Discovering How Much Failing Can Suck
By Eric Dahlinger
Failure, I believe is one of the hardest feelings to face as a human being. We are bombarded with messaging of “failure is not an option”, and on top of that I grew up in a society that almost wouldn’t let me fail, aka participation trophies and such. And as far as feelings go, failing is for sure my absolute least favourite. It destroys me to the core.
That being said there are two types of failure… when you fail yourself. This is when you know you didn’t perform up to standard; you can almost 100% blame yourself. It’s when you don’t study for a test, or don’t practice for the piano concert. It sucks… you let yourself down. But there is a bright side to this; you can overcome this failure fast. Its self blame, the sooner you can come to grips with the fact you let yourself down, the sooner you can learn how to not do it again. If you didn’t study enough… study more, didn’t practise enough… practise more. It is logical, the actions justify the outcome.
The second is when the floor falls out from underneath you. It is when despite all efforts and hard work you fail to reach the desired out come. It’s not logical, in fact I describe it often as 2+2=3 , you were totally expecting a 4 and yet you fell short. It is heart breaking, if fact (for me at least) it is the same sensation has having your heart broken, the pain receptors in your brain become activated in order to avoid this feeling in the future (asapScience). The only problem is it docent make any real logical sense. This means you can’t avoid it in the future because the actions don’t respond to the outcome. Plain and simply… It sucks, your left broken hearted that your hard work didn’t pan out. I often feel this way about life goals, things like relationships, and job opportunities (as an actor and dancer I feel this one a lot, the rejection is hard to deal with). These things are often opinion based and therefore logic almost plays no role in the outcome. But there is good news as well… you didn’t die. Tina Fay has an amazing quote “For my first show at ‘SNL’, I wrote a Bill Clinton sketch, and during our read-through, it wasn’t getting any laughs. This weight of embarrassment came over me, and I felt like I was sweating from my spine out. But I realized, ‘Okay, that happened, and I did not die.’ You’ve got to experience failure to understand that you can survive it”. Life is a journey many more opportunities will come up, and most of then you will also fail at, and that is okay
We could also get into the idea of the meritocracy and why that makes failure so much harder to deal with… but I’ll leave it to this video because it can do it much better then I can.
So in the end give yourself a break. Life isn’t fair, but sometimes that can also work out in your favour. And remember, everyone is so caught up in their own lives they probably don’t care about your successes and failures.