How to fail
The word failure leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. You weren’t smart enough. You weren’t fast enough. You’re too young. Basically, failure tells you how incapable you are of being anything above mediocre…and it stings.
Let’s examine the root of the fear of failure. If you aren’t successful, people will notice. You will let them down or confirm their doubts about your abilities. Basically, you are worried about what people will think/say/tweet about you. Well reality check: every single person that has ever graced (or cursed) you with his or her presence has failed. Mistakes are a part of life, you can choose to look at them as failure and fear their wrath, or you can look at them as an opportunity to improve yourself. Here’s how:
- Do NOT pay attention to other people (easier said than done, I know). If you have an opportunity that would somehow improve your situation/life/etc., you would be a fool to give it up simply because people don’t believe in you.
- When you fail: have dignity. Accept your failure with grace. People will expect you to leave the room with angry drool (is that a thing?) and/or whimpers and tears. Instead, say, “I know what to do better next time” and leave the situation. I promise, you will be an inspiration to those who look up to you and feel the sweet passive aggressive victory over those who were rooting for you to fail.
- Do not let this failure affect you in the future opportunities you choose to chase after, because failing builds character, teaches you new things, and gets you where you really need to be.
I once had a professor that told me he applied to two hundred jobs, got ten interviews, and three job offers. Three out of two hundred sounds like amazing odds to me. Think about it this way: each time you fail, you take a step closer to succeeding. I am not sure if that is even a valid argument, but if you choose to improve on your mistakes instead of resent them, the odds will always be in your favor. So go out and FAIL a few times. Get off your high horse and be bad at something so that you can get better at it.
What’s your opportunity cost?
(If it is a large amount of money, I do not take responsibility for your risk/failure).