In my early days in college, I enjoyed the sudden lack of monitoring, extreme independence and the lack of someone constantly judging me. On the academic front also, if I did badly, only I found about it, i.e. if I did badly in a quiz or mid term exam, only I knew and as long as you have friends around you who are doing similarly, this (not doing well on a mid term exam or quiz) never really seems like a cause for concern. Obviously, to put it mildly, I did not do too well in my early years in college. So much so, that in one of the courses in my second year, I ended up failing!
In general, in school, I had been a good performer. Being perceived as someone who is reasobly smart etc. builds a certain self image- as it did in my case. Now, when I failed a course in college, this self image took a huge beating. It was extremely hard to face facts. My first instinct was to figure out how to hide my failure from my friends, my parents, maybe talk to my professor to change it, etc.
My Friends helped me face the Failure
I had a good bunch of friends- and I say ‘good’ because of two reasons- One was that many of them did not score high marks ( ). Second was, that they were honest about how they were doing (almost proud of it :))- their honesty about their performance (or lack of it) was refreshing for me. In some ways, I think, it was this, that gave me the courage to acknowledge my failure publicly.
My Parents and Professors helped me Identify ways to Imrpove
I went up to my parents and confessed. They were very supportive and said, ‘This happens. It is okay, provided you can knuckle down, work harder and do a much better job next time.’ I had good professors, who helped identify some basic things that I was doing wrong- Not going to classes!!
I started giving importance to academics in college. I started going to classes. People started noticing a change. With some discipline and efforts, I managed to improve my grades in general and pass (and do reasonably well) in the course (in which I failed), next time I took it.
Failing is Okay- It Happens- Learn from it, Improve and Be Proud of Failing
Life is about experiences. Failing is an experience- one that humbles you. In my ‘humble’ opinion, it is an importance experience. If someone can face it honestly, pick up the pieces, be systematic in finding areas of improvement and then creating the change- that is a tremendous job! That in my view, is something to be proud of. At one time, I explored writing this as a point in my CV- but then, I held back, since I thought, it may be aggressive an outlook- one which may be rejected outright!
It is important to realize the power that this gives. Typically, people have set patterns of mindset. Some say, I just can’t do this or that- Can’t get up early in the morning- Can’t kick the ball to midfield- Can’t top the class- Can’t manage sales, etc. In my view, if you want to do it, it is possible in most cases (if not all), to identify (in a logical way) areas of improvement, creating an ecosystem around you to improve, acting on the change and then measuring ‘changed’ performance.
As you improve- you enhance yourself (your trait, your behavior, etc.)- In some ways, you redefine your limits and prove that things which were not possible earlier now are possible. This opens up huge unexplored potential, that you may now believe you have and others have reason to back you.
Given the fluid world today- where skills can become reduntant quite quickly and ability or attitude to unlearn and learn (afresh) are all crucial- Being able to bounce back from failure and demonstrate success is a very powerful trait! One that can come, only if you HAVE failed!
So, Have you Failed?
This post has been copied from http://indiaeduemp.blogspot.in/2012/04/have-you-ever-failed-course-are-you.html