Know That Your Failures Will Not Defeat You

Richard Torres
Richard Torres

Throughout my 19 years of life, it is safe to say that I have probably watched the movie Coach Carter over twenty (or more) times. If you haven’t watched this movie yet, I would highly recommend it. Even if you aren’t a big fan of basketball, I can promise you that there is something to take away from this movie.

One of the most famous scenes would probably be when one of the players, Timo Cruz quotes Marianne Williamson,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us…”

The quote goes on but even in the small snippet mentioned, it holds such a powerful message.

Being that I was at a young age when I first heard this quote, I didn’t really understand it. I knew that it was supposed to inspire me but I didn’t actually feel the heaviness of her words until I got older.

During my sophomore season of collegiate volleyball I had been given the opportunity to be one of the two captains on the team. I knew it would be both a challenge and a great opportunity to grow as an individual and as a leader. However, as the season started to progress I faced many days where I doubted my leadership skills alongside my volleyball skills. This doubt seemed to have come out of nowhere. I was confused with my emotions because I always felt a sense of confidence within me, but for some reason I started to feel empty.

I believe it was because once I had set up a higher expectation of myself, I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be able to reach it – which only resulted in me doing the exact opposite of what I intended to do.

But this story isn’t as bad as it may sound, I promise. I spent many nights praying to God for guidance, and seeking advice from people that I look up to. I started to realize that I wasn’t failing, I was learning! It was my first year being a team captain – how high should my expectations be if I have no prior expectations to compare it with? Once I realized this, it was like a huge weight being lifted off of my shoulders. The pressure I felt was released as I started to give myself some grace to learn and take each obstacle as they came rather than desperately trying to prevent it.

Failure and fear are rooted from the same tree. Failure does not come without fear. If it didn’t, why would “failure” be an option? What would be the point? I personally view failure as a perception. If you believe that you are going to fail, you have already lost the battle. What you think about a certain situation soon manifests itself into your reality. Do not shy away from your potential because you are afraid to disappoint yourself and others.

I had learned through sports and through life experiences that the best way to learn is to “fail.” If you are able to use your defeat as a way to grow, you my friend are not failing. You are developing a powerful mindset. You are choosing to trust the process that needs failure in order to develop into success.

Sometimes holding such a high standard for yourself in order to achieve success can be the very thing that causes you to feel defeated. So do not be afraid of your power and your potential. Be confident in it without the negative emotions and unnecessary pressure you create within your mind. Do not block the light within your soul because of an assumed conclusion (failure). Instead, let it shine knowing that even if you are being set up for defeat, you can only grow and learn from it. TC mark

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