What have you failed at recently? Did you study all night for a test just to walk in the next morning and realize you studied the wrong material? Did you try your hardest on a job application just to be denied? Did you fail at a relationship or friendship? Do you ever just feel like everything you touch turns to crap? Then you have come to the right place! This is an open environment where we can all yell “Yay! I have failed at so many things! I am a failure, and I love it!”
That would be the intro to a self-help class for failures if I ever started one. For right now, I think I’ll just do a blog post, but hey, who knows, there might be a high demand for that course in the future. We all fail at things, and sometimes those failures are not so few and far between as we would like to admit. Actually, there are times where I think each and every one of us believes that we can’t do anything right and never have in all of eternity. Our pancakes are always too dry, our shirts will never fully un-wrinkle, and our jokes never get a room full of laughter. This perfectly describes any given Thursday for me. BUT there is some good news. There is beauty in failure. There is hope in loss. There is joy in disappointment. Don’t believe me? Well, first off, how dare you. Secondly, don’t believe me- just watch.
The Perks of Being a Failure
- There’s nowhere to go but up. You know the famous Rachel line from Friends: “I thought I hit rock bottom, but today its like, rock bottom, 50 feet of crap and then me.” Everyone knows this quote. Everyone identifies with this quote at some point. When you feel so low and so beaten down that there may be nothing worse, great! This means that you can’t go any lower. and you have found your limit. Once you realize the absolute worst has happened, and you lived, you can start to pick yourself back up and start over. What if you fail again? Your rock bottom isn’t as deep as before.
- You get to reevaluate things, and change them. Whether you fail in at a relationship, friendship, job, or one-of-a-kind opportunity, you don’t have it anymore. This means you get to start over. Well yeah, that’s easier said than done, but maybe there was a voice in the back of your head that almost hoped you wouldn’t succeed just so you could see what else was out there. Even if that isn’t true, and you really did want it to work out, obviously it wasn’t right for you. Something else is out there, and you are free to go find it.
- You get to know your worst self. I think our worst selves come out when we are disappointed because we go through each stage of grief in the ugliest ways. We sit on the couch eating out of the ice cream container in self-pity. We punch our pillows and scream at our phones during anger. We ugly cry on our best friend’s bathroom floor. We pathetically try to figure out all the things we could have changed in our failing process and promise to the Universe that if we never do those things again- then we will finally succeed. It’s kind of comforting to look into the mirror and think “Huh, so that’s what it’s like to feel totally and completely worthless,” and then vow never to feel this way again. You also develop a remedy system for the stages of grief, so recovery is easier each and every failure. Small scoops of ice cream, microfiber pillow cases and crying on your own bathroom floor- check, check and check.
- You can develop a healthy relationship with failing. Even if we make the tiniest mistake- accidentally burning your toast in the morning- it seems like the MOST EPIC FAILURE OF THE DECADE, especially when it feels like everything in your life is going wrong. Putting your mistakes into perspective can help alleviate that dramatic yell of anger when throwing your piece of bread in the trash. Once you realize little mishaps- flunking a paper, missing the bus, anything having to do with bread- aren’t actually serious, you will let them slide. Once you let go of the little mistakes, the moderate mistakes don’t really matter that much, and then the bigger mistakes don’t even feel like failures then you realize FAILING IS NOT A THING AND WE ARE ALL JUST LEARNING.
- Your friends and family treat failure like a cold. You can tell your best friends that you failed, and they will tell you how cute and great you are. Your mom will tell you it gets better, and it really isn’t a big failure and gives you some chicken soup. The bagel guy may feel sympathetic and give you free cream cheese. These are all great perks of being a failure. It may seem selfish, but you are allowed to mope- for a small amount of time as my best friend Michele always reminds me. However, once you are over the failure aka your confidence cold, you need to remember those words of wisdom and be supportive of yourself and others.
My most recent obsession: anytime I outright mess up or completely feel like I failed, I yell “KILLING IT!” Because A) it confuses passerby’s to believe my mistake was intentional and B) it makes me laugh at myself. Try it, and remember the perks of being a complete and utter FAILURE are superb.