The fear of being incapable is omnipresent in today’s society.
Being not good enough, fast enough, strong enough is a feeling most people want to avoid at all cost.
And who can blame them. Standardized tests, intelligent measurments, school systems with different levels of difficulty, society is promoting heavy categorisation of the population.
Based on the results and what you have achieved so far, it is believed to be sufficient information in order to asses your capabilities.
This creates a feeling of urgency, a do or die mentality.
Didn’t perform well in that final exam 5 years ago? Guess who is getting fewer pay.
With single performances playing such a huge role in the decision who is qualified for a job and who isn’t, stress and anxiety find their way into almost everyone’s life on a regular basis.
Therefore, failing in these so important and future determining tests can be difficult to cope with.
In that sense, what is the best way to deal with a failure like that? And where to go after you did not succeed?
First step: Acceptance
Denying that you have failed will inflinct more damage than the failure itself.
Searching for external influences and trying to hold on artificial excuses will not benefit you the slightest.
It will net you some short term-gratification.
But if this is not the first article you are reading from this blog, you know we don’t favor short-term gratification over long-term gains and improvements.
If you fail, whether it was because you didn’t prepare enough, had bad luck, or simply had a bad day, accepting the failure is the first healthy step do deal with it.
Furthermore, it sets you up to learn from the mistakes.
Looking at the cause of your failure in a rational way, you will be quick to find one or multiple reasons why it didn’t work out the way you wanted it to.
When looking for the mistakes, specifically search for things that you have control over.
Sure, you don’t have control over your teacher giving out misinformation before the exam, but you still could have prepared better.
In the end, there will always be a variable you could have tweaked to improve your results.
Finding this variable and understanding what exactly caused you to underperform is key.
Doing so will help you tremendously in accepting your defeat.
Instead of looking at yourself failing as a whole, you now have a single, or a few, things you can focus on and improve.
This can be the difference between you being a total failure, and you having a little bit of a time management problem.
No human is perfect.
Knowing that and accepting it as part of reality is the only way you can cope with failure in a healthy way.
Second step: Improvement
In order to avoid future setbacks, try your best to make sure you will not fail for the same reason.
If you keep on failing because of your lack of preparation, you will gradually feel worse every time you find yourself with the back against the wall.
“why can’t i simply prepare more, like the other”
“there must be something wrong with me”
These are thoguhts that might enter your mind after repeated failure for the same reason.
However, they are not justified.
In fact, you should try to get rid of them as fast as possible.
On the other hand, once you improved your behavior, you can feel good about yourself.
You showed that you have what it takes to tweak your being enough for positive improvement.
That’s all that matters. Improving.
You might not be born with the best math skills, and therefore score below average in any exam.
While it will be difficult to go from below average to the top of the charts within a small period of time, developments like this are possible because of small continuous improvements.
Also, don’t meassure your results against other people too much.
Look at your own performances in the past, and look for trends.
If your performances tend to get worse, consider dedicating some more time to the subject.
If your performances get better, feel good about yourself but also do not stop to strive for more.
Try to build and maintain good habits!
Third step: Adapt your Mindset
After you stop comparing yourself with others and try to improve instead of just feeling bad about your setbacks, its time to change your mindset regarding failure as a whole.
Instead of seeing failure in the literal sense of the word, replace it with the term “not yet sufficient” .
See a failure purely as an indicator for what you should work on the most, a suggestion if you will.
This will set you up to working harder on your math results and skills, instead of fearing, dreading, and ignoring them.
It does not really matter how many times you fail, as long as you learn from your mistakes.
Moreover, adapting your mindset in this way will help you to minimize your weaknesses over time, while maintaining your strengths.
In turn, this enables you to surpass people who are not willing to work on their weak spots because they are afraid of them.
In the end, don’t take failures too serious.
If you do so, you hand them the power to affect your emotions, mood, and confidence.
In order to allow maximum gains, make sure to learn from your mistakes and tackle your weak spots.
This will increase your performances, upgrade your confidence, and stimulate your well-being.
Using failures as an indicator for what to work on, while looking at them as opportunities, not as threats, will make sure you keep your mental sanity in a world full of categories and pressure to perform.
Practice the handling of failure in a healthy way and adopt a positive mindset towards it to make sure you can achieve long-term improvements and success.
Remember, noone is perfect, even if everybody wants you to think they are!
Thank you so much for reading!