Failure is something that every human being knows all too well. The feeling is a lousy one. It’s one that sits in your gut and your heart, and it can even seem to threaten the core of your existence. You’ll find yourself wondering if it is worth trying again, or if you should just throw in the towel, pack up and move on. You’ll ask yourself “Why?” and “How?”. You’ll replay all the moments trying to pinpoint where things went wrong. Yet, very rarely is failure something that can be made sense of. Often, it just happens.
But failure shouldn’t be scary. The face of failure changes once you look it in the eye. Up close it is no longer intimidating, just an empty threat. Once you fail, hard and painful, and you survive it, you realize that failure isn’t the end. It’s the rock bottom which you build from. It cultivates resistance and persistence. It makes the end goal even more satisfying when it is finally reached.
The thing is, failure teaches you a lot. In fact, it is one of the best teachers. It helps you to learn the things you aren’t good at, and the things you don’t enjoy. Failing at something is simply finding another way that it won’t work, which is simply narrowing down the ways that something will work. It is also universal. Even the most successful and talented people fail. No one gets good at something without failing at it first.
Failure is something that we were taught to be ashamed of. I say we change that. Have no shame. When you fail, fail proud and hard. Hold your head high, and just remember- failure is the necessary first step on the path to success.
How do you deal with failure? We want you to share your thoughts in the comments below, or using #stepupmagazine on social media.
Rae Harris is 19 years old and studies journalism at Ithaca College. She is an avid reader, coffee drinker, and avocado toast maker. You can catch her writing poetry or browsing a bookstore.