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How to Cope with Failure in Academics?


someone with fail grade on their paper, coping with failure in academics

Failure is unpleasant regardless of when we experience it, whether it is during a game with a friend or when it is in a formal competition. Challenges are quite common in academic settings. Failure in academics is another form of failure that we often are unaware of how to cope with. Despite failures being a part of life, we often get flustered and overwhelmed when forced to face failure. Not only is failure uncomfortable, the anticipation and the fear we experience that is associated with fear is also uncomfortable. This often causes people to avoid situations that could potentially lead to the perceptions and experience of failure. Unfortunately, failure is inevitable and people are quite often not equipped to efficiently deal with failure.


There are different ways in which one can learn to deal efficiently with the failure they face in the academic setting. These strategies and methods have been listed below.

  • Adaptive help-seeking: Though it might be hard for some people to actively ask for help from psychologist in Dubai and therapist in Dubai or going to therapy in Dubai, it is important to know that asking for help is an adaptive and effective way of gaining social support and there is nothing wrong with seeking help when required. Students can monitor their own academic performance and if they feel that they cannot overcome a challenge on their own, ask for assistance from others. Help seeking can also be in the form of requesting social support in the form of a listening ear as well.

  • Focus on the emotions: instead of focusing on the problem at hand, it would be beneficial to consider how failure makes one feel. That would help in understanding the experience of failure better and is more effective than getting frustrated by the failure or denying it. It is important to feel the emotions that come along with the experience of failure. Holding in the failure only makes the experience more overwhelming and uncomfortable. If it is getting too overwhelming lately, get in tough with one of our best Psychologists in Dubai to help you through.

  • Separate the experience from oneself: It is important to understand that an experience of failure does not make one a failure. Separate the incident or event of failure rather than generalising the failure to come up with the narrative ‘I am a failure’.

  • Admit the failure: It is important to admit that you have failed at something instead of denying the reality. The admission of the experience of failure can help in the ultimate acceptance of it and reduce the discomfort and stress that comes with it, and also paves the way to start overcoming the experience and making sure to avoid future failure.

  • Practice self-compassion: Rather than criticising yourself for failing, try to understand that failure is a part of life and is a stepping stone for advancement. Give yourself the time and space required to overcome the failure. Remember, everyone makes mistakes from time to time.

  • Revisit your goals: Sometimes, we tend to keep failing at something. This might provide an indication that a revision of the plans and goals, maybe even a simple task of breaking the goal into simpler tasks or revisiting the process of how to attain the goals can help.

  • Develop SMART goals: SMART is an acronym that helps in making sure one’s goal is realistic and attainable. If this process needs more guidance contact one of our top Psychologist in Dubai and top therapist in Dubai to help you out.

    • Specific: the goal you have should be specific. “I will do well in the next biology test”.

    • Measurable: the end result you obtain or the improvement made should be measurable or quantifiable.

    • Achievable: the goal you have in mind should be achievable. Do not make goals that are too much for you.

    • Relevant: Make sure to make goals that are relevant to you. “I have a test the day after tomorrow, so I’ll score good marks on it”.

    • Time-bound: The goal you make should have a time aspect to it. Do not make goals simply like “I’ll study better”. Instead “I’ll study biology chapter 2 within 2 days”. This gives a bit more of a push and motivates us to work toward the goal, as well as reduces the chances of procrastination.

  • Adopt a growth mindset: Rather than focusing on the failure alone and criticising oneself over it, understanding the experience of the failure and learning from it would be beneficial. Explore what you did wrong and how you can make improvements and not repeat the same mistake again.

Remember, failure is a part of life. All beings go through the experience of failure at least once in their lives. Simply because we live in a world where everyone is constantly competing with each other does not mean only winning is meaningful. Failure provides us with the opportunity to look back and correct our ways and strengthen our resolve by vying to be better. As much as it is important to experience winning, it is important to experience failure and be okay with it, even if it takes time. Moreover, even the greatest minds went through various experiences of failure before succeeding.


Kaizen Wellbeing is an online therapy platform in Dubai, UAE that caters to South Asian community. There is a dearth of good therapy establishments that accommodate the mental health needs of the brown community. We aim to bridge that gap by providing you quality and affordable care by qualified and warm therapists. Reach out at hello@kaizenwb.com or +971 50 961 8796 and book your first session towards understanding yourself and other’s better.

If you have any queries please put them down in the comments section and we will try our best to answer them and help you out.

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