I failed. Big time.
There was a point in my life where I was homeschooled and wanted to go back to public school after being away for a couple years. But I needed to be tested to see if I could keep up with other kids my age.
I got news of my results and to my shock – I bombed the test. The future of a regular public school education was looking bleak and the main thing I remember now was locking myself in my room, eyes overflowing with tears.
It hurts to fail, especially when you want something really bad.
When I got the news, I was devastated. Looking myself in the mirror, I felt like a big fluffball of failure. Ughhh, if only I were smarter, more intelligent, etc. etc.
The story does have a good ending though, but I’ll get to that!
For now, I’ll be going over the 4 major lessons I’ve learned through my somewhat continuous failures in life. And hopefully, they’ll be of help to you whenever you find yourself grappling with feelings of defeat and failure.
1. Failure helps you grow
Imagine getting everything right in life. Good education, job, family, background, house, car, skills. Everything just being on point.
Life would be so easy, so simple. And yet, when you look at the most successful people out there, most of them have gone through almost constant rejection, hurt and failure to get where they are today.
The hard hits gave them thicker skin and stronger resolve. It helped them see those small failures as opportunities to grow. Those struggles made them that much stronger. Fighter by Christina Aguilera comes to mind haha. Random side note, that song is a great motivation booster!
Back on point – you evolve and become more stoic when you get knocked down and consciously decide to come back up again.
2. It’s not really failure unless you give up
This. 100% this.
The second you fully and wholeheartedly give up is the second you give up your chance at success. I’ve seen this firsthand and secondhand through movies and celebrity interviews.
So long as you don’t throw in the towel, ‘winning’ is always a possibility.
Imagine you’re making soup and you go freehand with the measurements and the whole dish goes awry.
Now, if you stop there and think it’s unsalvageable, it will be. But if you call up your mom/friend or put some time into analyzing the recipe, it can still be fair game. The same goes for most cases in life.
Now that’s a situation I can relate to. X_X
If it’s something that means a lot to you, something you can’t imagine going on without – DON’T give up! Keep on trekking and look for inspiration and the reason why you started in the first place.
3. Think big picture
Whenever I hear the words ‘big picture,’ the story of the tortoise and the hare comes to mind.
The hare has his head in the race and speeds through it in the beginning. But midway he figures he has time on his side and decides to take a nap.
Little did he know the tortoise was making his way to the finish line, steadily but surely. And by the time the hare woke up, the tortoise had already finished the race.
What I got out of this is the importance of looking at the big picture and not getting caught up in the moment. In order to reach the finish line and succeed, patience and discipline are required.
Even though it may take longer for you to reach success, never stop moving forward despite the failures or preconceived notions of others.
In my life so far, I feel like I’ve acted a little more like the hare. I’d speed through certain aspects of my life confident I’d figure things out later, just to realize that if I’d just taken my time and done it right, it would have heightened my chances of succeeding.
I’m still working on looking at the big picture, but failure has helped me really see the value of it. It’s so much easier to move on from a difficult situation when you’re able to assess the situation from a long-term point of view.
4. Never lose hope
I was just watching an old interview with Jay-Z and Warren Buffet. Two extremely successful entrepreneurs who have made names for themselves in their respective industries.
Jay-Z mentioned his personal story of being rejected by every record label he pitched to. Not long after, he started his own thing and those same record labels came back knocking on his door.
Even after being rejected countless times, he had the passion and resolve to create his own destiny and pioneer a new path that the musicians after him could take.
Imagine if he wouldn’t have carried on with writing lyrics and producing music? Darn shame that would have been!
So next time you’re tempted to lose hope, remember that the greats got their titles by keeping their hope & faith close by.
Failure doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It has the potential to teach us valuable lessons and guide us towards a better future if we just hold on for the ride.
Earlier I said I’d let you know how my story of failure had concluded.
I remember wanting to just quit and getting so upset with myself. It’s crazy to think how feeling like you’re ‘dumb’ can affect your self-esteem. But I digress!
After a year of studying my little butt off, I took a college entrance exam.
And I passed.