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Andisile Best

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“Most of us know that failure is a reality of life, and at some level, we understand that it actually helps us grow” says Susan Tardanico, a contributor in Forbes Women. In her article published in 2012, she speaks about accepting failure and reminds us that “we all make mistakes” and further continues “but still, we hate to fail”. “We fear it, we dread it, and when it does happen, we hold onto it”.

Before sharing her outstaning five strategies of accepting failure, let us look at that is this elephant called failure and why do we welcome it in our own lives? Three definitions we should look at:

  • Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success (Wikipedia.org)
  • Lack of success (OxfordDictionaries.com)
  • The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or end (TheFreeDictionary.com)

From the definitions above, it is clear that

The strategies that we can use when we are faced with failure (@SusanTardanico):

  1. Don’t make it personal.  Separate the failure from your identity. Just because you haven’t found a successful way of doing something (yet) doesn’t meanyou are a failure. These are completely separate thoughts, yet many of us blur the lines between them.  Personalising failure can wreak havoc on our self-esteem and confidence.
  2. Take stock, learn and adapt.Look at the failure analytically — indeed, curiously — suspending feelings of anger, frustration, blame or regret. Why did you fail? What might have produced a better outcome? Was the failure completely beyond your control? After gathering the facts, step back and ask yourself, what did I learn from this?  Think about how you will apply this newfound insight going forward.
  3. Stop dwelling on it.Obsessing over your failure will not change the outcome. In fact, it will only intensify the outcome, trapping you in an emotional doom-loop that disables you from moving on. You cannot change the past, but you can shape your future. The faster you take a positive step forward, the quicker you can leave these debilitating, monopolizing thoughts behind.
  4. Release the need for approval of others.Often our fear of failure is rooted in our fear of being judged and losing others’ respect and esteem. We easily get influenced (and spooked) by what people say about us. Remember, this is your life, not theirs. What one person considers to be true about you is not necessary the truth about you, and if you give too much power to others’ opinions, it could douse your passion and confidence, undermining your ability to ultimately succeed.
  5. Try a new point of view. Our upbringing – as people and professionals – has given us an unhealthy attitude toward failure. One of the best things you can do is to shift your perspective and belief system away from the negative (“If I fail, it means I am stupid, weak, incapable, and am destined to fall short”) and embrace more positive associations (“If I fail, I am one step closer to succeeding; I am smarter and more savvy because the knowledge I’ve gained through this experience”).

Susan concludes with very inspiring words “And if you ask those who have distinguished themselves through their achievements, they will tell you that failure was a critical enabler of their success.  It was their motivator.  Their teacher.  A stepping stone along their path to greatness.  The difference between them and the average person is that they didn’t give up”.

 From this moment onwards, you should look at things differently!

Let me talk to a learner, a student, and even an adult that is still busy with their studies. Passing an examination is the ultimate goal towards the end of each year. This does not happen overnight or by just wishing for it. You need to work very hard for it.

In my matric year, more than a decade ago, I used to assist junior students with their studies and not focus on mine entirely. This, reflected in my aggregate mark because I had my time split between my own studies and another person. The worst thing that could have happened would have been to fail my examinations, but it did not happen. It was only after the results were published that I regretted my actions – and I was not going to turn back the clock.

A matric student or a final student in a higher education institution only has about 10 months in that year, to focus on their final examinations. This is not just any year, it will be the year that marks the milestone of completing your qualification. Why not give it your all and make sure that your studies take 100 per cent of your time and attention?

On the other hand, we are created differently and our levels of grasping and understanding things, including studies, varies. There are those that give their all to studies but still do not gain the success they wish for. That moment of failure should not define how your future will be.

If you did not make it after the final examinations, always know that there is yet another opportunity for you to rewrite.  All you have to do is to be true to yourself and correct all the wrongs that you may have done. Look at this failure and let it motivate you to get out of it with flying colours. You need to distinguish yourself from the state of having failed – you are not the failure you have experienced.

Once you change your attitude towards failure – have it motivate you

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BURSARIES

  • Foodbev SETA: Bursary Programme 2015: First year and postgraduate full time • tuition, books learning materials, accommodation and meals at registered university hostels • study bursaries relevant to the food and beverage manufacturing industry, including all engineering fields • Application form available at foodbev.co.za • Applications to: E-mail: andreab@foodbev.co.za or maureen@foodbev.co.za or Post: PO Box 245, Gallo Manor, 2052 or Hand Deliver: 13 Autumn Rd, Rivonia 2128 • Enquiries: Maureen 011 253 7300 • Closing: 28 Feb 2015
  • Shoprite: Bursary Programme 2015: Studies in Hospitality Management, Marketing, Pharmacy, Logistics Management, Information Technology and Accounting • Successful completion of the first six months with an average of 60%+ in a degree • Accounting to be towards CTA and qualifying for a registered articles program • Apply: https://shoprite.bursary.erecruit.co.za/candidateapp/Jobs/Browse.aspx
  • SAAFost: Aubrey Parsons Study Grant 2015: Full time student • grant for study in a Food Science Department • Universities: USB, UP, UniVenda, UFS, CPUT, DUT, TUT, UJ • R20 000 based on performance • B.Sc(Hons) year(s) at Universities or the B-Tech year(s)at Universities of Technology. However, irrespective of number of years • average of at least 70% • must have been a members of SAAFoST for at least 12 months • Return by e-mail or fax to the Membership Development Officer, by 15 February 2015. Send to: The SAAFoST Membership Development Officer, PO Box 35233, Menlo Park, 0102 • Tel: (012) 349 2788 • Fax: 086 698 4784 • E-mail: irene@telkomsa.net • Closing 15 Feb 2015
  • Poliomyelitis Research Foundation Bursary for 2015: for BSc (Hons) pass of 60%, Masters – 60%, PhD • South African citizens or persons with permanent residency permits for South Africa • Apply: http://www.prf.ac.za/ also for research & travel grants • Closing 28 Feb 2014

 SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Steve Huckvale Scholarships for African Students 2015-2016: at University of Bath in UK study Engineering or Managementfor international fee-paying applicants in Africa for undertaking full-time taught masters degrees (MA/MSc/MBA) • More info: http://scholarship-positions.com • Closing 1 Jun 2015
  • Abraaj RCA Innovation Scholarship 2015: for Masters Students to study at Royal College of Art in London, UK apply directly to the College and follow the standard MA Application Process • Open for International Students • Apply: http://www.rca.ac.uk/studying-at-the-rca/fees-funding/financial-help/bursaries-funds-non-eu/abraaj-rca-innovation-scholarship/ • Closing 10 Apr 2015
  • Mwalimu Nyerere African Union Scholarship Scheme for Physical Disabled Students, 2015: young African students with permanent physical disabilities • for Masters study: Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Education Sciences and Sports Sciences • offered by Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union Commission
    Scholarship can be taken at any 
    African Union Member State • More info: http://scholarship-positions.com  • Closing 31 Mar 2015

 FELLOWSHIPS

  • Steve Huckvale Scholarships for African Students 2015-2016: at University of Bath in UK study Engineering or Managementfor international fee-paying applicants in Africa for undertaking full-time taught masters degrees (MA/MSc/MBA) • More info: http://scholarship-positions.com • Closing 1 Jun 2015
  • ESSO Training Fellowships for International Fellows, 2015: Trainingfellowships to support trainees in Surgical Oncology • The Education and Training Committee grants two types of fellowships each year: (1) Up to 10 Standard training fellowships (value 2.000 EUR): from 1 to 3 months, (2) 1 major training fellowship (value 10.000 EUR): from 4 to 12 months • Applicants must be a specialist, trainee or junior doctor with a declared intention of specialising in a sub-specialty of surgical oncology (breast, upper GI, hepatobiliary and pancreatic, colorectal, endocrine, head and neck, thoracic, skin cancer and melanoma, gynaecology, urology, sarcoma) • must be or become ESSO members before the start date of the award • younger than 40 years of age • First time fellows only • More info: http://scholarship-positions.com  Closing 31 Oct 2015

LEARNERSHIPS

  • SABMiller: Maintenance Learnership Programme 2015: Matric with science and mathematics (SG) or N3 or equivalent • code 8 driver’s license • Technical qualification an advantage • Technical – electrical / mechanical experience an advantage • Apply: https://careers.group.sabmiller.com/sap/bc/webdynpro/sap/hrrcf_a_posting_apply?PARAM=cG9zdF9pbnN0X2d1aWQ9NTRCMjdFRUQ5NjUwMTE3MEUxMDA4MDAwMEFGOEM4NEQmY2FuZF90eXBlPUVYVA%3d%3d&sap-client=800&sap-language=EN#
  • Military Skills Development System at the SA Air Force: South African Citizen (No dual citizenship) • Grade 12 or Equivalent with subjects specific to a career selection • Unmarried • Not Area Bound • No Criminal Record • Physically Fit and Medically Fit. ENGINEERING: 18 – 24 Years (Maths and Science Level – 6 (APS – 35 – University Entry) on offer are: Industrial Engineering ♠ Electronic Engineering ♠ Mechanical Engineering ♠ Civil Engineering ♠ Aeronautical Engineering • PILOT TRAINING: 18 – 24 Years (Maths and Physical Science Level 4; University entry) Minimum Height: 1600mm – 1900mm. Weight: 53kg – 104kg • No Hearing Impairment (No hearing aid) • Have 6 / 6-eye vision (No spectacles / contact lenses) • NAVIGATOR: Requirements same as for Pilot • COMMAND AND CONTROL: 18 – 22 Years (Mathematics Level 4 and Geography Essential) • TECHNICAL TRAINING: 18 – 22 Years (Maths and Science Level-3) or Technical N6 Diploma up to 25 years old) • FIRE FIGHTING: 18 – 22 Years (Maths and Science Level-3) or Technical N6 Diploma up to 25 years old) • MATERIAL SUPPORT CLERK (TECHNICAL): 18–22 Years (Maths and Science Level-3) or Technical N6 Diploma up to 25 years old)   Apply: http://luckysters.com/stub/military-skills-development-system-at-the-sa-air-force/ • Closing: 28 Feb 2015

INTERNSHIPS

  • Aurecon: Civil Engineering Graduate / Internship Opportunity: Any engineering discipline, although Civil Engineering would be an advantage or B.Tech (Civil) Some experience in Municipal Services (Water, Sanitation, Roads and Stormwater, Electricity, Buildings, Community Facilities) would be an advantage • Be computer literate & understanding GIS • Apply: http://careers.pageuppeople.com/474/caw/en/job/920982/graduate-engineer • Closing 27 Feb 2015
  • ABB: Supply Chain Management Graduate / Internship Opportunity: Recent graduate (Master of Science or equivalent) with good grades • Less than 1.5 years’ experience (excluding internships) since your master’s (or equivalent degree) • Fluency in English • other languages are a plus • Global Mindset, Mature, balanced personality with good communication skills amongst other skills • Apply: http://new.abb.com/careers/job-advertisement/details/56334316/global-trainee-program-supply-chain-management

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Bursaries

  • The Mentor Trust Bursary for Southern Africa: For disadvantaged students in various fields • Closing date: 30 Jan 2015 • visit: chartsec.co.za • e-mail:
  • MANCOSA Bursary Closing date: 31 Jan 2015 • visit: www.mancosa.co.za • e-mail: bursary@mancosa.co.za
  • SACTWU Bursary Closing date: 27 Feb 2015 (year + 1st semester) or 7 Aug 2015 (2nd semester) • visit: www.sactwu.org.za • contact: 0313011351 or bursaries@sactwu.org.za
  • NYDA – Solomon Mahlangu Fund IT, Law, Tourism, Geology, Logistics, Pharmacy, Journalism, Agriculture, Engineering, Developmental Studies, Supply Chain • Closing date: 23 Jan 2015 • visit: www.nyda.gov.za • e-mail: scholarships@nyda.gov.za
  • Beijing Government Scholarships Study in China • Under 30 years for Bachelor, under 35 for Masters, under 40 for Doctorate, more… • visit: www.ebeijing.gov.cn/study/scholarships
  • MBA Scholarships at University of Edinburgh Study MBA in UK • Closing date: 31 Aug 2015 • visit: www.e-mail: mba@business-school.ed.ac.uk
  • Murdoch University Academic Excellence Award Study in Australia • Closing date: 31 Jan 2015 (1st semester) or 30 Apr 2015 (2nd semester) and 30 Jun 2015 for 2nd round • visit: www.murdoch.edu.ac
  • University of Westminster Tuition Free Scholarships Study Postgraduate in UK • Not MBA • Closing date: 1 May 2015 • visit: www.westminster.ac.uk
  • Discovery Human Resources, IT (not programming), Finance • requires Diploma or Degree completed not more than 6 months ago • 18 – 24 years, did Maths in Matric • Closing date: 31 Jan 2015 • visit: www.discovery.co.za or http://dc.erecruit.co.za
  • International Fellowship at ADA University Accepted for study in ADA University • Undergraduate in public affairs, business and economics, computer science & IT • Postgraduate in MA – international affairs, public policy; MBA and EMBA • Closing date: 1 Apr 2015 • apply online: https://apply.embark.com/grad/azerbaijan/100/

More information on opportunities:

Visit Mr B Foundation South Africa’s website (www.mrbfoundation.co.za) where a tweeter feed gives recently updated opportunities.