Failure: Setback Or A Step To The Next Level?

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A time that I experienced failure was when I failed my first science test in the fourth grade. I walked into my class on a rainy Wednesday thinking that that day would be stress-free like any other day. I sat down in my seat and started to talk to my best friend Sydney when the bell rang and I heard the worst thing any teacher could say. “Okay class, put your notes away we will be having a quiz.” With those words my heart dropped, of course, I didn’t know we were having a quiz I hadn’t been paying any attention all week. Somehow none of the words from the lesson managed to stick in my brain like usual. I prayed to God to bless me with the answers as I faced forward and took a pencil out of my desk. After ten minutes of staring at the quiz on my desk, I decided to fill in what seemed like common sense answers then guessed for the rest of the questions. The alarm on my teacher’s phone rang very loudly and it seemed to echo in my ears as she came around to collect the quizzes. I high fived my best friend as we continued to plan our sleepover for that coming weekend. In the back of my mind, all I could think was “my parents are going to kill me.” I went along with the rest of my day dreading the ride home from school. Once I got in the car my mom asked how my day went, I proceeded to tell her great like every other school day. The next day my teacher handed out the graded tests. My grade was on the lower side of the double-digit numbers with a red SIGN & RETURN note on it, my palms started to sweat and my heart began to race. I immediately folded my test and half and slid it into my folder. I thought to myself “how am I supposed to show my mom this?” I thought all lunch period about how I’m going to get it signed without making my mom mad. That’s when it hit me... I would have my friend Alicia sign my test for me. During recess, I pulled out a picture of my mom’s signature from a permission slip she’d signed prior. I had her practice signatures in my notebook until they looked almost the same. She signed my test and I felt relieved, all I had to do was hide it from my mom until Friday then turn it in. Friday came and all I could think was that I really hoped my teacher wouldn’t be able to tell that that wasn’t my mother’s signature. I’d NEVER experienced anything as bad as that moment ever in my life, and I never wanted to experience that again. I felt like my life would be over if my mom had ever found out. From that day on I took notes and actually paid attention in class. I even went to tutoring for a little bit after school.

I went to tutoring every day after school, for 40 minutes to an hour. During those times that I went to tutoring, I learned little ways to take better and more detailed notes, I also learned how to take short, simple keywords and associate them with things within the lesson. This really impacted me because I now know how to take better notes, I color code certain words and phrases just so I know what I should be looking for during that section. Which allows me to be better prepared for tests and quizzes because I know what to study. Tutoring helped me to develop better studying skills. Tutoring also helped me because I got one on one help, so my tutor adapted to the way that I learned the best and taught me the things I didn’t understand in the way that I could learn. Once I started to go to tutoring my grade in science started to improve, and once my grade started to improve I actually started to like going to school. I became more focused on school and my studies, I didn’t get overwhelmed when I took tests or quizzes anymore and overall I had better studying strategies. I feel as though if I would have never gotten tutoring, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am in today. I learned how to take something as negative as failing a quiz and turned it into something positive, and teaching myself a lesson. Failure to me is part of a process necessary in learning and progressing, it is practically unavoidable everyone goes through it. People who choose to fail and learn from their mistakes create better and more planned out ideas, thoughts, and overall personalities.

Those people that try to avoid failures create a fear of them and live failing the purpose of knowledge. Failing is giving yourself a chance to learn. So most times failure does not get the recognition for the benefits and lessons that come along with it. Without failure, no one would be who they are right now because their lives would be very different and they would have went down a different path. Failure should be seen as a learning experience instead of being seen as a reason to quit. Many successful people used their failure as building blocks to their success. Elbert Hubbard said “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” This quote basically says that if you try a little harder, and you don’t quit, the failure that you have stumbled upon can turn into great success. You cannot have success without going through failure at least once or twice in your lifetime. The knowledge that we get from failing is more long-lasting than the knowledge we get from succeeding because people will remember what steps they took to fail but not the steps it took to succeed because they are celebrating their success. Even the most successful people fail. When people fail at something and decide to try again, they get their confidence back and come back with a vengeance and the knowledge that they got from when they failed.

A lot of times, a person fails because they haven’t been preparing for success. This connects to all areas of life that people want to improve on whether it be relationships, jobs/ career-related things, and personal achievements. Most people want to a better life, they have goals and things they want to do in life. A lot of time and effort go into preparing for something important, whether it’s taking a trip and planning out how you’ll spend your time there or planning an outfit for school. It seems like a lot of people pursue success halfway, with a little amount of effort and preparation, and they wonder why they fail.

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Preparation is the biggest key when it comes to avoiding failure, or it at least minimizes a person’s chances of failing. But it’s not always 100% certain, there is always going to be a possibility of failure. Failure leads to more knowledge and a better understanding of trial and error, which makes us have a better life. In order to be successful, we have to think of being successful, almost like speaking it into existence. It is inevitable to make mistakes, but after doing something wrong once, twice or three times, it is almost impossible to keep making the same mistake multiple times. A person would try their best to improve things and feel happy to notice that those little improvements really work.

Being successful in everything means that a person can’t know what failure represents. A person who always sees the best part of things never feels defeated by the difficulties in life. When they actually do end up failing they will not know how to come back from it because they’ve never experienced it before.

Early and consistent success majority of the time leads to overconfidence and a false view of a person’s capabilities and realities. Failure helps people understand that their chances to always be successful are slim, and can bring out the best in a person, which makes them humble...they won’t always expect to have success with everything in life. Things that people can do to increase the chances of success

In conclusion, failure should not be looked at as a setback but rather as a step up to get to the next level. Each person should look at failure as an opening to a new and better opportunity.

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Failure: Setback Or A Step To The Next Level? (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Failure: Setback Or A Step To The Next Level?” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Failure: Setback Or A Step To The Next Level? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
Failure: Setback Or A Step To The Next Level? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from:

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