Coping with Mistakes and Failures

coping with failure

Making mistakes and experiencing failure is a natural part of our academic journey. No matter how hard we try, there will always be times when things don’t go according to plan. However, it’s important to remember that mistakes and failures do not define us. Instead, they provide us with an opportunity to learn and grow.

Here are some strategies for coping with mistakes and failures in our education journey:

1.  Mistakes are Inevitable

It’s important to acknowledge that making mistakes and facing failures is inevitable. This is a valuable lesson that some teachers have shared with us. However, there are instances where teachers have given discouraging and harmful feedback to their students. For example, Thomas Edison was once told by his teachers that he was “too stupid to learn anything.

Despite this setback, Edison went on to hold over 1,000 patents, including the phonograph and the electric lamp. His inventions have changed the lives of billions of people, and he is recognised as one of the most successful inventors in history.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

— Thomas Edison

This quote by Edison is a reminder that even the most accomplished people have faced countless mistakes. From these trials, they emerged stronger and more successful than before.

Allow Yourself To Feel Bad

It is normal to feel embarrassed, ashamed, disappointed or worried. Accept what happened and allow yourself to take in those emotions – but not too long. Move forward by taking a few deep breaths and telling yourself, “It is not the end of the world.”

Failing a test or an examination should not be viewed as a failure of oneself. The scores we obtain on these assessments are not a measure of your self-worth but rather an indication of your learning progress. Learn how to review and evaluate one’s progress effectively.

2.  Learn from Your Mistakes

It is essential to keep moving forward and make more vigorous strides after making mistakes or experiencing failures.

Rather than dwelling on your mistakes, use them as an opportunity to reflect and improve. Take an objective and calm look at what happened and your actions. Ask yourself questions such as:

      • What went wrong?
      • What were the consequences of those actions?
      • How can those consequences be avoided in the future?
Avoid Repeating the Same Mistake

If you find yourself making the same mistakes repeatedly, take the time to reflect on why this is happening. Consciously make an effort to prevent repeating the mistake.

If you need clarification about what went wrong or where the mistake was made, seek the input of others who were involved. Doing so can help you better understand the situation and avoid repeating the same mistake.

3.  Embrace Failure; Focus on the Positive.

Failure is a natural part of the learning process. Embrace it and use it to your advantage. Failure provides us with an opportunity to try again and to approach things from a different perspective. Doing so can give you a deeper understanding of the subject matter.


You’ve got to be willing to act. You’ve got to be willing to fail. You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn… if you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.

— Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is an impressive entrepreneur because of his boundless innovations and emphatic comeback from an almost irrecoverable failure. Jobs found success in his 20s when Apple became a massive empire, but when he was 30, Apple’s board of directors decided to fire him.

Undaunted by the failure, Jobs founded a new company, NeXT, which was eventually acquired by Apple. Once back at Apple, Jobs proved his capacity for greatness by reinventing the company’s image and taking the Apple brand to new heights.

In conclusion, coping with mistakes and failures is all about perspective. Instead of blaming your failures on others or giving up after a few setbacks, view them as opportunities for growth and learning.

By accepting that mistakes are unavoidable, learning from them, embracing failure, and focusing on the positive, you will be able to cope with mistakes and failures healthily and productively.

Remember, making mistakes is a part of the learning process, and it’s through these mistakes that we become better students and better people.

The Elucidation Learning advantage

Our programs at Elucidation Learning are built around this principle — students are sorted by ability into small classes. This builds an environment that best suits their individual needs. Our teachers focus on drawing out the best in every child by investing time  to teach students the values of resilience and perseverance in the face of mistakes and failures even as they work on your child’s academic learning.

For a free assessment of your child’s work, make an appointment with Elucidation Learning. You can drop in at one of our centre locations and speak to us. Alternatively, call us at +65.6464-0323 or Whatsapp us at +65.9738-8529.

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