I used to crumble if I failed at something. Even the littlest things that I mess up on. Sometimes people would even tell me it doesn’t qualify as a failure, but to me, it usually felt like it was.
You could say that it’s because I’m the oldest amongst my siblings or that I’m a perfectionist. I don’t know what it is, but I have the highest expectations of myself, and as a result, I’m really hard on myself. A lot of the time.
Over time, though, I learned that failure, however you define it, is a part of life. There’ll be major highs and terrible lows.
I slowly learned how to be okay with that. Well, sort of. It’s a constant work in progress.
But it was difficult coming to that realization and what I perceived as failures would often play a part in how I make decisions for my life. I’d play it safe, do what I thought was the right thing to do, and ultimately, even when I didn’t realize it, I was always trying to please people. Not just my family, but even friends around me and whomever that I meet.
I was always trying to reach for the things that I thought were important, but really, they weren’t.
Being kind to yourself
One thing that I’m constantly trying to work on is being kinder to myself. This is key in accepting that failure is simply part of the process of growing and learning.
If you make a mistake, own up to it and learn from it. But most importantly, love yourself even despite the mistake. Desire to take good care of your heart and mind even knowing that you messed up. Cease the self-destructive comments you make about yourself.
Celebrating small wins
It could be as little as getting a thumbs up from your boss on something you did well at work or getting yourself to the office on a day that you didn’t really feel up to it. The smallest things are what makes the big things achievable.
You have to find a way to enjoy the process of it, even if it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.
Finding the humor in life
Sometimes life throws you lemons, and it might not be just one. It could be several in a day. Or a week! And well, it can be incredibly disheartening.
I’m a sensitive person and there are stretches when I feel down for a few days consecutively. When I’m already not feeling particularly great about myself, I often find that bad things happen throughout my day. I feel like I perform slower at work, I miss the bus and have to wait 20 minutes for the next or it starts to rain when I didn’t bring my umbrella out! It’s almost like the universe mirrors your current perception, and I personally believe there’s something to that.
Always try to find the good in life. There’s always something good. Even if it doesn’t make you laugh, a smile or a small lift in mood would suffice.
You could say that this life we live is temporary. The good things might not last, but that means the bad things probably won’t either. Reminding yourself this makes you feel more grateful for everything you have, whilst also realizing that the troubles you’re going through will most likely pass.
Situations change, people come and go, and even you can change over time. Keep striving to be better no matter how tough it feels now. Even when it feels like you’re failing.
You got this.