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This post is going to change the way you view success and failure. And trust me, the mindset I’m going to encourage you to adopt in the next 2 minutes has completely changed the way I think about my studies and life more broadly. And it’s stopped me fearing failure.
I received a message from someone in the EGB Community yesterday saying:
Hi, I’ve got a problem. I’m going to be taking an entrance exam for medical school in a couple of weeks, but I’ve got this negative mindset and just don’t think I’m going to succeed. HELP!!
I reckon we can all relate to that feeling: “I’m just not good enough so I’ve got no chance!”
And that got me thinking, because over the last 3 or 4 years, I’ve actually got way better at not really thinking about my chances of success or failure in comparison with other people. So, what have I changed in my mindset to help me stop fearing failure?
Here it is:
“KNOW THAT ALL YOU CAN DO IS YOUR BEST. NOT ONLY THAT, FEEL TOTALLY FREE THAT SUCCESS IS NOT HOW WELL YOU DO IN THE END, BUT HOW HARD AND PRODUCTIVELY YOU WORKED BEFORE THAT.”
This might sound really weird coming from the guy who founded Exam Grade Booster – surely results are important!? Yes, they are. But when studying throughout the year, or in the run-up to a big test, the key is to focus on each day as it comes rather than thinking about whether you will succeed or fail at the end of it all.
Yes you should plan your time. Yes you should keep in view the overall picture of whether you are progressing or not. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, you MUST see each day as it’s own challenge and focus on daily success (accomplishing daily tasks) rather than thinking about whether you are likely to succeed or fail in the long-run.
And the amazing thing about all this is that…
By focusing on succeeding each and every day, you’ll feel happier in yourself, you’ll feel like you are more productive and, ultimately, you’ll have the best possible chance of achieving highly at the end of it all.
But, even if you don’t achieve as highly as you’d hoped: this is not failure. You have to try your hardest again and know that in doing so, you are succeeding, no matter what the outcome.
Because ultimately, not doing quite as well as you hoped is not the end. It is just the world’s way of helping you do better next time :p
Here is a quote that sums up all of this rather well!
If you found this post helpful, please do share it with your friends 🙂
Liam Porritt studies French and Spanish at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. In his most recent exams, he obtained a First and ranked third in his year. In his GCSEs, he achieved 12 A*s and in his A-levels 4 A*s. However, he is not a genius. He is just like you.
He is a firm believer in the power of building positive habits. While he accepts that some people may have a limited natural advantage over others when it comes to learning, he has no doubts that anyone can become ‘clever’ and succeed in their exams.