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The importance of viewing our failures as learning opportunities

Throughout our lives, we all experience success and failure. Sometimes in equal measures, and sometimes one can outweigh the other. It’s important to remember that most successes derive from our past experiences, failures even.

So why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed the first time? Well, because as human beings we seek rewards and people don’t often reward failure. They do, however, reward resilience and that is our point. Take your failure, learn from it and come back even stronger! This can be applied to exams, work and personal life.

The importance of viewing our failures as learning opportunities

Marilyn Monroe once said:

“Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?” - Marilyn Monroe

She experienced many personal failures and obstacles throughout her life and career. She was dropped by 20th Century Fox, and was told she was unattractive and her acting was bad. She went on to sign with Columbia Pictures and starred in many movies becoming a very popular actress.

Here are some of the celebrities that despite experiencing failure, have achieved great success:

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University and also was the co-owner of a failed business called Traf-O-Data. His passion for computer programming allowed him to build the world’s largest software company, Microsoft, and become one of the world’s youngest self-made billionaires.

Albert Einstein is a genius, right? You wouldn’t think that he actually didn’t speak fluently until he was nine, would you? Or that he was expelled for being rebellious and then refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. Despite the challenges Albert Einstein faced, he went on to revolutionise the understanding of the world by developing the theory of General Relativity. He even won the Nobel Prize!

Once the only black female billionaire and named the best-paid female in entertainment, according to CNN, Oprah Winfrey’s first boss told her she was too emotional and not right for television. Her show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ went on to become one of the highest ranking shows in American history.

Decca Records rejected The Beatles for a recording contract in 1962, they were told 'we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.' They went on to be the best-selling music group of all time, and their music is still listened to globally to this day.

And, finally Steve Jobs dropped out of Oregon's Reed College and also quit one of his first jobs to backpack around India. Jobs went on to say his experiences helped him create Apple, one of the largest technology companies in the world.

Failure doesn’t mean you have to accept defeat, if you have failed an exam you can resit at a further education provider or follow another route into your dream industry. Read our blog ‘Understanding your career options post-exam results’ to find out about the routes you could take.

By Uptree
Published on: Thu 24 Aug 2023

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