Recently, a friend shared that her son had attempted a particular exam multiple times without success. She said that it had affected his confidence and his ability to engage with challenges in general.

It reminded me of Thomas Edison’s quote – I have not failed but found a thousand ways to not make a light bulb. This one really resonates with me because failure is nothing but feedback. It is an indication that we need to look at the situation confronting us with a new perspective. It is a signal that something needs to change, whether it is our approach, our input, or the intensity of our action. Be it an exam, a project, or a relationship, evaluating the reasons, and looking at the process with a fresh set of eyes always helps. 

What would it mean to approach the situation with curiosity? What questions might you ask yourself to evaluate alternatives? Some indicative queries are shared below to trigger the exploration –

– How else could I have handled this? What more could I have done?

– What were my assumptions?

– Is there any other factor at play?

– Is there an alternate perspective?

– What is coming in my way to reach a better outcome?

– What did I learn in my previous attempt?

– Who can I seek help from?

Once you choose curiosity, you will find it easier to tame your fears and stay engaged. An open mind, optimism, energy, and willingness to explore and persevere are the foundations for recovery and success. Be curious, be resilient!