If you’re like me…
We sat next to each other on wooden chairs in class, after lectures were over.She spoke, and I listened, unable to look her in the eye.
I let her words wash over me like that cool, gentle breeze that blows just before the first light of day. There was a dried gum-like substance on the table perpendicular to the chair she was sitting on, apparently someone
had stuck that there weeks ago. I decided to obliterate it with the decorative pin in my hand which was supposed
to be attached to her shoe, but had come off some time that day.
“You’re too hard on yourself”, she said.
“You failed, so what? Why should you let it bring you down?
Are you going to achieve anything by constantly fixating on your past failures, when you could be planning on
your next win?”(paraphrased). I continued in my mission to bring “death and destruction” to the gum-like substance on
the table as Nkem’s rhetorics opened my eyes to how dumb I was for letting myself get beat up by temporary failures.
If you’re like me, you fixate on your failures too. You beat yourself up mentally till you’re feeling like a well-rounded, balanced piece of crap. It might not be a test you failed(like me), or the constant frustration you feel because of the struggle with your coursework, finances, relationships…or the lack thereof(also like me). It might be a job, the broken relationship with your wife/husband(girlfriend or boyfriend), an opportunity missed, anything!
You failed at it, and you haven’t forgiven yourself ever since.
If you’re also like me, this failure has dampened your perspective on everything else. You see, not everyone gets immediately “inspired” by their previous setback to strive to be greater. No. Some of us, I daresay most, take it as an ultimatum. All of a sudden, that failure gets to decide how happy we are in life.
Some(like me), may think:
“I failed in my last relationship(s), so I’ve given up, this love thing isn’t
for me”….oh please! sit down and shut up. This “love” thing is for all of us.
The ironic thing is, I know not to let these things get me down. Not to let depression, anxiety, sadness, not-knowing-what-the-future-holds-and-being-bummed-about-not-being-a-seer-or-fortuneteller, and all the things I can’t control take precedence, when all they’re supposed to be are fleeting emotions.
That short story you read in italics above really happened. Yesterday. Nkem, a wonderful friend of mine, with an exceptional mind
made me realize what a coward I was for not facing my failures head on. I learnt a few things from our conversation, and if you’re like me, you
need to know them too.
1.) Failure isn’t your “birthright”, it’s not happening to you alone.
Everyone fails, at one point or the other.
2.) So you failed, Big Deal!
It’s okay to feel bad, sad, terrible and mad…..for a while. But continually kicking yourself in the gut is pointless, valueless and painful. Getting up however, now that’s a different story altogether, and one with a better ending if I might add.
Eric Thomas said “don’t cry to give up, cry to keep going. You’re already in pain, get a reward from it!”
3.) There’s no dignity in cowardice.
So you have the fear of failure, and you’re scared to death of it. Thing is though? you’ve already failed as it is. You can either
coil up in a ball, shut out all the good people in your life and throw yourself a thousand pity-parties or you can face the consequences of your failure head-on…and win!
Forget about the shame,
what other people think, “Dang it! I’m a 40-something year old divorcee with two failed marriages” Big Whoop! You’re twice as experienced as others.
Put your(best)self out there!
Someone’s waiting for you.
“So I have to repeat a class and sit with my juniors next year ‘cos I failed”,
Yeah So? Face it! Go through with it.
4.) Your failures don’t define you. YOU define you!
Failing is hard, especially at relationships. Downright tough on the mind I tell you! But...if you’re like me, you’ll realize that you’re not a failure because you failed, you’re just a winner who hasn’t won yet. So stand up and Win!