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Are you scared of failure

08th - 15th December 2023

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Total Votes


5-11 Votes


11+ Votes

For any football fan, it was a familiar feeling. A tense Cup final, a single goal margin, and your team on the wrong side of the score line. This year it was the turn of the England Lionesses. After the heroic exploits of last year it was a tough bump back down to reality.

Failure is not just part of the lives of sportswomen and men but of all people. How we cope with failing often determines how ultimately successful we are. Just ask Stephen King or Albert Einstein.

Although failure may live in the waking nightmares of every GCSE and A-Level student, every would be writer and scientist, it can build the necessary resilience to improve. The maestro of failure, Samuel Beckett's advice rings true in every context, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

In light of the Lionesses' historic World Cup run, voters explored failure and success.They considered comfort zones, fear of failure, and setbacks.

Secondary, 16+ & College voters were asked: “Are you scared of failure?”, while Primary 7-11 voters considered: “Are you resilient when things don’t go to plan?”, and Primary 5-7 voters discussed: “Do you know how to deal with feeling disappointed?”


5-11 voter

When things don't go the way you want them to, you have to be resilient and persevere through difficulties.


11-16 voter

Failing is the first attempt in learning; without failing, you can't succeed!


16+ voter

Everyone learns from failure, so we shouldn't be scared of failure and instead learn to succeed from your mistakes.

60% of our secondary voters said that they are not scared to fail

  • Our voters aged 11-16 were discussing whether they were scared to fail.
  • The majority, at 60%, voted 'No', with many in the comments arguing that failure is essential to success.
54% of our 16+ and College voters disagreed, voting that 'Yes, they are afraid of failure.

  • 16+ voters were dsiscussing the same question, however the outcome differed slightly.
  • It was a close to split vote, however the 'Yes' vote just edged out in front, with 54% of students saying they are scared to fail.
  • Many of the 'No' voters commented that whilst they know failure is useful and necessary, it doesn't stop it from being a worrying experience.
74% of those aged between 7-11 voted 'Yes' to: "Are you resilient when things don't go to plan?"

  • Our older Primary voters, aged 7-11 were voting on a different question this week - "Are you resilient when things don't go to plan?"
  • 74% voted 'Yes', with many pupils explaining the benefits of learning from mistakes and surprises.
73% of those aged 5-7 said they know how to deal with feeling disappointed.

  • Our youngest group of voters, aged 5-7, were discussing the question, "Do you know how to deal with feeling disappointed?"
  • A large majority voted 'Yes', at 73%. In a similar vein to our older Primary voters, 5-7-year-olds could see the positives in failure and disappointment.
Some argued that failure is an inevitable part of life and is essential for success and growth.

  • One of the most common themes in the comments was the idea of inevitability.
  • Many voters argued that we can't escape failure and so we need to learn to embrace it and focus on the lessons gained.
resilience and failure results

Feedback from our Impact Partners

Thank you so much to Tom Emery for responding to what the children said about failure.

Tom is a rugby player who plays for the Great Britain Sevens Squad. He has played for Northampton Saints RFC and represented England at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.