Failure Is Always An Option
The only way we can succeed is to fail.
From birth there is a looming pressure that everything you do-- every grade you get, every decision you make-- will decide the person you become when you mature to adulthood and whether you will be "successful." Now the first part is certainly true. Everything that happens to you and that you do will shape you into a version of yourself. Good or bad, that version of you is who you are at that particular moment. But the great thing, and the key thing to remember, is that you have the power to change that version of you at any given moment. You just have to have the will and the motivation to do it.
Now let’s go back to the other part of that looming pressure. That in order to be successful, you must make all the right decisions and get phenomenal grades. Success is a relative term in and of its own. Everyone has their own definition of success; the only kind of success that really matters is the success that you achieve when you set a goal, and then attain that goal. It is this kind of success that can define a person. Because on the other side of the coin, we have been conditioned to fear failure.
From childhood, we understand that the one who “wins” is the best and the one who “loses” is the worst. We have been conditioned to think that when we lose, or fail, that we are a disappointment and a loser. When we fail at a task, we punish ourselves by thinking that because we have failed we will never reach our goal, or we become doubtful and hesitant that if we try again we might get the same result.
However, by thinking this way we destroy any chance of not only achieving our goal, but also changing how we deal with failure. It’s impossible to avoid failure. No matter how hard you might study, or how much practice you put into that routine, life is a big game of chance, and there is always the possibility of something going wrong at any given moment. Whether that means you trip up a bit during your dance routine, and then your timing gets messed up, or that there’s an unexpected question on a topic that you didn’t study and you don't know the answer. These are unexpected situations that no amount of studying or practice can anticipate.
But how you deal with this failure will be the driving factor. Will you give up on dancing or learning because you failed? Will you consider yourself undeserving of success? Will you give into your feelings of doubt and self pity?
Or will you, even though you failed once and might fail again, keep trying anyway because you could just as equally succeed. And that success will override any doubt you had about yourself.
But to get to that point, you have to be willing to push on. You have to be willing to work even harder. You have to be willing to put your all into achieving your goal. And most importantly, you have to believe in yourself. You know the people who care about you believe in you, but if you don’t believe in yourself, then you will set yourself up for failure guaranteed.
It’s not easy to pick yourself up after you fall. And then once you do, you have the scrapes and bruises to constantly remind you of what happened before. But don’t ignore those scrapes and bruises, because they are the key to your success. They will help you learn what you need to do next time so you can succeed. But don’t let those scrapes and bruises corrode your will.
To keep that corrosion at bay, remind yourself that you can do it, that you are strong, that you are successful, that you are determined, that you can do anything you put your mind to, and that no matter what happens you are not a loser or a failure. Whether that means to look at yourself in the mirror and list these things, or write inspirational sticky notes, you have to keep reminding yourself that the most important part of the journey is not the destination, but the path you took to get there. And when you have those bad days, because there will be bad days, surround yourself with a supportive group of people who will help you stay focused and remind you what you will accomplish, and that will, most importantly, surround you with love.
You will succeed, and you will attain that goal. But in order to succeed, you must first be willing to accept failure.