To err is human, so very human.
By that logic, I feel like I am one of the most human of us all. Because of my many errors, I’m a winner at failing.
I succeed at not succeeding.
Bad things will happen in life. This is an inevitable truth. When these bad things are a direct result of a choice or action made by you in an attempt to do/make something good, it becomes a failure. We’ve all experienced and committed failures in our lifetimes. Unless you have some sort of future telling powers, you cannot possibly predict that the choices you make or the way you approach a situation will result in a one-hundred percent perfect, ideal outcome. It’s bound to not work out at least once. The universal truth here is that failure will happen.
What’s not universal is the quality and degree of the failures. One thing I’ve learned about failures is that not all failures are created equal.
I learned this unfortunate truth the hard way. My first major failure happened at a time when I thought these major defeats could somehow be avoided. When I was a freshman in college, I finally failed a class. Up until this point in my academic career, I had only had the minor failure in my supposed worst subject math. I ended up taking Human Physiology for my desired major of music therapy even though it was a major/career path that involved my least favorite school subject of science. Through my disinterest and less than perfect study habits, my perfect record found itself shattered as I viewed my final grade.
65. A close to passing failure, but a failure nonetheless.
The next class I came close to failing forced me to withdraw out of fear of another failure.
After those defeats, I entered a major (English) where I knew my skill set would prevent a total disaster or repeat of my previous defeat. Some might argue that I learned a lesson, but I don’t know if it taught me the right message. I over compensated and placed myself in a position where I was highly unlikely to be met with true failure.
I developed a total fear of failure that kept me from attempting anything that could possibly result in a disappointing outcome from my attempts of trying.
Because I failed, I didn’t bother trying anything that wasn’t a guarantee. I just stopped trying. Did I really learn from my mistake, or did I just run scared when things didn’t work out?
People will argue that failures are little lessons to do better, but they can also leave battle scars that will keep us from going into battle again. Even the little paper cuts of mistakes can wound us more deeply than we realize.
Day to day failures, the smallest defeats, are the really damaging ones. A slight mistake at work or a miscued social interaction can worm its way into our minds and fill us with fear the next time these situations come up. These little paper cut mistakes can even stop us from doing the little tasks our lives.
So, do we even try if we can/will fail? I know the right answer here is to keep trying, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid of situations where I know I can fail because I have failed in these situations in the past.
Anyway, whether I succeeded in today’s post or failed, I’ll keep writing/trying and will see you tomorrow.