When people think of the "F" word, it's usually "fuck" or even "feminism". Fair enough.
But in my opinion, there's one other "F" word that trumps all the others.
I'm going to let you into a little secret here... there's only one thing that has ever really scared me.
I could face clowns, dentists and maths exams, but this? Naaaah, forget it.
No joke, this word once crippled me with fear.
So much so, that I stopped doing things I loved and taking part in my favourite activities.
For a time, it stopped me from being aspirational and optimistic. It stopped me from trying, yet alone trying my best.
I can't even define it, but I consciously gave it the power to almost wreck me.
What even is it?
Not getting what I want? Not achieving a certain grade? Not being where I thought I'd be in life? Being rejected? Being humiliated?
It's different for different people.
This year, I failed at a lot of things. Personally, creatively and academically, I straight-out flatlined.
For a while, it really got me down, because obviously, I felt like shit. I came to achieve something and didn't follow through.
But guess what? It was the best thing that has ever happened to me...
Rejection and failure was the reality check that I needed.
As a former overachiever and perfectionist, I managed to just cruise through life, doing things my way. It made me somewhat complacent and made me work a little less harder than I should have. Furthermore, it made me lose sight of my real dreams. Wanting to go everything well was too vague, but I thought I could do it. Hahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa. Ha.
"You pass failure on the way to success."
For me, failure takes me one step further to success. That's one step closer to someone really believing in me and what I'm about.
Understand what went wrong > pick yourself up > start again.
Failure has made me re-evaluate a lot of things and make some changes. I used to be so afraid of change, but how else are we meant to grow?
What would this world be if Thomas Edison gave up on trying to make a light bulb? Blogging by candlelight would get annoying after a day, right?
It took him over 1000 attempts. ONE THOOOOOOUSAND!
It took him over 1000 attempts. ONE THOOOOOOUSAND!
He failed a ridiculous amount of times, but he knew he was one step closer to making a working prototype and changing the world forever.
And anyway, did he really fail? Or did he just find 1000 ways how not to make a lightbulb? #ThoughtOfTheDay.
What would this world be if J.K. Rowling accepted defeat after multiple failures before and during writing the first Harry Potter book?
She was a depressed, suicidal, single mother living in dire poverty, getting by on benefits during her early writing days.
Even after completing the first book and getting an agent, it was rejected by TWELVE publishers. Can you believe that? And if things weren't peak enough, she was then told to get a day job because she probably wouldn't make any money writing children's books.
I don't need to explain how she ended up, we all know what an icon she is now!
For me, failure isn't the important thing. Yeah, it sucks, but what's important is what you do after you've failed. Will you stay angry, bitter and upset? Or will you get up, make changes and try again?
What's the plan?
smaller clearer goals - my goals were too hazy and confusing. I knew I wanted to achieve a lot of things, but ended up being a jack of all trades, master of none. My dreams will never get smaller, they will get clearer!
2. Ask for more help - I've always been one to hide my work when a teacher/higher authority comes around, and that didn't help anyone. These days, I'm constantly emailing and turning up at their office door (not in a weird stalker way, promise) in order for them to check my progress and give me advice. Asking for help doesn't mean you're stupid or weak. It shows humility and a keenness to grow.
3. Reward myself - One of my issues was productivity. Social media and Netflix were the key culprits, but now I have a system. I have to complete three things from my list before I can take my phone off silent and go on social media. I allow myself 1 hour of TV/Youtube only after I have completed half of my work.
It sounds bizarre, but I've taught myself discipline and self-control.
4. Talk to the Lord - The most important one for me and I try to do it as much as I can. For me, it's not healthy to bottle up everything and be a closed book.
My main goal now is to actually listen to what He says and obey it. Most of the time, it's not what I want to hear, but it always seems to work out! Casting all my worries unto Him and resting knowing that He's got my back is honestly the best feeling in the world.
5. Fearless mindset - I was not brought into this Earth to be fearful and not aim for success, and neither were you. Stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a risk shows a great deal of strength and determination. It shouldn't be feared as much as it is. What good comes from staying in your comfort zone?
With a fearless mindset and a positive attitude, I've been able to do things I never ever thought I could.
Failure is actually another notch on the ladder to success!
So the next time you and I fail at something big or small, we should remember that you are actually moving forward! It won't feel like it at the time, but you are.
We should be our own cheerleaders, championing ourselves and filling our minds with support and positivity.
We owe it to ourselves.