How To Help Students Overcome Their Fear Of Failure?
“Fear is that wall that divides success and failure”
Ever backed out of something due to fear or done something unimaginable because of fear? We all have been in situations like those. It is like sitting on that wall of fear and it all comes down to your level of handling the situation that will depend on which side you fall. Either you will fall down like humpty dumpty and break into pieces or land on the soft grounds of victory. Though fear can force us to make both constructive and destructive decisions, most of the time it will hamper us from moving forward in life.
We all have goals in our mind, some place where we want to reach. We are like an adventurer seeking out our goals by navigating our way through dense forests and deserts of social and personal obstacles that come along the way. But if fear lurks in every corner of your path, then your journey is going to take longer than you imagined or even stop you from reaching your destination. Fear is the thing that holds us back from reaching out and grabbing our dreams.
Fear is present everywhere; just one step out of our comfort zone or a change in the scenarios results in fear. The fear of failure is the biggest of all, whether it is your first job interview or your first professional game. In the education sector also, we see students confronted with the fear of failing an examination or an assignment. There are a lot of reasons that are associated indirectly to this fear.
Why do students feel fear of failure?
At the mention of a sudden test by your teacher, you feel your stomach turning vigorously and your palms are all sweaty. These are all similar reactions that I have also gone through during my student years.
Why the mentions of tests bring such a reaction among students?
Is it an involuntary reaction not governed by us or can we ever control it. Fear is not something we cannot remove entirely but we can alleviate this fear of failure at the mention of the word, ‘tests’, ‘exams’, ‘assignments’, ’practical exams’, etc.
The most important reason that students feel a sense of fear of failure is that they think they are not prepared enough to fare well in the examination. You will find students who are anxious and say to themselves, “Have I Prepared enough? Is there any questions that will come that I have not studied?”
Most of the time it is due to the bouts of anxiety that comes when have negative thoughts about what will happen if we fail an exam. “Will I be ostracized by my parents and the society?” “Will I be deemed as a failure?”
Though the students themselves have to bear most of the responsibilities of getting over their fear of failure, some part of it also goes to the parents and teachers to help them in this process. Here a list of things that will help in alleviating the fear of failure in students.
Preparation is the key!
Most often this is both the reason and a solution for the fear of failure among students. Let students know that if they are well-prepared for the exam, half of their fear is vanished. Ask them about the subjects that they are weak at and help them in preparing for those subjects. Seek new and effective methods so they can prepare well in those subjects or even go for private tuition. When they feel their preparation is going well, they will fell less fear during examination period.
Screws are tightened and nails are hammered
What I mean by the above words is that different students have different abilities and the same scale should not be used to measure the students. I came across a beautiful picture that day in Facebook showing about the situation of our current education scenario, where different animals are tasked with same test of climbing a tree. Albert Einstein in his words put it perfectly, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Teachers should know well about their students and not force them to gauge their abilities by a common test.
Parents should not be pushy and learn the power of acceptance
Fear of failure that students feel is in part responsible due to pushy parents. Parents should not try to be perfectionist when it comes to their children’s education. Learn about their strengths and talents to get a better picture about their abilities and not be blinded by the performance of other children. Let them experience the responsibility of their life and take steps that they think will be good for them; but be a constant guide.
Remember failures are not the end of their career. Learn to accept failures and also make them believe that they can always succeed if they take it as a challenge the next time they appear for an exam. Career opportunities will come throughout their life.
Students can, with the help of their parents and teachers, learn how to cope up with the fear of failure and come out successful in the end. One just needs to have a lot of self-belief and prepare for the worst.
Hasib is a professional writer working with the job portal –naukri.com. He loves to travel and explore new restaurants. With an avid interest in the field of digital marketing, he often writes articles on latest trends and career developments in the field. Follow him @ twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
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