Saturday 17 April 2021
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I failed: What Now!

By Chelisa Munyama


Even though failing at something is completely normal, it is probably the most devastating thing that can happen to anyone; whether you’re young, old, experienced in the field – the fact is you’ve failed in or failed at the first attempt. Failing grade 12 is the exact same ball game.

Failing grade 12 can make you feel worthless, stressed, overwhelmed and in some cases can lead to suicidal thoughts.

The truth is you don’t really want to die, you just actually want the good-for-nothing feeling and ‘embarrassment’ to go away. Jack, a 2017 matriculate who has previously failed both grades 10 and 12 in the past described it as “a bad situation to be in especially if you don’t have the right support.”

He says it felt like all the 12 years of school had gone to waste.  While this is nothing out of the ordinary, another matriculant *Ray has failed so many times his younger siblings started university before him. Despite his setbacks, this young man still had a rather optimistic outlook on life and he claims to have used it as a motivational tool and stepping stone to pursuing his dreams.
Here’s how to deal with the glitch called failure:

1.    Try Again- In the words of Aaliyah “If at first you don’t succeed, you can dust it off and try again.” Analyze your failure, and leave behind your feelings of guilt, shame or anger. Ask why you failed and what you can do to make the experience better the second time around. Thomas Edison who invented one of the greatest inventions of all the time-the light bulb-tried 10 000 times to make it work before getting it right. Use failure as a learning opportunity, so go back to the drawing board and give it another shot.

2.    Do not feel the need to be approved by others -The world that we live in pressurizes us to constantly seek validation from others from what we do with our hair and how we dress. Failing can take away from the feeling of acceptance or approval which in turn scars our self-esteem. In a way we are individuals in the long-term. Do not take into consideration the opinions of pessimists or criticism that is not constructive.

3.    Understand that failure molds character-Imagine if there nothing ever happened in the world. No wars, crimes, rape or anything of the sort !  Maybe, if there really was no bad in the world then we would not appreciate the good. Just like if failure did not exist we would not be proud of our accomplishments, let alone work hard at achieving them. Failing teaches us to grow, mature and learn problem-solving skills.

4.    Understand that failing is totally okay-This is the best [and first] way to overcome failure – remembering that there is nothing wrong with failing, but there is something wrong with giving up. It is certainly not the end of the road as long as you keep striving to reach your dreams and aspirations.

Oprah Winfrey was turned down for her first television show, today she is an award-winning media executive and actress (just to name a couple). Failure is a part of our lives and it is definitely a part of our success.

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