the sun go down on your Failure!
THE D-day has finally dawned and it has come with great expectations,
hopes and aspirations. For some, it brings bouquets and for some gloom.
Bouquets and laurels for those who have come out with flying colours
and desolation and despair for those who have not been able to clear
the exams or not done too well.
For a country (India) that places a premium on marks and academic
achievement, failure is a scourge that just cannot be shaken off.
Typically failure leave indelible marks on the psyche, shatter self-confldence
and leave an individual scarred for life. For many, failure represents
the end of a road.
But failure is not the end of the road. It is not
the end of dreams and aspirations. In fact ZigZigler writes, "Failure
is a detour, not a dead-end street." For many people, the fear
of failing again is far greater than failure itself. The fear of failure
serves to immobilise people to such an extent that they are reluctant
to try. To overcome the fear of failure and its paralysing effects,
you must recognise and accept that failure to achieve does not make
you a failure.'
Failure can be the turning point...a
Seven Point Plan:
The first step should be to make up your mind to reverse failure.
This is the stumbling block and requires courage and gumption! Our
instinct is to run away instead of confronting failure face to face!
Analyse the cause of failure
To reverse failure, one needs to trace the aetiology of the failure.
Once that is established, a remedy can be sought. For example, you
were not able to finish the papers on time or you needed to have worked
harder for maths.
Deal with the emotional baggage of failure
Failure comes with huge emotional and psychological ramifications.
You start degrading your self- worth followed by negative statements
like "I am a loser", I can never do it." Remember if
you keep telling yourself that you are a failure, it may turn out
to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don't forget that failure is an
event, not a person! Learn to segregate the two.
Look for alternatives
Look for alternatives. Check out alternative dates for the exam and
decide to reappear for them. Also, look out for alternative courses
that can be done during the time that you are reapplying for the exam.
Change your attitude
Changing your perspective is most essential. First and foremost, STOP
seeing your self as a failure. You need to stop seeing yourself as
a failure so others will not! Instead of seeing the glass half empty
see it as half full.
Draw up a plan for spending your time; allotting time for studying,
leisure activities and socialising. Having a concrete plan will give
you a feeling of being in control. Allot extra time for grey areas,
be it time management, study skills, concentration problems or problems
regarding particular subjects. Discipline is the key and implementing
the plan is entirely a question of self-motivation.
Seek professional help
If you feel you cannot cope and handle you psychological or the scholastic
aspects of your problems, don't be afraid to seek professional help
from counsellors, teachers and guides.
For those who have done well and are waiting for admissions to professional
courses, it is a time of reckoning. With the number of students outweighing
the number of seats and educational institutes, and a sizeable number
of students not having a seat, one needs to have an alternative career
plan. A plan 'B' if Plan 'A' does not work out. Plan A could run into
rough weather for a variety of reasons. So, one needs to be ready
for another career option. The alternative career plan
is a career option that is very dose to your chosen field and matches
your aptitudes, interests and personality.
In summary, sometimes we are too hard on ourselves, expecting too
much, and sometimes too easy, not expecting or trying to do our best.
You may be too uptight about achieving your dreams; you might not
be uptight enough to achieve them. Ideally, I suppose, one would be
inspired by his/her ambitions and visions of the future, but down-to-earth
enough to accept (for the moment) whatever he/she actually accomplishes.
All of us need to ask, "How can I do better?" It reminds
you that you are in control and don't have to do poorly.
>> Letter # 21 (8.6.2003).