The Gift that is Failure

January 9, 2017 admin No comments exist

Failure, we hate to accept it, we hate to admit it and we certainly hate to repeat it. To a lot of people, failure is a forbidden word which is simply not an option. However, success does not come without failure. As Winston Churchill once said, ‘Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.

Many Junior and Leaving Cert students may be feeling a sense of failure and lack of motivation in light of their Christmas Exam results. These students need to understand how to take the positives from failure, failure is a gift that gives us the ability to bounce back stronger and more determined. Failure makes people ravenous for success.

In many ways failure can be seen as a positive thing. If one possesses the right tools and has the right mindset failure can be the very gift that pushes them to victory.


How to deal with failure

  1. Access, master and adapt

The most important thing about failure, is to learn from your mistakes and ensure they don’t reoccur. Ask yourself what you did wrong, and look at what you could have done to prevent it.

For example, if you misread a question in your Christmas exams and did not receive the grade you wanted as a result then you will make sure you will never make this mistake again. But if you didn’t make this mistake then you could easily have made it in the actual Junior or Leaving Cert itself as you wouldn’t have been as focused on reading all questions thoroughly before answering them because it would not have been highlighted as a potential problem in your head. Every time we fail we are left one step closer to our goals, eventually after many tests and many failures there will be little or no mistakes left to be made.

  1. Overcome

Overthinking can destroy people and obsessing over your failures slows you down and stops you from moving forward. There is no benefit received from dwelling on your failures. Learn from your mistakes and put them behind you. What is done is done and there is nothing you can do about it. Instead of letting the fact that you have failed hold you back and eat away at you use it as a medium to excel and improve in the future. The past is out of your control but you do have the jurisdiction to control your future, and how you handle things that have happened in the past will curb and shape the outcome.

Take for example getting a B in your Christmas maths exam when you would have liked an A. I think anybody would agree that instead of dwelling on an unsatisfactory result and beating yourself up about it, time would be much more efficiently spent revising Maths to make sure you get an A in the Junior Cert in June.

  1. Change how you see failure

It is the point of view of many people that if they fail then they are stupid and incapable. And if you believe that you are useless then you probably will be. Try looking at failure from a different perspective, I mean failure in my opinion increases my knowledge and leaves me one step closer to succeeding. You need to believe in yourself and keep a positive mindset to succeed.

Thomas Edison reportedly failed 10,000 times while he was inventing the light bulb. He was quoted as saying, “I have found 10,000 ways something won’t work. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”


  1. Discard what others think

Often people are fearful of failing simply because of what others will think, as they fear being judged. If you stop being swayed about the opinions of others then you may not be held up and demotivated by failure so much. If you let others have too much influence on you, and let them decide what to be considered failure and what not then confidence and self-esteem will be lost unnecessarily, which will negatively affect you in moving on in the future.

If you get B’s in your Christmas Exams and all your friends were expecting you to get A’s, don’t get to bogged down over this. You know better than anybody else what you are capable of. If you are happy with your results then keep up the good work, if you feel like you could have done better then put them results behind you and use them to motivate you and help you thrive between now and June. There is no value gained from the letting the opinion of others bring you down.


Hopefully with these tips, all you Junior and Leaving Cert students can combat failure and learn to use it as a gift. Failure motivates students to study harder, and what better way is there to use this time studying other than on ExamLearn. We provide topic-by-topic Notes, A-standard Exam Answers and Study Advice across 11 subjects! Sign up for your free trial today at

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