FailureNov 14, 2022
I once got a 47 on a test in Home Economics in 7th grade. I thought it was a joke because I was a high-achieving student and it happened to be April Fool's day when I got my results back.
My parents, my dad especially, was generally pretty hard on me about my academic progress. When I looked at the test more closely, it wasn't a joke. It was really a 47. I thought I studied well enough... but... perhaps a part of me was like, "It's Home Ec. I'm good at Home Ec. The test won't be that hard." I cried when I got home. I showed my dad the test results. I was filled with shame and embarrassment. Home Ec! Usually when I brought a test home it would say, "90," or "97," or "99," to which he'd always ask "where are the rest of the points?" I always hated when he'd say that, and I dreaded his response this time. He looked at the test, almost expecting me to fail at some point or another, and laughed in a care-free sort of way.... which, as you can tell, 13-year-old me was not expecting. He said something to the effect of, "Congratulations, you've graduated!"
What he meant was this:
Failure is a part of life.
Failure reminds us to be humble and to always value the learning process.
Failure teaches us how to become better at what we do. We rarely forget a lesson that's taught by failure.
Failure is, in fact, one of the greatest teachers you will ever meet.
Contrary to what people normally think, failure doesn't need to fill you with shame, embarrassment, fear, or dread. Perhaps we can actually shift our thinking and be grateful for the lesson. (Admittedly, sometimes we need a little time and space from the event to allow ourselves to process what has happened). Failure can be one of the greatest stepping stones to success, if you allow it to be. If you don't allow it to be a lesson, it can become the invisible thing that holds you back from your own greatness. If you can accept that failure is part of the process to reaching success (and that it's not going to be a streak of success all the way through life), then this will carry you far.
Here's to Success... and here's to the Failures that allowed us to reach it!
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