Failure. The mention of the word gives me chills down the spine. Why are we so afraid of failure? The psychological impacts of failure are driven deep down into our memories, where we can remember times that we failed from a very early age.What even is failure? Dictionary.com lists one description as an “act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful or a lack of success”(Failure). So we can surmise that failure is the opposite of success. However, failure seems to be much more complicated than that.
Humans yearn to succeed in what they do. It is ingrained and reinforced in us since we were born. As a child learns to walk, parents cheer when they stumble across the room, but do not “reward” when the child falls. Children with high grades in school have their marks boasted about, as a lesson for the other students. Society is based on a system of success. Those who have been determined to be successful are celebrated and shown as an inspiration for others. What does this tell us as a society? I believe that showing only certain kinds of success and highlighting certain kinds of people is how we got into this mess in the first place.
Everybody has some fear of failure, just on varying degrees of intensity. I have found that while I had an intense fear of failure before I became chronically ill, the fear skyrocketed afterwards. When you are chronically ill, disabled, and/or have mental health conditions, your life is automatically different. You can no longer receive the type of success that society deems acceptable. For you, success may mean finding out a new diagnosis, getting out of bed that morning, or simply finding the courage to take a shower. Looking at this from society’s perspective, this type of success seems pathetic.
The truth is, it will seem that way for a while when you are transitioning to your new lifestyle. You have gone from being able to compete with society’s standard of success, to barely being able to get out of bed in the morning. The key is to embrace yourself. To embrace your new success. Every single day that you are here is a win on the books. You may not be able to climb Mt. Everest, but you are living a life that most could not even imagine.
It is time to throw out the concept of failure. Failure does not exist. As Winston S. Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” This life you live is not determined by the made up status of success of others. The success that always seems to be changing. Your life is made up of your moments and what you choose to do with them. No one will ever be able to be you, to reach the successes that you reach, or to develop the personality that you have. As Mark Twain beautifully concludes, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
On a personal note, I was afraid at failing on this blog. This blog is so important to me to be able to share the message of hope and helpfulness, while living with chronic conditions. You all have shown me that my leap forward was worth it. I am very thankful to each and everyone of you. I’m sorry if you have already read this article due to some complications several weeks back with my blog subscription plan. Please continue to subscribe for more great upcoming content and I’ll see you next time my Un-imaginables!
“Failure.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, http://www.dictionary.com/browse/failure. Original photo by Free-Photos from Pixabay