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On the Topic of Failure

Why Failure is Courageous
woman+with+her+hands+raised+in+the+air+in+victory
Pexels Tirachard Kumtana
woman with her hands raised in the air in victory

In society, failure is referred to as a natural necessity of development. Fear looms around the word and often it is received with souring devastation. Everyone in the world, at some point, has failed at something. More often than not, if you are courageous enough, you will fail more times than you will succeed. Many recoil at this thought, and understandably, however, let yourself fail. Failing is the opener of doors, the source of discovery, and the test of strength. Though it is deeply resented, to let yourself fail is an act of bravery, an ode to self-discovery, and the ultimate key to success.

Life has its reputation of being a bittersweet experience; the universal scale of balance never fails to deliver us all our woes and joys. Without that balance, you would never experience the full weight of emotions on the tides of life. Within these tides, often we get caught up and lost, letting our emotions blind our vision and alter our thinking. Envy can amplify such despondent thinking. Additionally, social media has created a desire within us to compare ourselves to others and thus to be further along in our journeys. As students and humans, it’s hard not to feel crumpled by the weight of self-pressure and the pressures of society. Due to this overbearing feeling, when things do not go according to plan, despite our best efforts, it can mentally torture us into a slump that’s difficult to will ourselves out of. 

Especially in the social media era, the comparison plague has never been more prevalent. Social media allows us to connect with and view many people worldwide. Consequently, that means when looking at people who have become millionaires by age 21 or were born into status, it can be hard not to feel a sense of lack. We compare everything we see on public display: Looks, status, connections, lifestyles, and finances. Knit, a marketing website, touches on the negative effects of social media, stating that “Social media compounds it all. While there are many benefits to social media, it’s a double-edged sword because it can create pressure, insecurity, and judgment.” (Knit) It’s hard to stop your mind from entering a place of self-depreciation, but you are not alone in this overwhelming, numbing sensation. Even those that appear to have it all together most likely don’t. Victoria Paris, a TikTok influencer, told Women’s Health, “My brain just doesn’t operate anymore. It operates with the fear of the future” (Howard). Influencers face the same pressures as us. People often put up facades of perfection. It makes life feel more bearable, knowing we are at least in control of how others perceive us. Everyone is on an individual timeline. Don’t shame yourself for where you are because where you are now is probably what someone else hopes to be and exactly where you need to be.

Man jumping over a hurdle

To help calm your mind in this constant battle of comparison, it is important to practice gratitude. In today’s age of continuous pursuit of improvement and hustle culture, we tend to focus on everything except how far we’ve come or how much we must be grateful for. Try journaling five things you are grateful for every day. This may seem like a small practice, but you’ll find much to be grateful for, and soon, the stepping stones of mental and emotional clarity will fall into place.

Failure is not easy, but one must make light of their failures. The test of growth is perception. Many will always admire you in life and work if you can perceive things from a level-headed point of view. If you can look at your failures for what they can teach you, you can begin to develop stronger confidence. Ask yourself, “What did I learn from this failure?” or “What can I do differently next time?”Think of these questions like rubbing alcohol on a scrape. It will sting for a short time but soothe and properly heal. Shifting your mindset can allow you to handle your losses with grace and return stronger. Failing doesn’t make anyone a failure. Failures throw in the towel and never look back, but to get up from a fall and attempt again doesn’t place you in the category of failure, but rather that of resilience.


Forbes uses J.K Rowling (A now controversial but prominent figure) as an example of resilience: “If there is one thing I’ve learned from failure, it is perseverance.
J. K. Rowling submitted the first “Harry Potter” book to 12 publishing houses, and they all rejected her work (talk about publishing houses failing at their job), but she kept trying. One year later, she found a publisher and has one of the biggest book series worldwide. J. K. Rowling didn’t quit; she learned resilience.” (Koulogeorge) In the Forbes article below, you can dive into how failure can benefit you. If you continue to get up, you will never lose. The slump may be hard to escape, and the fear may bubble up, but push yourself and go past your comfort zone. Don’t do this to gain more respect from others, but to gain more respect for yourself. The moments when you stand back up, your confidence will grow, your courage will strengthen, and you’ll be better prepared to handle failure when it happens again. 

You are never as alone as you think you are. Your world is not over, and your chance is not gone. Despite how challenging life can be, understand that there are many things to be grateful for, like a roof over your head and food in your stomach. Things do not always go according to plan, but as you walk through life more and more, you begin to see these failures create your proper path. Through a failure, you will gain another opportunity, a change of mindset, or maybe a connection. To be bold enough to try is something to applaud in itself. So, get out there and try your hardest. For your sake, I hope you fail.

 

Forbes Link: The Surprising Benefits Of Failure (forbes.com) 

Sources 

Koulogeorge, P. (2017, November 20). Council post: The surprising benefits of failure. Forbes. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/11/20/the-surprising-ben efits-of-failure/?sh=4dce28305ebe 

Case studies. Knit. (2023, June 16). https://goknit.com/case-studies/

How social media is impacting influencers’ mental health. (n.d.-a). https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a41946590/influencer-content-creation-hurting-mental-health/ 

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About the Contributor
Andrea-Jean Roberts
Hello, my name is Andrea-Jean Roberts! This is my second semester at MSJC and I am an English Literature major. I am a writer and social media influencer. I am curious about people and the world. I want to express my observations through literature and other various outlets. Recently I moved back home after living in New York for three years. Living in a city occupied with a tremendous amount of eclectic figures and lifestyles created a thirst for understanding and learning about those that I, and maybe the public, may not fully understand. I am also more interested in the things that people may not want to fully see or accept about their own lives, or those whose stories or creations may inspire others. At the moment I am currently working on my first short story collection. I adore literary fiction and film. My favorite books are Franny and Zooey by J.D Salinger and Down the Drain by Julia Fox. When I have time to spare I enjoy running, vintage shopping, endlessly watching YouTube videos, or renting a plethora of movies and binging them with my cat Dahlia."

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