Failing. We talk about it often. We think about it even more. But what is failing?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word as:
Really. That’s all? Then why are we so fearful of failing? Everybody has a chink in their armor, we all mess up in our conduct at one point or another, and not having the ability to write really doesn’t exist. You pick up a pen or tap a keyboard and put one word after another. And then, if you are a true writer, you go back and rewrite, and rewrite again until the end product is something you can live with. So there must be more to it than what Merriam-Webster has to say.
What this is rare quality that so many people fear? Someone very close to me has a terrible fear of failing, which paralyzed her to not succeed in school. She thought: If I don’t try, I can’t fail.
Is that it?
Is trying, failing? I think so. You see, when we “try” something, we are allowing ourselves to fail. Whereas, if we DOING something, the project or attempt may not turn out the way we want it to be the first time, but we can say, “That was okay for the first attempt. Let me do it again. (Notice I didn’t say: Let me try again?)
Not getting up after you’ve fallen down is failing. Giving up because you’ve been rejected or criticized is failing. Not trying because you have deemed yourself unworthy is failing.
Even quitting isn’t always failing. Consider a guy who goes to a job day in and day out that is completely wrong for him. He hates it so much, but he trudges, collects his weekly paycheck, and goes back for more on Monday. He sees no way out because of pressures that he puts on himself–like providing for his family the only way he knows how. Living such a life of drudgery is so sad. Wouldn’t it be better for him to do something he loves, even though he might not be paid as well? Wouldn’t it be better if he could look forward to his work day on Monday? I think so.
Failure is not to take a chance. Success is a willingness to do so. And guess what? Success breeds success because on the next attempt, a person will always do better.And doing something more than once builds confidence. When we feel confident, people perceive us as successful. See how that works?
Don’t make yourself feel bad–there are plenty of others who will do that for you. The face of failing is in the mirror, but so is the face of success. You get to choose.
My advice (for what’s it’s worth) is this: Be yourself. Write what you want to write. Sing the songs you want to sing. Dance your own dance. Be strong in your own skin. If you love what you are DOING, the world will eventually come around. Let the world have its own opinion. Don’t get sucked in by the naysayers. Find friends who love to laugh. Be happy DOING what you were intended to do.
Most importantly, remember, there is only one of you — you are unique. Don’t try so hard to be different– you already are.