I am sure anyone who has been reading my blog for a bit will not be shocked to learn that I am a perfectionist. Meaning, that when I fail at something, I take it as a personal attack on my very core, which is obviously a super healthy way to deal with a very normal, human experience.
I am so scared of failure, that I will not attempt something unless I am immediately good at it so it won’t shock anyone that I don’t have a drivers license, or that I find learning a new language one of the most intimidating things in the world. Meaning I don’t take a lot of chances, meaning that I could be missing out on opportunities and not challenging myself.
I want to have a good career, fulfilling relationships, and a life full of adventure, but you can’t achieve those things if you’re constantly terrified of failure.
I am trying to live bravely, and embrace failure for what it is, an opportunity to learn and grow.
Failure helps you critically evaluate your performance, and helps you realise where you’re letting yourself down
I applied for a very competitive graduate program, and I didn’t put that much time into the application, and I didn’t get it. But because I didn’t put all of my time and effort into it, I could excuse myself for not getting it, but deep down I know I played myself. It made sense that I didn’t get it. I needed more practise, I started researching how to write better cover letters. I have been pushed to reach out to potential mentors, and search out new opportunities, failing made me realise that I have a lot to improve on.
It’s okay to fail
I used to think if I failed, it would be the end of everything, I would get so anxious about the idea of failure that I would make myself physically sick. This is why I have been too scared to take my driving test, because I heard everyone fails on the first time. But failure is a part of life, babies fall over all the time before learning to walk. It’s okay to fail, because everyone does, and its an unavoidable part of life.
You have to fail to improve- otherwise, you’re stagnating
Failing means that you have realised your limitations, and it gives you a chance to push past them, I applied to a competitive internship once, got rejected, improved my CV and experience, and then got it the second time around. Failure pushes you to try harder, and helps you to get better.
It gives you the push to ask for help
When failure makes you realise your limitations, it also might give you the push to ask for help. It could mean that you finally get the guts to reach out to a mentor (like I did) find extra training or just some extra support.
Learning to divorce the failure from your sense of self worth
I think is the most important lesson I have learnt from failing, is that you’re more than your failure. You’re a beautiful, complex and complete person within yourself, and one arbitrary failure does not define you.
What have you learnt from failure?