What Failure Feels Like

My biggest disappointments derive from those moments when I see the results of my efforts put before me and say, this should’ve or could’ve been better.

My stomach turns inside out, and my mouth becomes dry with regret.

Immediately my disposition darkens. I wonder how I let something I created become less than it should have or could have been.

This causes my mind to replay those moments where a different decision, more effort, or most saddening of all, more care, might have changed the outcome.

The statement “You did your best” offers no balm or palliative, when I know deep down inside that it’s simply not true.

The alternative “I think it’s good.” is no better. The outcome is plain to see.

As a matter of self-preservation my first instinct is to deflect, or place blame to ease the wounds to my ego. But that moment passes with self-reflection and it leaves me feeling more empty than before.

The only way forward is to swallow my failure, acknowledge my flaws and remember that my past successes weren’t due to talent. They were due to tenacity and effort.

Only then can I re-enter the arena and try to reprove to myself that I can make something I’m proud of.