Look Out! Failure!

I grew up believing that to fail is to sin. It’s not my fault really. It’s how the society and peers perceive failure and impart it as such to the younger generations. I have witnessed a fellow colleague shake, sweat and nauseate in fear of failing his exams. So much so that he neither ate nor slept properly for weeks. Such times call for support from families. Some of them support with love and care; others manage to make a bad situation worse by pressurizing, scolding, threatening or, worse, by looking at you as if you ate off their prized pizza they were saving for later.

Instilling the courage to face failure, get up, learn and move on is something most of us are yet to learn. When I was in school, I was visiting a dear friend of mine during a summer vacation. I had the honor of meeting his parents for the first time. They were extremely warm and loving; well at least until they got to the subject of the board examinations for the 10th standard. I have never had a more frightening conversation with any one, towards the end of which they had managed to scare the hell out of me too. At the end he didn’t perform very well in the examinations and he promptly got the yelling that was well warned and advertised before he even started his preparations for the exams. You see, the main problem here is fear. Had his folks told him to give his best and that they would love him despite the outcome, he would have focused more on his preparation with determination than with the fear of failing.

At any stage of life, failure is inevitable. You can’t escape it just because you think you can never fail or that you have never failed so far in life. There is a general misconception that failure is something large. Failure can be as small as not being able to keep a promise to a friend to as big as losing an important business deal to a competitor. Both these failures are perceived more or less equally. Confidence and determination takes a major hit no doubt. But what is important to remember is that failure is temporary and becomes permanent only when you ignore the lessons it teaches or you give up trying or both. If you fall while walking you can either stay down or get up and walk forward more attentively so that you don’t fall again because of the same reason. 10 years down the lane it would probably be a funny story that you’d be sharing with your friends and family.

Embracing failure is important because it teaches and fine tunes our actions and thoughts. There is joy in failing in sense that you are set on a journey to learn, rectify and succeed. In a way, it’s an adventure in itself. Hence, I strongly urge everyone take up this journey, live the adventure and create stories along the way as you keep learning and improving yourself with every fall and subsequent rise.



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