So let’s start off with saying this isn’t a blog about why you should just stop trying at life and fail as much as possible. But when failure happens (it unfortunately does) it can end up being so positive and help you out in the end! And I think as a society, it’s not common to talk about the bad and the ugly but I hope to change that!
Story time… My third phase at Flatiron, it came that time for another test and having passed my first two, I was kind of in my bag. I was feeling confident, asking questions, taking names, and kicking ass. Let’s just say that wasn’t enough, I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been and test anxiety got the best of me. I had completely misread the instructions and you guessed it, I failed! And for an hour or so my world kind of went up in flames. I think we can all agree that we are the hardest on ourselves and when you expect the outcome to be different… we completely drill into ourselves. Asking “What is wrong with me?” “Why didn’t I do this method differently?” “ugh I am so dumb.” And that was exactly what I did. Now, even though I danced my whole life, I am not the most graceful and I mean that in regards to losing. I have always been a sore loser and that test really got to me. I won’t lie to you, I cried and I was so disappointed in myself. I had put myself up on a pedestal and that failure meant I had to come back down to reality. But looking back, I am so grateful for that experience because it put so many things into perspective for me.
After that day, I felt kind of free from this person I had to live up to and my nerves went away. I kept thinking to myself, damn I don’t have to be scared anymore. The anxiety of test taking has disappeared (not completely but it is more manageable) and even having to execute an algorithm in front of my classmates was actually a pleasure! It was fun because I had already let my guard down, I had already been vulnerable.
Failing is inevitable and why can’t it be positive? We are in charge of our lives, we can make whatever rules we want! So screw it, failure or taking an L - is a good thing! If you don’t believe me, let’s make a list :
Failing makes you stronger… It truly gives you a mental toughness. And it forces you to strategize and deep deeper, with failing you may reach new understandings, get a better grasp on what you want and how to get it. There’s a new fuel inside of you after you fail, that starts to kick your ass. This take no prisoners attitude and that strength can help you improve and hopefully succeed!
Failure makes you inventive… Because of failure, a person may have to find a new way to reach their goal. This makes us more creative and scrappy which I think when victory finally comes around, makes it all the more sweeter. Knowing you had to really put in that work to get to what you wanted. There really is no greater feeling.
Failing allows you to take more risks… Hey because it already happened, that fear is washed away! Fear of failure is far greater than the failure itself. And to avoid that pain of fear, we sometimes don’t act, we are stopped dead in our tracks. Who wants to live like that? Not me, never experiencing more because of fear! Hell no!
Failing is apart of life and makes us more interesting, I say bring it on! I am ready to take an L and as long as I don’t give up in my journey then I’m good. So many amazing scholars, inventors, businesswomen (and men) have failed and I am sure you’ve heard those stories on Oprah before and yeah, hearing all that never really makes it less difficult to fail. But I guarantee, once it happens, it’ll feel like you’ve been born again. Nothing can stop you.