From education to employment

In preparation for exams results, good or bad!

Sheila McMahon, Mental Health Counsellor and CEO of Mind Management for You

On the run up to exam results, Mental Health Counsellor and CEO of Mind Management for You Sheila McMahon reflects on how we can prepare for the results – whatever they may be!

Exam results are coming up which can bring up a lot of mixed feelings for people.

Some are feeling confident, some are feeling nervous, and some have no clue what the results will be.

And some are relying on certain results so they can go on to study their chosen subject.

Reflective questions

While writing this article, I asked myself, ‘What would I have liked to have said to my younger self when I was on the way to getting my exams results?’.

In thinking about it, I would have wanted to say,

‘You have done your best and that is good enough’ and ‘Whatever the exam result, I am proud of you’.

If you are a parent wondering what to say to your teen on the way to getting their results, just imagine what you would have wanted to say to your younger teen self?

Or think about what would have been helpful for you to hear at that time?

The unknown!

A lot of worry is based around the unknown. For some people, the serenity prayer/mantra or however you want to relate it to you, may help:

Life/God/Universe, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

In most cases, if you don’t get the results you want, you may be able to resit them, or part of them again.

Or you may decide that you can’t face that now and might decide later in life to do exams.


So, imagine you’ve worked hard, and you don’t get the results you wanted. Of course, you are going to feel disappointed. It can take time for the news to sink it. You may need time to process that disappointment.

Be ok with not being ok

I say this so many times because I truly believe in this.

Allow yourself or someone time, to not be ok.

A lot of time people try to fix other people when they are down. They try to ‘cheer them up’. Often, they try to cheer them up because they are uncomfortable with another person’s disappointment.

By cheering them up, you are not allowing them to feel how they really feel. Ask them how they really feel. You can tell them it’s totally understandable that they are disappointed. Allow them time to be ok with not being ok. Most times they will naturally regulate their emotions when they are ready. Allow them to feel how they really feel.

Mental Health Awareness Training

If you want to learn more about helpful and unhelpful responses, then I teach this as part of my Mental Health Awareness Training, which I do online as well as face-to-face, along with lots of other insights and understanding around mental ill-health. You can find more details on my website or just get in contact.


In the meantime, I encourage you to try some relaxation.

There is a free video on my YouTube Channel to encourage 6 minutes of relaxation. Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel as there are plenty more free resources, and I welcome you to become part of my mental wealth community.

If you are new to relaxation, then it may seem strange at first. I encourage you to try it several times to see if it starts to work. I remember when I first started relaxation, it took me a long time to switch off my brain, but by sticking at it, my brain eventually started to switch off – What a relief that was!!!

Rectangular breathing

You may decide to try something else to calm down your beathing. I can recommend rectangular breathing.

In Conclusion

Regardless of what exam results you get – life will go on!

Give yourself time to process your results. Allow yourself to feel happy, sad, angry, and let those emotions out.

I wish you all well in your exam results and remember failure is learning!

As Entrepreneur Richard Branson said,

‘I have learnt more from my failures, than my successes!’

I hope you find this article helpful, and if so, then feel free to let me know how this article has helped you via my social media.

By Sheila McMahon, Mental Health Counsellor and CEO of Mind Management for You

For more tips and advice please visit Sheila’s YouTube channelSheila’s website at, follow Sheila on any of her social media platforms, TwitterFacebookInstagram or LinkedIn.

As well as being a private counsellor Sheila also delivers talks and training courses for education providers, in schools and for organisations, businesses and at events.

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