Falling short or failing (for want of a better word) sucks. That’s it, that’s the truth. But it’s something we all must contend with in life.
As young children (egocentric little buggers that they are) we tend to measure our success by how well our latest attempt at something measures up to our most recent attempt. But as we get older we begin to judge our success by how we measure up to others. When we don’t do as well as expected or hoped then we class that as fail. We fail tests, fail classes, fail races. Some of us even fail relationships (which seems harsh). And though there is an argument that ‘you only fail if you don’t try’, I think that’s a bit of a cheeky argument.
It’s always worth trying, in my opinion. If you don’t try you may save yourself the pain of failing but you also rob yourself of the joy of succeeding. That said, if you try and don’t succeed then that is a fail. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, you certainly shouldn’t fear failure, but if (and when) you try something and fail then it’s ok to say, ‘I failed and it sucks. I feel bad about falling short. And now I’m going to dust myself off and keep trying.”
Or as my mum put it, “Cry it out and then get on with it.”
This week I had two failures. I entered pieces of writing in two separate competitions and wasn’t short listed in either of them. On the plus side, I can now post my stories here for people to read and perhaps share with their little loved ones. On the down side I really, really, wanted to win 😉
When the time comes that my own children try and fail, I hope that the lesson that my husband and I instil in them is that: we all fail sometimes and failing isn’t an awesome feeling, but once we’ve dealt with the disappointment we need to get up and give it another go.
And in the meantime, what are your thoughts on failing? When have you and how do you deal with that? And how do you encourage your children to deal with it?