My journey of learning, failing and standing back up
I hope this inspires and encourages you to be who you’ve always wanted (yet dared not) to be.
Here’s a confession: I’m really afraid of failure.
The fear of failure has haunted me since I was a kid. We live in a society where we were taught to follow the safest path to success — Study hard, attend a prestige university, graduate, get a high-paying stable job… Voilá! You’re now successful, you make your family proud!
But.. is that it? Is this my destined path? Does it come with a happiness guarantee?
Some things I’ve tried and didn’t work out:
- Studied really hard in my A-Levels, hoping to secure a scholarship in a prestigious university, got mediocre results and got zero offers.
- Took a gap year, worked in different corporations, including working in a call centre, sales rep for pharmaceutical products, real estate agent. I tried so hard to search for my ‘true calling’. Don’t know what should I pursue next. I felt like a failure.
- Listened to people‘s opinions, took the safe route by pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (part-time). Dropped out a few months later, decided I’m less of a lawyer, and more of a lawbreaker.
- After that, I took risks in hopes to build a career and got cheated — all of my education funds were gone. I was young and naive.
Every time I fail, I realise I become a better version of myself.
Learning how to embrace failure is a very important skill that we all need to equip ourselves with. I learned the hard way (don't we all?). I did a lot of self-reflection. I started to embrace failure (Mary Poppins says there’s nowhere to go but up!). Truth is, if we don’t learn how to handle failures in the beginning stages of life, how are we going to face larger obstacles in future?
My thoughts on how to be achieve a happy, fulfilled life:
- Own Less, Live More. I love the concept of minimalism. I got rid of things that don’t spark joy, or give a negative impact. I’m now trying to minimize my spending and prioritising quality over quantity.
- Share your work and watch things happen. You won’t know what’d happen until you start doing.
- Focus on yourself, not others. Stop comparing!
- Don’t let social media consume you. Be very mindful of what content influences you daily, because what influences us on a daily basis shapes our subconscious mind. Stop subscribing to emails that don’t do you any good. Stop following people who influence you to be materialistic. Seek depth. Get inspiration from people who actually put in the work, who are honest, sincere and real.
- Allow your mind to wander. Smell the roses. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. When you lift off your mental stress, you have a clearer mind. Things would just click. You never know what you’d discover.
- Stop stressing out about things that are out of your control. It’s not going to do you any good. Move on. Take actions to accomplish your goals, little by little. It’s the daily progress that counts. Find a way to de-stress.
Some resources that might help you:
- Be inspired to share your work with the world: ‘Show Your Work!’ by Austin Kleon
- Highly recommended book for Creators: ‘Manage your day-to-day: Build your routine, find your focus and sharpen your creative mind’ by 99U
- My new way of life — intermittent fasting: ‘The Obesity Code’ by Dr. Jason Fung
- On Minimalism: ‘Goodbye, Things’ by Fumio Sasaki, ‘Minimalism’ by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, ‘Spark Joy’ by Marie Kondo
Having shared this, I hope this inspires and encourages you to be who you’ve always wanted (yet dared not) to be. You may not be there yet, but at least you’re making progress! So give yourself a pat on the back, celebrate small wins daily.
Here’s a cute cat photo because you deserve it. :)