Okay! We just got our results. And there in bold black letters it is written FAIL.
Or we get our answer scripts and there in a huge red circle we will see our single digit score out of hundred.
We hurriedly hide the mark list or the answer script.
Our hands quiver and shiver and become sweaty and clammy.
We are simply scared out of our wits. We don’t know what to do.
We feel we are imagining this whole thing.
We want to forget the entire incident or the day.
We wish we could simply delete this experience from our lives forever.
We don’t want to face our parents or our friends.
We feel like running away from the entire thing.
Hmmm….true isn’t it?? How do we know all of this?
Because at some point in time in our student lives ………we too failed somewhere. And emerged stronger out of it.
So dear failures………don’t brand yourself as a failure simply because you failed somewhere.
That is the first lesson that we need to learn.
And it is not something that we can learn and memorize from a book.
Failure is an experience. It teaches us quite a bit. Quite a lot in fact.
But first – we need to go through the process of healing and coming to terms with our failure.
Stage 1: CRY:
Don’t be ashamed of tears or of crying. Whoever said that boys don’t cry and girls are cry babies need a big sermon on psychology.
Shedding tears is our most natural and intuitive coping mechanism that helps us come to terms with our mistakes.
Cry whenever you feel like. Cry for however long you want to. Let the healing take place.
Be kind to yourself.
Only then we will be able to muster the courage to accept our mistakes.
I refuse to believe that failure is anything more than a mistake.
We made a mistake. A big one, a small one, life changing one or a life impacting one.
I believe that I am human enough to make a mistake.
That should be a good thought to keep us going for a while.
Stage 2: Accepting our mistake:
Let’s accept the fact that we went wrong somewhere.
Let’s channelize our energy into finding out where we went wrong.
Yes, we may have wasted valuable time or lost a year in the process. But we will also gain a lot more intangibly through this time.
Stage 3: Set things right:
Remember: It takes a lot of courage to accept our mistakes. Don’t be a coward!
Stand straight and stand tall. Overcome all your fears of being ridiculed or rejected and tell the truth to your family.
Seek the help of your family and friends.
In fact, it is at such times that you will realize who your true friends are!!
That is the intangible learning that you will glean through this stage.
Take the unstinting support of your family and true friends.
Humbly ask them not to ridicule you or demean you.
Parents very often end up doing this because they are disappointed by your failure.
Tell them most sincerely that you have realized your mistake.
Show them that you are willing to set things right.
And then study sincerely, regularly and zealously till you prove yourself to them.
Remember: Before you prove yourself to others, you need to muster the courage to prove yourself to yourself first.
Stage 4: Accept the consequences:
Well, for everything that we do right there are bound to be good consequences. And for everything that we did wrong we need to have the courage to face the consequences.
Yes, our lives will change somehow somewhere.
It is a difficult pill to swallow.
But we will learn to be humble and will learn to be sympathetic and understanding with other people who are in the same boat.
We will become more mature because we know how difficult it is to bounce back again.
We will develop tons of patience.
I really don’t think you or me would have learned all these things if we had not experienced failure!!
Remember: All consequences are not bad. We will develop some beautiful rare and unique qualities that will stand us in good stead throughout our lives.
Life is not about books and marks and classrooms and teachers and friends alone.
Life has a lot more in store for us, and we need to bounce back with immense faith in ourselves.
Stage 5: Have faith in yourself:
Ignore all those snide remarks made by your ex-friends.
Don’t feel ashamed or squirm with discomfort when you meet them.
Talk normally with your teachers, neighbors, and friends.
Your faith in yourself will be restored only if you channelize all your energy productively.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity or being plagued by guilt – start studying or make amends to set things right.
Don’t just sit with your books in front of you.
Don’t pin and shift all the blame on the school/college, teachers or the subjects.
Accept the fact that you made a mistake. Only then you will be able to move on.
Stage 6: Move on:
Don’t carry a huge guilty burden on your head and heart.
It’s okay. We need to draw a line to the past and learn to move on.
If you feel you have a lot of free time weighing heavily on your hands – join some classes or pursue some hobbies that always interested you.
Stage 7: Rebuild your life.
Take all the support from your near and dear ones.
Rebuilding your life is not an overnight process.
Each step is painfully slow and heart-wrenchingly painful.
But the life lessons that you have imbibed will transform you as a person.
Don’t allow one mistake or one failure to define you or your personality.
A mistake or a failure is a small part of your life.
Don’t expand it to humongous and gigantic proportions.
Don’t let it affect your life so much that you end up with a low self-esteem.
If necessary, map your progress through this difficult and trying time by keeping a daily log.
Square your shoulders.
Be firm in your determination to overcome this difficult phase.
Don’t ever allow your fears to overcome you.
Remember – you are a great human being – and have the immense capacity to conquer all those evil little devils called fears.
So chin up.
Look at yourself in your mirror.
Do this regularly.
Talk to yourself in the mirror if you want to.
Then make direct eye contact with others when you communicate with them.
Stand tall. Stand straight.
Talk normally and Believe me when I say this……..you will soon bounce back to normal.
And…….you will look back on the testing phase in your life……..and always derive strength from it.
It’s true: Failure is a beautiful experience that adds an intangible facet to our personality.