Anxiety, sweaty palms and tightened stomachs are common in classrooms all around the world. Ask any student if they have struggled with the fear of failure and they might name numerous occurrences. Some may fear missing out on important classes that may affect their test scores or some may fear the exam days, feeling they are not prepared. All of this is very common. Do you find the idea of failure crippling? A fear of failure can always create obstacles to achieving your goals. But here are a few ways to overcome your fear of academic failure.
1. Change your perspective on failure
The society in which we move has always told us that failure is a bad thing. However, the truth is that we often learn more from our mistakes and failures than our successes. It can be an invaluable experience. So, don’t let the people tell you that failure is a bad thing, rather learn from your mistakes and move on and do well.
2. Recognize how you feel
Recognize and acknowledge how you feel. It is very common, and it is OKAY to feel like this. Recognizing that the fear of failure is stopping you from doing great things is the way to go and an awesome way to take a fresh start.
3. Just do it
When you don’t feel like revising for your exam or doing your homework, the main reason might be how a person wants everything to be perfect. Don’t let this thought come into your mind. Get started as soon as you can, it is totally okay if it doesn’t turn out to be perfect, remember how practice makes a man perfect.
4. Practice self-compassion
Always remember how you are trying your best and this is enough. Failure is a part of our lives; sure, it is not pleasant but it doesn’t make you any less valuable or loveable as a person. Try to acknowledge the feeling of fear rather than ignoring it and distracting yourself.
5. The road to acceptance
You should begin to fully accept yourself. Your strengths, weaknesses, talents and shortcomings. Declare to yourself daily that academics are an important part of your life, but your identity isn’t based on how many accomplishments you rack up. Instead, your identity is found in who you are as a person, what kind of a person you are becoming and in the decisions you make. Accepting and being mindful of this feeling will surely help in making this situation manageable.
6. Speak to someone
If you are feeling academically crippled by this fear of failure, then it is always a good idea to talk to your friends, family or tutors. There is no harm in seeking help from others. Surround yourself with encouraging people. Don’t hesitate to ask your family and friends to support you. It is likely that some of your student friends might also be experiencing the same feelings and it can help to off-load to each other.
It is important to note that overcoming the fear of academic failure doesn’t mean forcing yourself to lose interest. It means viewing these struggles as opportunities and understanding but not obsessing over the negative thoughts and consequences which are associated with underachieving. With the right mindset, you can surely overcome your fear of academic failure.