Failure is a scary word. It’s a word we’ve been taught to avoid since we were young. We place so much emphasis on succeeding our entire lives that when our grades take a turn, our self-worth goes down with it. We get it. No one wants to be told that they’ve just missed the target. However, it is important to remember that our grades do not directly reflect on what we can offer at school, university or the workplace.

So how do we stand back up again when we experience a little trip? Here are Newish’s top five tips to bounce back from bad grades.

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1. Talk About It

Sometimes we just need to rant to someone about how we feel. When we fail, the idea of not being good enough can consume our thoughts. Talking to a trusted person helps verbalise your internal feelings and frustrations, which help make you feel better about the situation. Awareness of our emotions can help us think more clearly and prevent us from developing bad mental health. Whether you want to talk, swear or even sing! Getting those frustrated feelings out helps acknowledge the situation.

2. Do Something You Love

Enjoying the things we love helps take our minds off thoughts that put us in a worried state. Whether that’s playing your favourite sport, seeing your family or buying your favourite bubble tea drink, treating yourself means that you give yourself a self ‘pat on the back’ for trying. Do you remember when you would fall over as a kid, and your mum would buy you ice cream to make you feel better? This is the same concept! Give your mind the time to rest, reset and rejuvenate to give yourself the chance to foster some resilience. When you appreciate the things you love, you get a stronger motivation to confront difficult tasks that come your way!  

3. Self-affirmation: Do Not Shut Down

It’s challenging to get out of an endless loop of beating yourself up. When we focus too much on succeeding, we never know what it feels to be anything else. If the Wright Brothers stopped at one prototype, planes would never have existed today. Although you didn’t succeed this time around, it’s important to remember the small battles you conquered along the way. Giving yourself the chance to work in the right headspace free from self-deprecation allows you to pick up the pen again and learn from your mistakes.

4. Re-evaluate

My high-school PE teacher always told me that “failure takes no preparation”. Although sometimes we think the bar was set too high for an assignment, it might take us a little sooner to realise we studied last minute and didn’t try hard enough. Re-evaluating what went well and didn’t go well can help us sculpt a better study routine. For example, understanding whether you work better during the day or at night or exercising in the morning to start your day can help you understand yourself better to create a structured routine. Once you find a routine that works for you, you can start to source additional help, such as getting tutoring for the courses you need help with to get the best out of your studies!

Identifying habits that didn’t go well is just as important. By evaluating our study habits, we might see that we spend too much time procrastinating on Instagram or going out too much that we forget to stay in and study. Although it is hard to self-regulate, keeping ourselves accountable helps us create strategies to combat our procrastination habits. Soon enough, your daily screen time average might start to decrease!

5. Focus On Your Strengths 

Sometimes we aren’t good at certain things. However, it doesn’t mean we can’t be good at other things. While failing at something we aren’t good at can cement the way we feel towards a certain task, it just means that it takes a little more hard work and time to try and succeed at it. It’s a discouraging feeling, but why do you think there are different jobs and degrees that fit with people’s different strengths? While some people can flourish in many different aspects of their life, it is important to focus on YOUR strengths and how you can develop them. It might take a little longer to understand something some people already know, but make sure to do it at your own pace!

While the quote goes, “sometimes you win some, and you lose some”, there is a difference between failing and trying, and failing by not trying. At the end of the day, we can only give it our best shot.