January 28, 2021

[Voices] Fail Better: Learning from yourself

By Warren Lee Nair

Picture this. You’re a Matric student waiting eagerly for your results; or a business man waiting for a telephone call that could drastically transform your company; or imagine you are a singer who has just auditioned in front of a panel of judges. Now imagine that you have failed in all three scenarios.

As a student you don’t meet the required percentage to pass; as a business man you don’t receive a telephone call but rather an e-mail informing you that the potential investors have found a better offer somewhere else, and as a singer you are told that you will never be good enough.

All these outcomes, and many others like them, could be devastating, career-ending, even life threatening because the fact of the matter is that no one wants to fail.

Failure is the one thing that can bring down an individual’s morale, and cause serious self-doubt. Although reflection can be a great tool, it can be used in both a negative or positive way. If your process of reflection revolves around the feeling of not being good enough, you will surely remain exactly where you are. However, if you decide to look back on events to investigate how you could have done things differently then you will be well on your way to accomplish more than you ever have before.

Failure is an obstacle which we all need to and can overcome. It is there to teach, guide, and mould you in to the person you are meant to be. You must question, ‘Where did I go wrong?’ not for the purpose of starting a blame game, but in order to learn exactly how you can do things better the next time around.

To fail is to grow, and we will do so many times. There isn’t a single person alive who has not failed at some point which includes those you look up to and allow to mentor you, statesman, award winning actors, doctors, inventors, and recording artists, just to name a few.

Let’s take a step back for a moment.
Many do go out in to the world and make an attempt, only to fail, but there are still millions of people living on this planet who refuse to even try to follow their dreams due to a fear of failure. They conjure different scenarios in their minds in which they imagine being humiliated, hurt, and even let down if they ever were to step out of their comfort zones. If you can relate to this then please always remember; nothing ventured, nothing gained. You should not expect to suddenly be able to stand up and give a speech to millions of people or perform live on television. Don’t be too hard on yourself; take baby steps in the beginning and your confidence will grow until you are running at full speed. It does not matter if you end up taking a lifetime to achieve your goals because at the end, the satisfaction will explain all the struggles you had to go through, and be a reward in itself.

As history tells us, Thomas Edison failed multiple times before perfecting the light bulb. We may have still been living in darkness if he did not learn from his mistakes and try just one more time. In a similar way, you may find yourself living in a kind of darkness if you don’t at least try to achieve your goals; not for the sake of pleasing others because the only person you have to answer to, is you. Overcome your fear right now before it pushes you to a place of regret; since the latter emotion is so much more difficult to get over.

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