So, it’s hard to talk about failure, isn’t it? It’s probably one of the most uncomfortable topic one could bring up. No one likes to admit to them. And yet, it’s the one most relatable topic. Everyone reading this entry has failed at something at some point. And that’s okay. 😊 There’s the little thing like failing an exam or a driver’s test. Then there’s the big things that touch us all in life like the failure of keeping a family together, getting fired, etc.
Art from Google.
In the Western culture, failure is something that is talk about. It is accepted. It’s woven into the fabric of social experiences. At times, it is glorified. Yet it’s only cool to talk about failure from a point of success and power. However, failure is such a stigma in my culture. Some may argue that my failure is not entirely my fault – it’s the illness that I am having. You may say that I’m hard on myself (I get that a lot), however, a failure (or mistake or downfall whatever you want to call it) is still it.
Failure can be inspiring and it can lead to bigger and better things. But nobody really talks about the process of how you get there. How do you get through a failure, how do you own it? This post is inspired by a TEDx talk I watched this morning. Here are 3 basic guidelines on how to own up to our mistakes so you can fail a little more elegantly than I have. 😅 In my case, it refers to my academic/career, but I reckon it is applicable to any situations may it be relationships or other personal issues.
1. Be responsible.
When we make a mistake, or when something goes awfully wrong. Our first instinct is usually to blame something or somebody else and not take full responsibility. A lot of this happens especially in relationships. But not taking the blame doesn’t make us look any cooler. It either makes us look like a coward, or it makes us look like we’re in total denial. As much as I want to blame my mental illness for hindering me to perform at my best during my studies, I’m not going to do that (I’m still trying not to do that). It’s not like anyone could blame me for getting sick, however, if I only stick to that mentality, I can never grow.
Art from Pinterest.
If I’m not going to make a mistake and finally admit to it and understand how and where I make the mistake, what’s the point of failing at all. I am who I am and where I am today thanks to the consequences of my choices, not anyone else’s. If we’re going to be responsible for our goals and our dreams, we’re going to have to be responsible for our failures as well, so that one day we can truly be responsible for our successes.
2. Focus on you.
I can’t tell you how much time I wasted worrying about what other people thought of me. And when I’m not thinking about what others are thinking about me, I’m comparing my life to other people’s. In our generation especially, we’re constantly bombarded by images of completely unrealistic lifestyles on social media. My life looks incredible on Instagram! And I promise you that it is completely far from it.
Art from Pinterest.
I have normal ups and downs (some of it that I may have written here on the blog) just like everyone else, but I choose not to show it on social media. Like seriously guys, why would I want to take a selfie when I am having a full on panic attacks? I look horrible, for goodness’ sake! Haha. Don’t worry about what other people are doing, focus on you. Focus on the quality of your hard work and on your journey. Do not waste time looking at what other people are doing. It’s not reality.
I had to find the balance within me, when I was judging myself so harshly that I felt like a loser but I wasn’t recognising all my hard work and accomplishments. But I also had to take the right amount of responsibility and understand how and where I went wrong. I have to find that balance and meet myself in the middle. Because only with balance I truly get clarity. And only through clarity where we understand the messages where we learn something.
Art from Pinterest.
I am someone who is obsessed with the idea of success. But success is not some magical land at the end of the rainbow. The same way that failure isn’t black and white. Life is truly 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it. Yes, failure can be inspiring. Yes, it can lead us to bigger and better things. But the only true way to get there is if we learn something and we own up to our mistakes.
“Mistakes are not failure, unless you don’t learn anything from it.”