Failure is terrifying. Failing will make you question who you are and what your direction is in life. We are conditioned to believe that we need to consistently be the best and always be striving for success. Therefore, when we fall even a little bit short of that, we feel like we might as well just give up.
So, what happens when everything crumbles and you fall to your rock bottom? Your failure is so grand that you can’t even imagine pulling yourself up from it?
My answer to those questions is, that you are now exactly where you need to be to get to where you truly want to be going.
Nothing in life can ever go exactly to your plan, if it does you’ll consider yourself lucky but, if it doesn’t I think you’re actually a lot luckier. And, the more you experience failure the luckier you get! You now have more opportunity to try new things and experiment different ways to reach your goals and get to where you want to be.
When I was 18 I experienced my first huge failure and at the time, I thought my life was ruined for good and I was destined for a future of nothingness. That of course didn’t happen, because failure is a funny thing, it ends up showing you opportunities you never even knew existed.
At 18, I failed my way out of my first year of university; I failed all of my first semester exams, all of my final exams and when it came to the final “get your head in the game, it’s crunch time”, I hit a triple whammy and failed all of my resit exams. Oh sh*t. What do I do now.
After two weeks of moping and crying and moaning about how it wasn’t me it was the course, I decided to take control. That summer, I knew a couple of friends from uni were spending their summers in France or Spain working as nannies so, intrigued I had a look online and came across a website called AuPairWorld.com. Within a week of speaking to a few different families I agreed to become the Au Pair for two little girls aged 7 and their family living in Madrid, Spain.
I booked my flight and told my parents I was moving to Spain at the end of August (3 weeks time) for a year. Shock doesn’t even cover it, they still thought I was going back to university.
Thankfully, they both came around to the idea pretty quickly once they realised I was doing what was best for me at the time. Then, just a few short weeks later they were standing waving me off at Edinburgh Airport. I felt like I was just heading off on holiday for a couple of weeks.
It wasn’t until I was on the plane that the realisation hit me. I had just left my family, my friends, my boyfriend (at the time) and the whole life I had known for 18 years behind me and I had no idea what lay ahead. I hadn’t even been to Spain before!! I had no clue if this family were even going to pick me up at the airport or if I’d be stranded in Madrid booking the next flight back to Edinburgh.
Of course, I am now living to tell the tale so it all worked out in the end. Fortunately, for all of you, this post isn’t about my year in Spain because I could go on about that forever. Instead, it’s about how great it is to fail. Fail university, fail your exams, fail a job interview… you get the idea.
When you fail at something you subconsciously make a promise to yourself to succeed in the future. Life will constantly throw you curveballs and at the time, you question what the point is but when you get out the other side you realise that it happened exactly as it meant to.
I was never meant to pass my first year of university in 2013, I hate to think where my life would be right now if I had. I wouldn’t have met any of my best friends, I wouldn’t have gained a second family, I probably would never have finished university. Failure brought me to where I am today.
I understand obviously, that I say this 7 years later after I’ve lived through, and am now safely out the other side of my big failure. And, I have failed many times since then. I failed a few exams when I eventually got back to uni, I failed at jobs and I’ve failed at relationships. When I was in the midst of them all I couldn’t see the way out but I guess what I am trying to say is that there is always a brighter side to failure. Failure can lead you down paths that you never knew were even there for you. It can be scary stepping out into the unknown but please don’t let it deter you when you fail at something.
To be cringe and use that famous quote, “everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear”. It’s true. When you are faced with failure it shakes your whole world, it is absolutely terrifying realising that you need to change direction and you now have no clue where you’re going. But I can assure you, failing is the best thing that will ever happen to you.