Blogmas Day 10: Failure

Happy Wednesday, friends! This week has been flying and crawling by at the same time, and I'm not entirely sure how that's possible. Today felt like Thursday, yesterday felt like Monday and tomorrow will probably feel like Tuesday all over again. Anyway, today I took my last official final of the semester; I have an essay to turn in on Friday (which just needs to be proofread tomorrow) and then I'm home free! I won't lie to you guys though, I'm about 80% percent sure I failed that exam. It was for my Global Politics class, which I have no interest in and do not have any sort of natural inclination toward. In the other classes I took this semester the content at least made sense to me and resonated with my interests in one way or another, but with Global Politics I'm left feeling dumb and overwhelmed. So as I await my failing grade to come to me via email, I thought I'd talk with y'all about failure today. Because it happens to even the best of us. God knows it's about to happen to me.

Failure is inevitable. No one can always succeed in everything they do, no matter how much natural intelligence they're born with. Because there's so many experiences to have and knowledge to possess out there in the world, it's impossible that you'll execute everything perfectly on the first try. That is a very easy concept to understand, but that doesn't make failure suck any less. It doesn't feel good to try and fail at something--especially if it's something we imagined we would do well--but there are ways to cope with it.

Firstly, figure out why you failed. Evaluating the circumstances makes it a bit easier to synthesize our failure. If it was a test, did you fail because you didn't study? If it was a job interview, did you fail because you totally put your foot in your mouth and told the interviewer all about your crazy drunken birthday party? By establishing the source of our failure, we can begin to take ownership for it, which I think is a necessary step. It's so easy and so commonplace to blame other people for our shortcomings and miscalculations, when in reality we could all stand to take some responsibility for those actions. Because it's not always that super strict professor or that asshole interviewer that "screwed us over," sometimes it's us. Coming to that conclusion is healthy.

Once we figure out the root of our failure--or at least make a good guess about what it could be--I think another good way to cope is to make steps to ensure the same mistake doesn't happen again. Or rather, try to the best of our abilities to avoid making the same mistake again. This obviously isn't something most people, myself included, are able to do right away. Learning from past mistakes often takes time and requires us to take a step or two back. But as I said before: I think it's healthy. Really taking time to work on ourselves is invaluable to our personal growth; that's not to say it's easy though. In regards to failure, start small: for example, if you failed a test try a different study method next time. If you have a job interview, do your research and practice answering questions you imagine you'll be asked. Over time you'll watch those past failures turn into present successes.

That being said though, another important step to coping with failure is understanding that we're not meant to master everything. There's just some things we cannot do. That's okay. For me, I will never be able to master chemistry or play basketball--if I tried to balance chemical equations or shoot free throws I would end up in a puddle of tears. That doesn't bother me though, because I'm also really good at a lot of things. I'm a good writer and I have an extensive knowledge of pop culture. The same goes for you: there are things you're good at and things you're not so hot at. You're not destined to excel at everything you try, but don't let that deter you. Once you remember all the successes in your life, the failures seem much smaller. That's not an excuse to avoid everything that's the slightest bit challenging, though. There's a difference between worthwhile things that require effort and things that will forever be out of our skill set. And as a good rule of thumb: if you're not sure whether or not you're cut out for something, give it another try. A second effort never hurt anybody.

And finally, here's a tip you won't hear from many life coaches or motivational speakers: be sad. That's okay. Failure isn't something humans can easily brush off, especially if it's a big failure. In time all our failures don't seem like that big of a deal, but in the moment they can be really hard to swallow. It's fine to acknowledge that and it's totally okay to lament in that feeling. Healthy even. Take the time to feel upset and cry. Sit in bed and eat ice cream. Rant to a friend. But put a cap on it at some point. There's a difference between feeling and wallowing. What I'm trying to say is this: it's okay to feel upset for a little while, but after the storm has passed you've gotta brush yourself off and move on. One failure won't kill you. If the human body can survive losing a limb it can survive the occasional bad grade or an embarrassing moment.

That's all for now, folks. I hope this helped you all see a new perspective on failure, especially those of you that are especially down about finals week. I promise you: you can do this. Soon enough you'll be successful and important and wondering why you ever worried about these exams. Plus in a few days you'll be in your hometowns eating a meal that you didn't buy with your meal plan. Deep breaths. I believe in you.

"Mistakes are proof that you're trying" -Unknown



Popular posts from this blog

Jimmy Fallon Shenanigans

I Dressed Like a "Style Icon" to Prove a Point About Fashion

Why No One Benefits from the Censorship of LGBTQ+ YouTube