How to Turn a Failure into a Success

Failure is an inevitable part of life.
Whether it be a test, a relationship, or an interview, failure is an unpleasant experience and not something most people look forward to.  However, failure is not the end of the world.  While failure’s connotation is inherently negative, experiencing failure can actually be a positive point of growth.  In fact, failure can be the key to success.

Acknowledge you failed. 
Don’t ignore it, but also don’t dwell on it.  Time machines have not been invented yet, so there is no way to go back and change it.  Continually stressing over a single failure is not going to help you.  You are not perfect, you're human and are allowed to make mistakes.  This failure does not decide your worth as a person.

Figure out where you went wrong.
While you shouldn’t beat yourself up over the failure, don’t forget about it entirely. Go over the events leading up to your failure.  Did you prepare properly?  Is there something you could have done better?  If you’re having a hard time identifying the problem, ask for help.  There are plenty of resources on campus for you to get support from others such as your friends, Academic Support, the Peer Coaches (me!), the counseling center, or a trusted member of the faculty.  Talking to someone about your failure might seem embarrassing or scary but it can benefit you greatly in the long run.

Learn from it.
After figuring out what caused the failure, learn how to prevent it from happening again.  Make a game plan and execute it.  If it was a failed test or assignment, try out new study techniques. If it was an interview, try a different tactic next time.  Present yourself differently, practice with peers.  Keep trying.  Failure is only a roadblock, but there is always a way to move forward.  You might just have to take a slight detour.

You might continue to fail, that's okay!
Sometimes it’s a trial and error process.  Don’t get discouraged, just continue to try your best.  The road to success isn’t a smooth one and it isn't meant to be! The most satisfying things in life are those that you had to work hard to get!


Other helpful resources on failure:

Rachel Fox
Peer Coach
Class of 2019