How to Bounce Back from Repeated Failure or Flunking Your Exams

Posted by:

This is another one of those “Wow!” Moments and stories.  For anyone you know who has ever been through the failure and resits thing, or convinced themselves that exams just weren’t their thing. or that it always had to be a struggle, you have got to read this amazing true story . . . . .

On Wednesday night posted the following update on Facebook:

“Someone who works a very busy job and is studying at the same time did some exams this summer.

They are one of my PhotoReading™ graduates, and part of my PhotoReading™ MasterMind Group, and they just got their exam results this month.

As they were sharing their success, 80% and 75%, they pointed over to me and said they feel that part of that success was down to what we’ve done with the PhotoReading.

How cool is that? Awesome!!!”

Marilyn ♥

The next day the person involved, Ravinder wrote this in response:

“Thanks I believe you’re talking about me.  Lol It was definitely the photoreading technique. I repeated college and repeated a year at uni 13 yrs ago. Also had to repeat my professional exams too so exams have never been easy for me.

The Funny thing with these recent results is if i had spent a couple of days extra….the results would have been better. Photoreading just takes away the stress. Plus forgot to book time off work 2 days before the exam which did stress me but once in the exam getting into flow, photo reading allowed me to reach those deepest areas in my memory. Wasn’t easy but it was successful.”

This is how one of my friends Mandy Collins, VA extraordinaire put it!

Boom!  I think this just about sums it up!  ;-)

Boom! I think this just about sums it up! 😉

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.  And just like Ravinder, I too had to repeat a WHOLE YEAR at University, and I had to repeat my professional exams several times over.  However once I stumbled across PhotoReading, everything started to change, including my memory being so bad that I had a medical certificate from my Doctor that gave me extra time in my professional Accountancy exams.  (See my previous Blog post where I talk all about that).

Stories like this where people have gone out and done something magical and amazing with their new found skills, real life stories as opposed to marketing hype, always make me smile.

We are only halfway through the PhotoReading™ MasterMind Group sessions so lord only knows what will unfold next! 

Thank you Ravinder for sharing.  I am sure that a few people will read this and be reminded that it really is possible to turn things around in a short space of time, and that is it possible to go from perceived failure to flying colours.  Congratulations again!

(We interrupt your regular programming for the first of the EASTER EGG HUNT prizes if you would like to win a place on my Huna Weekend Workshop in May.  This is egg number 4 of 5.  For more information about the Huna Workshop click here)

Easter Egg Hunt - Egg number 4 of 5

Easter Egg Hunt – Egg number 4 of 5

How to recover from failure

Remind yourself that everyone, no matter how seemingly successful has experienced failure at some point in their life.  The thing about exam failure is that it is so very public.  Your family and friends know.  Your work colleagues know.  Your fellow classmates know.  Even the media knows because results day gets plastered all over the press and internet just in case someone forgot to ask you about results day.

As you can see from this Blog post, it is however more than possible to recover from failure, even when it has been a lifetime pattern.  One of the key things is not to let it define you and become who you are; The ‘I am a failure’ mentality and perception vs. I failed.  I failed is simply a statement of fact.  I am a failure becomes a description of who you are which then colours the expectations that you hold for yourself and you tend to live down to those expectations.

Success or Failure?  You decide.

Success or Failure? You decide.

So what can you do in order to overcome the stigma, shame, or embarrassment of failing, again?

Below I have shared 7 tips to help you get started.

  1. Take heart that with some focus and determination and the right skills, information, and techniques, that it is possible to turn things around.  This story from Ravinder definitely shows you that.
  2. Ask yourself if it is really what you want to do.  Now for the younger students out there you might not be jumping for joy at the subject you have been ‘given’ or made to take.  In such cases you need to look beyond this moment and think about the bigger picture of what you want to do with the rest of your life.  Clarity around that, and yes, it may well change as you grow and develop, but for now, it allows you to see that the subjects you are grappling with now are in fact a stepping stones that will help you get there.
  3. Decide.  If you are of an age and level of maturity where you know what really is right in terms of your life path and you realise it’s a ‘no’ in terms of what you really want to do you have a decision to make.  You can either decide that you will soldier on regardless and do a great job anyway, or you can decide to make a change and put your time and energy and focus elsewhere.  I had to make the decision to change when I realised that I was studying to become a Chartered Accountant for all of the wrong reasons.  I know it sounds big, but my Breakthrough Coaching Clients are always amazed at how surprisingly easy it can be when you have the right support in place and have achieved a level of clarity around what comes next.
  4. Plan for success.  If you are going for it again and doing resits and retaking modules or classes then identify your weak spots and have a plan in place to focus on upping your game.  That is what I didn’t do at my first year in University.  I hated statistics and it was the only exam that I failed, but rather than study for it during the summer I put my head in the sand and of course failed it again which meant forfeiting my hard earned place at Coventry University.  After a year off I went back to University, and no prizes for guessing what became one of my best subjects and the one where I was helping other people out.
  5. Recognise that you probably don’t really have a memory problem.  It is most likely a strategy problem.  I say that because in the 12 years that I have been running PhotoReading Workshops I have only come across one other person who like me had a memory so bad that it was classed and recognised as a medical problem and condition.  To test this out look at areas of your life and activities that you really enjoy and see how much detail you can remember.  For instance, people can often tell you chapter and verse about the latest blockbuster movie they have just seen but can offer nowhere near as much detail about what they are reading or studying.  That always tells me that their issues are about state and strategy as opposed to pure memory.  In that case, like Ravinder, all you need to do is get better learning strategies and techniques for performing with more flow in exams.
  6. Do it for yourself and not for other people.  Given that exams can be such public things I often have to remind my PhotoReading and Accelerated Learning Coaching Clients that they should first and foremost take the exams and tests for themselves.  Too much worrying about what other people might think or say, or trying to do it to prove your worth is a highway to massive amounts of unnecessary and unhelpful stress.  If you thrive under such pressure, great, keep doing it, but if you are someone that crumbles under the weight of such responsibility, a shift in mindset and focus might be required.
  7. Remember that it can actually be fun once you get into the flow of it.  I have a Maths Teacher who took my PhotoReading Class.  When asked how he likes to relax his reply was that alongside his Chi and Martial Arts Practices, PhotoReading is one of the most relaxing things that he does.  So just imagine being able to go into exams with that level of relaxed alertness?  It’s an awesome place to be.

So pick yourself up, saddle up, and enjoy the ride!

Marilyn Devonish



Marilyn Devonish is a Business Graduate, Corporate Trainer, Management Consultant, and Prince2 Project Manager.  She is also a Certified PhotoReading Instructor, Certified Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, and Time Line Therapy, Certified Life and Executive Coach,  and Certified Soul Plan Reader.  She is also a Practitioner of Hawaiian Huna, EFT, EmoTrance, DNA Theta Healing, Access Consciousness, Access Bars, Energetic NLP, Positive EFT, Past Life Regression, Future Life Progression, and Archetypal Profiling.

She is also a Freelance Magazine Writer, Keynote Speaker, and Workshop Facilitator.

Her public PhotoReading Workshops run 2-3 times per year and you can also purchase the online PhotoReading Intro or CD Homestudy version.




PhotoReading Workshops:

Instant Access PhotoReading Online Intro & Coaching:

PhotoReading Homestudy Course: click here





About the Author:

Marilyn Devonish has been described as the UK equivalent of Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, Anthony Robbins, a dash of Doreen Virtue, and the trio from Charmed all rolled into one. I (Marilyn Devonish) have admit that was too big of a statement for me to own, but I equally admit that I do like the sound of it and it did make me smile. Marilyn Devonish - Herself since Year 2000.

Get the Supercharge Your Brain Free eBook

Use this link to get your Free copy of the Supercharge Your Brain eBook by Marilyn Devonish.  Whether you are looking to overcome dyslexia, dyspraxia and the perils of being a slow reader, or simply looking to supercharge your already good performance, this eBook will help. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!