"Failure is just not trying." - Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx
I used to be so afraid of failure. My worst nightmare was not being able to do what I believed I was capable of doing, or not being able to have what I thought I deserved. Truth is, up until high school, I got straight A's, I was the star of the lacrosse and field hockey teams and I got the part as Cinderella in my eighth grade musical.
I decided to put myself in a rigorous, small, private high school, and I started to see that I wasn't the best at everything. I didn't get straight A's, or start on my varsity field hockey and lacrosse teams. I didn't get solos that I auditioned for in my choir, and I never landed any speaking role in the four musicals I auditioned for. I even had to harass the Dean of Students (who was also the director of the musicals) to let me take AP Spanish my senior year, because he didn't think I'd be good enough.
I was embarrassed and ashamed. My ego plummeted.
Then I finished AP Spanish with a B+.
Me wallowing in self-pity media2.giphy.com
Things started to look up, and I started to realize something very similar to what Sara Blakely said: trying is the most important part of any process, even if you do fail. And, honestly, failure sometimes leads to really great outcomes. Failure leads to tenacity, and the longing to succeed. Succeeding came so easily to me in middle school, so some of the time it didn't feel earned.
Through the past few months in my junior year of college, I've received countless "no's" to competitive internships that I've applied to. At first, I wanted to think, "Oh, woe is me! I would have been the best in that position." I changed my perspective, though, to thinking, "Well, when one door closes, another one opens! I want to be in a position where both the company wants to utilize my strengths, and where I want to have the opportunity to do so."
I just landed two amazing internships.
Me when I landed two internships within two days media3.giphy.com
In college, I have truly worked to earn my success. I still fail every single day, but failing makes me want to improve. Once you change the way you see failure, the world is your oyster. It's crucial to take a look at the bigger picture and see all of the opportunities you may have been blocking out!
Lastly, I want to thank both my Choir Director for not choosing me for solos and for my Theater Director/Dean of Students for trying to get me to quit Spanish.
I'm now the president of my a cappella group, and I have a 3.8 overall for my Spanish major.
Now, go fail hard! Something good will come out of it!