FailureSHIP 101 – The art of failing well (or not failing at all)

So I was up here like, how do you even title a blog post about failing. I mean, come on now, who in the world would want to enhance their failure…ummmm, nobody that’s who. Unless, of course you are that random dead person who is given this option: to die or to FAIL to die!!! Of course then you want to fail well!!! See what I did there!!!!

I was thinking of title options and I had so many ideas I thought, how about you all pick one yourself too so, here goes.

  1. Failing like a pro (but that’s not what we want)
  2. Who wants to be a failurenaire (ummm, no one?)
  3. The life of a failure (but that’s speaking negativity into my life so thanks but no thanks)
  4. How to fail with your head held high (this sounds like a self-help book though so hmmm)
  5. Failing is normal (or is it?)
  6. Failing is fun (said no one ever)

So if you like any of these title go ahead, pretend that’s what this blog post is called… you are welcome!!

There are over 7 billion people in the world… and counting!!! Woah, that is A LOT!!!! You know what everyone has in common (besides the fact that they are all human and they have blood flowing through their veins, meh there’s a lot actually) but the big one is everyone is a winner! Yeah, I said it. The reproductive system is a battle of the fittest. The quickest sperm makes it to the egg, the fittest zygote becomes a baby, my biology is not on point but you see where I am going with that. We are all winners by the time we are born. We have already won at life by the time we start to experience life. How cool is that? But sometimes we forget this fact.

I am a failure, I tell myself. I am not good enough I whisper in my head. You have failed; I say when things don’t go my way. It’s not worth it, you will fail, I tell myself when I try to make life altering decisions. What, you are going to do what? I ask as I contemplate the thought of failing at something once again. The life of a failure, I think. That’s me, that’s my identity; I am a failure at life!!

Hold up now, how many times can you get some form of “fail” into a paragraph. Apparently a lot, and that’s how much you can get that in your mind, in your heart, in things you do, in your life! We are so consumed with the idea of labeling ourselves and our action based off of how things did not go our way. Trust me when I say that there have been so many such moments in my life. Rephrase that, there ARE many moments like that in my life. I am quick to sulk, to hide in shame at the failing that is just so unavoidable.

I have failed so much in so many ways. In life altering choices, you know what I’m talking about don’t you. You are so sure that you have made a great decision, you have thoroughly thought about it and played out different ways it could turn out and you are confident that it will work for you. And then, bham, life happens and you are wondering how in the world that actually looked like a good idea in the first place. How could you be that naïve!! Then there’s the academics, man oh man. I remember clearly that time in the IB when I got a 2 for mathematics and I had to pray and ask God for the best way to break the news to my dad. Now, if you have never heard of the IB, the grade ranges from 1 to 7 (with 1 being the lowest grade you can get and 7 being the highest). So yes, getting a 2 was a definitely fail.

I have failed in my relationship with daddy Jesus. Yep, I said it. I have gone through moments when I knew exactly what I was being called to do, whether it be talking to that person in the bus, to pray for someone or even to just give a word of encouragement. You would think after so many years of leading I’d have that figured out but no ma’am. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will be on that “yo, listen to me right now” tip and I’ll be like “who are you again HS?”

I have failed in relationships, be it friendship, intimate relationships and even family relationships (especially family relations). These failures have looked different but one thing they have in common is the fact that they get me to a place where I am crucifying myself and counting all the ways I could have done better. Yeah, life huh!! Human beings are SO HARD to deal with right? There have been moments where I have failed to choose grace over anger or peace over commotion, or patience, or love, or serving… See where I am going with that. Human-to-human interactions are such an easy fail yah?

Through all of the apparent failures in my life I have grown, I have learnt and I have (hopefully) become a better person. I have gotten to a place where failure is not an option because, why not? I have realized that moments of failure are APPARENT FAILURES and there is no way one can fail at life. Don’t get me wrong, of course we will come out sort sometimes but is it really failing? I recently discovered a quotation that speaks on this. It goes “I didn’t fail, I paid for the lesson”. How cool would it be to take this perspective in regards to failure?

According to the “Nosi urban dictionary” (yep, that’s a thing…or is it?) failureship can be defined as “the ability to use an unsuccessful result to boost your initial condition and yield a better end result.” It can also be defined as “living life without letting shortcoming define your path” or “taking every insufficiency and using it to your benefit or learning from mediocre and below mediocre conditions”. Isn’t that cool? What if failure wasn’t what we thought it was? What if we changed the meaning of not meeting your goals? What if every unmet goal was received with a “how do I improve this to give myself (or others) a higher fulfilment”? Wouldn’t that be cool?

What am I getting at? I really don’t know. All I know is I refuse to be defined by a lack of result, I refuse to acknowledge apparent failure as a hindrance. There is so much more that is there for me, for you, for everyone but we are way too quick in assuming that we are less of a person because we “failed” at something. What is that? Those things, those unsuccessful moments should never define ANYONE. My Daddy tells me I am more than a conqueror, he tells me I have been bestowed with all wisdom and understanding…. He created me and thought “it is good”. How then can something as good as I am go through moments of self-doubt that are inspired by failing?

I don’t know about you but as I start a new academic year I am confident that failure does not exist. Lessons paid for do instead and, man, I do not want to pay often but sometimes paying is necessary to move on and acquire a certain set of skills (Taken… haha). I am taking back the word “failure” and redefining the art of failing to propel me forward because, hey, the only way to go is up and forward right? Instead of failure I am putting in hope and success and running with that, in the next academic year and even moving forward in my life.

We are called upon to be successful; everything that we embark on is bound to work well for us (even if it takes a long time sometimes). Hope means that we have a desire for something good to happen and, in turn, we have a certainty that these good things will happen.

So, whether it be academically, in relationships, friendships, leadership, spiritually and any other area really, I challenge you this year to put successful and hope at the forefront of anything you undertake and to start mastering the art of failureship. I challenge you to never let failure rule, because really… what’s failing anyways?

One thought on “FailureSHIP 101 – The art of failing well (or not failing at all)

  1. This post is a winner, and so are you Nosi for having such an encouraging and beautiful mindset. What’s more is that people tend to sulk so much on their failures when the world has long moved on from these. Failureship 101 should definitely be a Gen Ed subject!! 😉

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