In one of my classes for school I was told to study a belief that I had and write a paper about it. It took me a while to figure out what exactly I wanted to talk about when suddenly an idea popped into my mind. Failure, and how necessary it really is. Now I know what you're all thinking, "duh that's obvious." But take a moment to think about it. When do you feel like you fail? What does success look like to you in day to day life?
I've definitely had my fair share of failing like everyone else. The typical, being fired from a job, making a stupid decision, or even literally failing a test. But over the last year I've learned so much about what I began to view as failure. Back in the middle of my junior year of high school, I felt lost. I didn't feel myself. I was overwhelmed in anxiety, depression and thoughts of self-hate. I began to wish I could be someone else. Someone who was confident, popular, funny, interesting. I questioned God and asked him why I was the way I was. I felt judged constantly by my peers and I couldn't grasp the reality of what I was feeling. As I grew into my senior year, I was slowly finding a focus as to who I was. But I also felt like I had no direction. I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do with my future as everyone else was dedicating themselves to colleges and room mates, the excitement grew. For me I felt paralyzed. Stuck in one spot. I was at a roadblock. I felt like a failure because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life like everyone else did. I hated myself so much for just not knowing. People would always ask me what I wanted to do and I would just shrug. I felt awful. I felt like a failure.
I know that was a lot to take in, but my main point of this is, is that I viewed myself as failure based off of everyone else's situations. I compared myself to others in a way that was unhealthy and destructive. I didn't allow myself to just accept the way I am and think with a calm head. Internally I should've been saying "HEY it's SO okay to feel lost! It's SO okay to throw your hands up and say what am I even doing!?" I mean now I realize how much I do this on a day to day basis. I throw my hands and say "I don't even know what the heck I'm doing but I'm gonna keep moving forward!" Because I mean, the most exciting parts of life are unexpected. But when comparison came in, I was lost. I always spent time on social media, comparing myself to everyone else's "best version of themselves," I mean, COME ON, how messed up is that! But almost everyone does it. Comparison can kill the creativity and joy found inside day to day life. It creates new standards and leads to unhealthy competition rather than a "their success is my success" understanding and encouragement.
On a slightly different note, have you ever noticed how social media feeds off of our insecurities? How big businesses create this idea of success as being happily married to a good looking spouse, with happy kids, a big, beautiful home, a nice new car and a meal always at the table? How much of that is real life? We as a society are lead to believe that that is what success is. Well if that's what it is, that's just crazy. It's unattainable because in real life there are arguments, frustration, insecurity, and overall - problems! And since when are problems unnatural? Oh wait, THEY'RE NOT! These "problems" are a lot of what we as a society consider failure. We feel shame and guilt for not being "good enough." If we don't have that nice car, amazing job or maybe that perfect clear skin and great body, we are taught to change it, fix it, wear more makeup, buy new clothes, maybe even act a different way. If we let society change who we are, we aren't our true selves as God created us to be. God made you YOU. He spent the time creating you into a one-of-a-kind individual who has so much uniqueness and talents and spice to add to this world. EMBRACE IT! You don't ever have to fit into this superficial framework that society has pushed into your mind, you are forever beautiful in your differences.
Everyone is so different and that's something that should be embraced. It's okay to not know. It's okay to be upset, as long as you allow yourself to heal. Give yourself credit for what you have done and not what you haven't. Everyone is on a different course in life, their own lane. You are you and you don't have to apologize for it. You are not a failure, you're just learning the ways of life.
Sorry for such a long post, I'm just very passionate about this topic of failure and success. Just a reminder to always keep moving forward, don't be too hard on yourself, don't compare yourself to others, and always embrace your differences, they make you, you.
Also - HUGE shout out to my amazing parents, family and friends for getting me through the hard times of life and always telling me that I was worth it and that I can move forward. Love you guys.