Failure is just a thing that happens

I have failed multiple times over the past week or so. Namely:

  • I was turned down for a job I had interviewed for.
  • My speech (briefly mentioned here) was not selected for commencement/graduation.
  • I was nominated for Student Worker of the Year, but was passed up by a tall girl with flawless skin and a boyfriend (that’s not why, but you have to admit that makes it harder to accept…lol).
  • I lost my first bet on a horse race.

All in a week. Phew, that’s a lot to take!

My first impulse in these situations is to recall every little thing that I could have possibly done wrong, blame myself, and spend the rest of the week punishing myself mentally through self-loathing and discounting anything good that happens for me, or physically by ignoring my biological needs for food and rest.

But I’m damn tired of that, really.

Here’s what I did instead:

I felt bad. I felt genuinely upset at every disappointment, then I let it pass straight through me so I could move on to the next success or failure. I didn’t take it personally. I took it in stride and let it go. Because here’s the thing:

Despite technically “failing,” in each situation I am better off just for having tried than if I never entered in the first place.

Sure, winning is good, but that doesn’t necessarily mean failure is a bad thing.

Not getting the job put an end to the dilemma I was facing as to whether I would accept the offer or not. Moving on.

I may not have won the speech writing contest, but I was a finalist, and I was competing with intelligent people who deserved to win just as much as I did.

I didn’t win Student Worker of the Year, but I was named Distinguished Senior in Public Relations out of my entire graduating class. That’s worth celebrating. The young lady who won SWOTY has worked hard for that title, and I can be happy for her without putting myself down.

I’m out $2 after betting on a horse named Super Touch, but at least I stopped there and left with the rest of my money and my dignity. And I still contributed to Kentucky’s economy! 

You see folks, all I have done is separate my achievements (or lack thereof) from who I am as a person.

I wrote earlier about how I’ve recently begun implementing nutrition before cognitive adjustments in my recovery (yoohoo, click here to read!). It has made a difference, even just over the past few days. I am able to think more clearly and rationally when my brain is happily fed.

I am not my successes, nor am I my failures.

I am a human being, and I have more to live for than certificates and resume builders.

At the most basic level, life is about moving forward, staying healthy so we can continue the human species, and experiencing all the world has to offer so that humanity can learn and evolve (hopefully into a more peaceful people in time, like the Vulcans).

Everything else is just a formality.

Winning is good, but winning just for the sake of doing so is not the point. It’s about learning what it takes to win, no matter the outcome.

Every endeavor teaches us something and enriches the human experience. So, I’m not stopping just because I had a week full of technical failures.

I’m more motivated than ever, because even failing is more fun than being a safe do-nothing coward.

featured image via pixabay


4 thoughts on “Failure is just a thing that happens

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