6 Ways to Beat Failure in University

Failure is inevitable, it is something that every single person encounters at some stage of their lives. Over the past few months, I have experienced failure on a whole different level then before. So let me tell you a story.

I study law and it was never something I was completely passionate about however, I was continuously surrounded by people who knew exactly what they wanted to do. It made me feel confused and uncertain and because of that, I never gave my best performance. I always barely scraped by and unfortunately, that nipped me in the butt last year. It was incredibly tough to get back on track but I had no other option.I don’t completely break down when I fail but it does play on my mind a lot.

After researching ways to overcome failure, I have compiled 6 ways on how to beat failure and allow yourself to move forward. So let’s go.

  1. Grieving time

It is okay to take some time to pity yourself and wish things were different. It is NOT okay to take more than a day to do this. By allowing yourself a 24 hour period to feel sad, you are able to really come to terms with your feelings. This way, your emotions do not keep creeping back at random times and ruining your Sunday dinner or movie date.

According to an article in Forbes:

“Don Shula is the winningest coach in the NFL, holding the record for most career wins (including two Super Bowl victories) and the only perfect season in NFL history.

Shula had a “24-hour rule,” a policy of looking forward instead of dwelling on the past. The coach allowed himself, his staff and his players 24 hours to celebrate a victory or brood over a defeat. During those 24 hours, Shula encouraged them to feel their emotions of success or failure as deeply as they could. The next day, it was time to put it behind them and focus their energy on preparing for their next challenge. His philosophy was that if you keep your failures and victories in perspective, you’ll do better in the long run.”

(link to this article can be found at the end of this post)

Tip: Use this time to talk to someone about how you are feeling or treat yourself to something you enjoy, like a hot bath or a lazy night in front of the TV. Everyone uses their grieving time differently but it is important to have one as you allow yourself to accept what has happened and will be able to move on and be more proactive.

2. Reflect

Day 2 is when you should start reflecting and seeing where you potentially went wrong. You have to be 100% honest with yourself, because lying and saying you worked hard when you really did not will not benefit anyone. This is also a time to really think about whether the field of study is for you and possibly start exploring other options. Remember, reflection is the first step to being proactive and making changes.

Tip: make two columns –

  • on one side – write down where you think you went wrong: Did you not try your best? Were you distracted?
  • In the second column, write down all your strengths and hobbies (don’t be shy, you are not being vain).
  • This will allow you to have an overview of both your strengths and weaknesses. From this, you can assess what areas you need to work on and what strengths you have to help you become more successful.

3. Plan of Action (POA)

Now that you have an outline done and dusted, it is time to make a plan on how to get back on track. This will not only allow you to become more proactive, but it will also give you  a piece of mind and allow you to look forward to the year ahead. It will make you feel more secure and motivate you to do even better.

From Maira:

“I, myself have identified that my weakness were that I got distracted a lot and that my application in the exam was not satisfactory. To combat this, I have decided to limit myself to no more than two or three social interactions a week and I have also planned to work on more question papers and see my tutors on a regular basis in order to improve my exam answer technique.”

Your POA does not have to be anything crazy but remember to keep it realistic so that you are able to stick with it. POA = no excuses.

4. Goals

In anything you do, you should always have both short term and long term goals in mind. And especially when you feel like you have been failing – set goals allows you to set out a road map of where you want to go. From this, you are able to make choices and plans that will enable you to

5. Do things that make you happy

Find a hobby or an interest that you enjoy! Literally ANYTHING. I personally never had a set hobby i.e soccer, music etc. – but I loved to write and share my thoughts so I started this blog. Even trying to learn a new skill would allow you to channel your energy into something new.  Do what makes you happy as it will allow you have a break from the stress of life.

Tip: take at one or two hours a day to focus on your hobby or skill.

6. It is your LIFE!

Failure can be so disheartening and sometimes it is because you are scared of what other people will think. But remember, it is YOUR LIFE. Everyone is own their own path and will face their own setbacks and accomplishments. Don’t compare yourself to others  because it will only disappoint you. Rather focus on your goals and your Plan Of Action and you will be successful before you know it. The people who truly care about you will not bring you down but rather help push you forward. Don’t worry about anyone else. You do you boo!!


So these are my ways of how to beat failure and get back on top. Even though I have written this, it does not mean I have mastered them however, they are things I continuously try to put into practice. Remember, it always gets better if you try your best.It is important to go through all these steps on your own so that it motivates you to do better FOR YOURSELF.

I hope this list helps you in any way. I sure feel more motivated!

Love, Maira

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