It’s Okay to Fail

© Kenshinstock / Freepik

“The race is not to be won, but to be run.”
— Ruskin Bond

The trees are rustling in the breeze as I enjoy my evening walk at the park. I’m here with my four-year-old daughter who comes running towards me. Her face is flushed and she bursts into tears. She was the last one to complete the race among her friends; one of the boys called her a loser and told her that she was too slow. My daughter did not know how to handle the situation of having failed. I gave her a tight hug and told her that I loved her no matter what. I have a flash of memories running through my head and all the things my mother said to me, come to mind. Growing up, I was never an A+ student and had occasions when I got bad grades. The letter my mom wrote to me on one such occasion when I failed a Maths test and when I thought the world had come to an end, came to mind.

Dear Resham,

So, you got a bad grade (failed) today, and guess what, I’m proud of you!

I’m proud that you took complete responsibility for it without any excuse. I’m proud that you decided to ask your teacher for help.

I’m proud that you are a good, kind person because that is more important to me than your grades will ever be. However, a really bad grade does require a consequence, so here is what I expect you to do:

1. Let it go! It’s nothing to feel guilty about. I know you are really upset, but don’t let one bad grade ruin your day. A year from now, you won’t even remember this. Plus, feeling like a loser has never helped anyone thrive in life.

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Dr Resham Satyani is an educator by profession and a teen life coach by passion. She has over a decade of teaching experience at various high schools in Mumbai. After completing her Ph.D. in management studies she has found her Ikigai as a life coach and career counsellor for teenagers.

Dr Resham Satyani

Dr Resham Satyani is an educator by profession and a teen life coach by passion. She has over a decade of teaching experience at various high schools in Mumbai. After completing her Ph.D. in management studies she has found her Ikigai as a life coach and career counsellor for teenagers.