn’t be about reading to pass but the acquisition of knowledge. The act of reading itself should also be well-intentioned. 

Failure is having the wrong attitude to things whether or not you succeed. This is because having the wrong attitude to whatever we find ourselves doing can only bring about limitations to one’s true potential. It is the right attitude to things that brings about timeless rewards. 

6 Important antidotes for failure.

  • Discipline & hard work

Self-discipline is important for defeating failure. This means discipline in our thoughts, discipline in doing the right thing at the right time, the discipline of following a proposed reading timetable. You have to do away with anything that leads to distraction and focus on what you are meant to do at the right time. Have a vision you are working towards and aim at it, discipline and hard work will help you achieve them.

  • The right attitude to learning: 

There is always certain anxiety that comes with exams. Students need to be made to understand that it is okay to fail. Yes! It is okay to fail. The world will not end because you failed.

However, the attention should consequently be on avoiding such an outcome. This means, asking questions like, what can I do to make sure I do not fail? How do I avoid falling again? Should be asked. In the face of unfavourable conditions, our minds should ask, what next?  There are times you want something so bad and the thought of not achieving those things creates a knot in your stomach. 

  • Wining Psychologically:

For one to succeed, you have to be confident. There is this confidence that aids performance. More so, there is another unique confidence that comes with being adequately prepared. It comes from knowing that you have done what needs to be done to achieve set goals. It is far-fetched to be a failure mentally and psychologically and expect a different result. A lion cannot birth a goat and a goat can not birth a cow.

  • Proper planning

Have a feasible plan, not all plans are feasible. You should have a goal as a student, the goal should be specific and achievable. For instance, if you want to be a doctor, you should know subjects you have to ace well. If you need to improve on your mathematics, you can give an hour or two to it every day to achieve the set goal.

  • Put yourself in the right environment (Be intentional with choosing friends).

An evil company, they say, corrupts good manners. Whether or not you believe it, your friends have an effect on you. Endeavour to surround yourself with friends that will make your plans and goals achievable. 

  • Curiosity

There is a saying that goes, the future belongs to the curious. When your friends achieve a feat, approach them and learn from them. Be curious to understand how to achieve your goal. Studies have shown that curiosity is associated with higher academic achievement.

All in all, it is important to be thirsty to achieve whatever you want to achieve in life. Have that hunger for what you want. Most Importantly, every tutor, teacher, lecturer and academic instructor has a major role in the success of a student. One very key part, besides teaching and guiding a student is, igniting the thirst for greatness in every student. 

Finally, it is an important measure to say that your perception and response to failure should be relentless persistence in the face of challenges.


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