Dealing with Failure
reading time: ca. 2 min
As i am currently participating in NaNoWriMo, i thought this was the perfect opportunity to talk about coping with failure. Basically, NaNo teaches you how to overcome your fear of what may or may not happen, and that's a mindset i'd like to share today.
Firstly, don't be afraid to try. If you try, there's a chance you will win and a chance you will lose. If you don't try in the first place, there's nothing but a 100% chance you will lose.
Failure happens in your head. By that i mean the fear, the judging, the worries - all in your head. Stop thinking about what could go wrong. Face your fears, and you will find them dwindling away almost immediately.
Have a presentation coming up that you barely prepared for? Go to the library at once and do your research. It's as simple as that. Afraid of confronting yourself with organizing your finances? Pick up your phone and call a financial consultant right now (well, maybe not on a Sunday, but you get the picture). Get up and face your fears.
As for writing: Sit. Down. Write.
Next, check your priorities. For instance, let's say you have failed at university. So you didn't graduate, you won't get paid as well, you wasted three years of your life and maybe even spent a frickin fortune on that. You failed. Shit. That's a bummer. I'm not saying, no worries, no big deal, because it is kind of a big deal. But don't let this one misstep eliminate all the steps you have been able to go so far.
You didn't waste anything, you just didn't get the shiny medal of success at the end. Especially going to university is about education, about learning. And that is something that nobody can take away from you. So try to think about failing as a way of learning. Even if it is a painful way, you will have gained another experience from that.
On that note: Stop trying to make money. Obviously we want to live a well-off life and there is nothing wrong with that, but if we stopped obsessing about money we could actually focus on producing good content instead. Let me put it this way: If money is the only thing on your mind, how will you be able to come up with great ideas?
|interlude: editing text with my best friends. we try to work and not just chat all night long :'D|
When a child falls flat on their face, they will cry. Maybe they'll bleed and feel miserable. But they will get up and run on - a little careful this time because they have learnt to be aware of the ground they walk on. Now imagine they didn't. Imagine their failure caused them to squat on the ground forever because they were too afraid to fall down again.
It is the most important thing to keep moving forward.
I know this sounds very worn out, but: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. You're probably thinking now, "okay, this means i've just gotta bite the bullet, swallow the pill and such".
No. What kind of an attitude is that? You will probably suffocate from swallowing all this shit - excuse my French. What it means is, go with what you are given. Make the best of it, instead of only seeing the worst.
Talk to somebody you trust. Sometimes you just need a friend to listen to your worries and put things in perspective. They will understand. They have been in situations just like you, and they managed to get over it. If you don't have anyone around you feel safe with, take a pen and write your feelings down. Unburden yourself, get that miserable feeling of being a failure out of your head. A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved. There you go, another corny saying. But it's true!
Ask yourself: Who do you want to please?
The only person you should worry about is the one person who is with you 24/7 for a lifetime: you. You are your best friend, your life partner, so treat yourself that way. Don't be hard on yourself. FORGIVE YOURSELF. If you keep blaming yourself, that will only hold you back and weaken yourself.
So you "failed". So what? Nobody expects you to be perfect. I know, initially it might all feel like the end of the world, and you wonder what other people are going to think about you. But honestly, they are all way too busy thinking about themselves anyway, lol.
Love yourself as you would love your best friend or your partner, because after all you are the one - the only one - who will be there, witnessing failures as well as accomplishments, until the very end.
Don't think about the mistakes you might make. Don't think about the mistakes you are making right now as you are struggling in your math exam or eating a bag of fatty chips or struggling to write your novel - because, no, your writing isn't flawless, it needs revising afterwards, but that's what revision is for. Just because you did poorly once doesn't mean that you'll keep doing poorly in the future. Right now you need to move forward without re-considering every single step you are going to take.
Don't think. Do.
image source: (my friend sibylla) (me and my friends editing) (sometimes) (mustache)
If you can't be the best, be the best you can be.
Happy working and writing and creating, falling down and getting up ~
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