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Feeling negative due to failure in test. How to become positive?

Asked by Female, 23, Single
Hi... I am a passionate girl, highly devoted to studies...Have always been at top positions by God's grace. Since last two years I am putting all my efforts to qualify a test.. The Eligibility Test... And unfortunately I couldn't succeed. At times I feel too low due to that though I know that's not the only thing that matters. Still it becomes hard to calm my mind. How can I stay at peace? How can I convert the negativity to positive energy? How can I release the burden?
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Madhuri Mohan
Counselling Psychologist

Hi there, it is great that you are passionate about your goals and are working hard toward achieving them. This is commendable as not everybody shows the determination that you have. However, it is a reality of life that we all have to experience failure at some point and we also understand at some level, that this helps us grow. But it is human nature to hate failure and this plays on our mind even if we try to rationalize in our minds. We give it power over our emotions and we let it come in the way of our moving forward. The good news is that there are ways to cope with this and let go of the negative feelings. Some strategies that you can follow are: 1. Do not make your failure personal. Try to keep your failure or set back separate from your identity.  Just because you have failed at something, doesn't mean you are a failure and by personalizing your failure, you are only damaging your self-esteem and confidence. Instead, try and view your failure as a stepping stone to success and view it as an individual entity, separate from who you are. 2. Look at failure objectively and try to learn from the mistakes you made previously. When you remove emotions out of the equation, you will be able to analyze the reasons for you not doing well, what could you have done differently? how could you improve your performance the next time? What factors were out of your control? What factors were in your control? Once you have addressed these questions, step back and look at what you have learned from them and work on applying this new learning in your future pursuits. 3. Stop dwelling in the past. Yes, you attempted to give the entrance exam and you did not do well but by dwelling on this failure you will not be able to focus on the future and the things you can change to improve your performance the next time. You cannot change the past but can shape your future, so try to focus on what you can do and forget about what you cannot do. By working on your strengths, you will feel a lot better and even start to think positively. 4. Do not look to please others. Very often our fear of failure is rooted in how others perceive us. We are afraid that we will lose their respect if we fail and this makes us feel worse about our failures. Just remember, it is your life, and not theirs. what other people think of you may not necessarily be true and if you give others power over you, you are reducing your confidence and passion and undermining the ability to succeed. 5. Try to change your point of view. People often associate negative feelings with failure or when they do not succeed at something. So instead of thinking that 'because you failed you are stupid, weak and incapable of doing anything' start thinking more positively. Think that 'now that you have failed, you are one step closer to success and that yu are smarter because of the knowledge you learned from experience'. When you change the way you think, from having negative thoughts to positive thoughts, you automatically change the way you look at success and failure and this in turn enhances you confidence and overall performance. I hope these startegies help you. If you feel like you want to talk about this some more, please feel free to send me a message. :) All the best for your fututre endeavors and I wish you achieve all the success you want. 

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