After a lifetime of failure, I know one thing is certain, failure is in my future. Failure, whether purposeful or happenstance can be very frustrating and frightening. In my youth, I took failure very personally, I always felt as if it was a strike against my manhood. Whether it was failing at becoming a member of a team or failing a test that it seemed like everyone else was passing with ease. Each failure became heavier and heavier, I felt as if I was an utter and total loser, a waste. I would often observe the people around me, I was constantly measuring myself against them. Was I better or worse? When I decided that I was better, it was usually due to circumstances out of their control and I was only using that small fraction of who they were, it was a quick and easy assessment. When I decided that I was less than them, I would feel incredibly intimidated in their presence or even speaking with them. Looking back, I’m positive that I exhibited this outward, even though I tried to hide it.
The thing about failure is that without it, how would we know when we actually accomplish something or discover a talent within ourselves. The thing about life is, all you must do is constantly show up and keep on keeping on. The more you attempt anything with a true heart, eventually you may achieve what you didn’t set out to achieve in the first place. Just because you weren’t selected for a promotion or to serve on any certain team, sometimes doesn’t mean that you weren’t good enough. I think it only means that you didn’t possess what they were looking for in that time. Taking failure personally is only a slight against yourself.
I cannot build a house and I cannot fix an automobile, I am a horrible runner and I haven’t performed simple math with a pen and paper in decades. All of these and many more are skills that which I do not possess. We all have a talent and a skill, you must simply be patient with yourself. Eventually, if you look close enough, you will also find your calling or your purpose.
If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, then look some more, perhaps you haven’t failed enough yet. The more you fail, the more you treasure what is truly important. If everything came easily, then we wouldn’t value anything, love would be lost on us and friends would not be cherished. If you didn’t set out to fail, then all you must do is try again or do something different. Failure is not guilt, failure is human. The more we view ourselves with humility, the more we value those around us. The more we love those around us, the more they value and love us.