Do you remember, when you were afraid of disappointing somebody? Do you recall those uncomfortable moments, when you had to admit that you have made a mistake? That you have failed? To me, it all had started in the kinder garden. Continued at school. University. And – of course… in almost all my work places.
What do I mean? Here are some of my failures:
I painfully remember being 4 years old, standing in front of the Santa Claus trying to remember the words of the poem and at the same time realizing the terror – now I will not get my Christmas present.
I remember myself at the age of 6 performing for the first time on stage. I was playing Mozart’s Allegretto on my little violin and even today I can precisely tell you which (one!) note I have missed then. One note!
I remember my first failures at school – please, understand me – I was an achiever, perfectionist and every grade, lower than 10 was a failure for me.
I remember applying to Vilnius lyceum and failing at the entry exams. I felt miserable.
I remember not succeeding to enter marketing studies at Vilnius University and finally deciding to study… law. Which was such a bizarre experience, filled with unsuccessful exams, skipped lectures, trying to fit in and keep myself in place, which I sincerely hated.
I remember being rejected in lots of cafes and restaurants, where I’ve applied for a waitress position. I remember finally getting a job in a disastrous hotel cafe and working there sometimes for 36 hours.
While working at the well known airlines, I have “sold” the flight ticket from Lithuania to Unites states without charging client’s credit card and incurred a loss of several thousands euros to the company.
I remember failing to perform brilliantly at the corporate customer sales department. I was not good enough and after some time they offered me a lower position. I was so proud that I left the company and transitioned to another one, where working again in corporate customer sales I have failed to close enormous amount of deals. (I was not a very good direct salesperson then).
Oh, and I miserably failed to get the first place in a states office audition. I have got second place, lagging behind with only 0,1 point!!! I remember myself crying for the whole weekend after that.
Yes, I was that person, who being responsible for the marketing strategy of the event organising company, approved the main poster of the year. The thing is….. the poster did not match brand’s concept or ideology. I just somehow missed that!
U huh, and while being the executive director of one small company, based in Vilnius, I was naive enough thinking that I can work remotely, plan, manage, ensure welfare and prosperity of the personnel while traveling and living on the seashore. D’oh! Think again!
Undoubtedly I remember all those ruined relationships, in which I have greatly failed to take responsibility. Sadly, I was not a very good student then, hence failed even several times. Ouch.
Ok, I think that’s enough. I have made a lot of wrong decisions and conscious mistakes (whats wrong with you, girl?!). “Previous Me” judged herself for that a lot. What is more, I had a habit to replay those doomed situations, events and conversations in my head. I hated them. I imagined that every failure defined me as a person. Every misfortune made me think that I am wrong, not good enough, unworthy. And that was such an ill point of view. “Today’s ME” gets it.
We fail and we’ll always will. Because a lot of times we do something for the first time. Sometimes we do not have any idea what we are doing. Other times we lack experience. Or good suggestions. Or wisdom to listen to it. Sometimes we perceive the world, situations, people incorrectly and act relying on illusions.
Now I do get it. I know that every failure is a valuable lesson. It is a growth I need. It is my strength. Sometimes it’s a method finding out the wrong direction and moving in opposite way.
But does this mean we must pursue failing? As Mark Manson says “You should be terrified of failing. And that is why you should do it anyway.”
While working in the travel agency, I befriended one smart girl, my colleague. One of her favorite quotes was: “Person, who never fails, never does anything.” This is true. Try to sit tight, always play it safe – lots of chances that nothing will happen to you.
While doing things and constantly failing we progress, grow, learn. Yes, comfort and safety are our instincts. However, there are no surprises or failures here. Hence – no adventures or self-improvement. So I say: go, do, experience, fail, learn your lesson and move on. Accept that failure. Be thankful for it. It is just a part of the journey.
In my opinion, doing mistakes does not mean that you are false or stupid. This means that you are bold and open. What do you think?
Do I look silly enough here? No, I’m not afraid to look like this.
I explore the unknown, learn new things, experience,
Usually I fall and get up. The same is in every day life. Believe me, I could not wish for better.