What is Failure?

Not doing something, not trying at all, is, to me, failure. Allowing fear to guide you, avoiding rejection, is just hiding. I’ve taken chances, a number of risks, and not all of them have panned out. I’ve heard “No” a lot more than yes, or been met with silence, which becomes its own “No!” in so many ways. The things that do say “yes”, the things that have come my ways…not all of them were what I had hoped for too. Some, so much more. It is all a crap shoot, and you just don’t know unless you try.

If I hadn’t left the food service industry, I would not have created my theater company. A huge risk financially, but one that paid off creatively and even with the headaches of running a company, was still a pleasure. If I hadn’t asked my ex to marry me, I wouldn’t have my son and daughter, which I can’t imagine not being in my life. If I hadn’t asked my now SO to meet me for a day in Philly, I wouldn’t be in a relationship with a wonderful woman right now. If I hadn’t sought out help after my mother’s death, I’d hate to think where I’d be emotionally right now. All things that have moved my life forward.

So, why do I feel that at times that I am a failure?

I’ve felt that at times in my life, when things unravel. It is depression, anxiety and fear talking. I get that; but, underlying it is a sense of failing, and not understanding why I feel that way.

Right now, I’m torn between the two feelings. Part of it I know is that I’m still on unsteady grounds with finding a full time job, or creating enough of a Freelance life to feel stable. Part of me still really can’t answer the question of “what do I want to do?”; the answer, right now is to pay the bills and not worry day to day. That, to me, is not enough…but, should it be? Am I putting more strain on myself this way, feeling I should be more than what I’m doing at the moment?

Part of me also feels that turning to the prayers, trying to work out who God is to me, what spirituality in my life at this juncture, this crossroads, means…I know it is a big positive. It’s late in life, and I’m finding meaning here and there.

Sorry for the rambling, but this morning…I’m all over the place. I don’t want to feel like a failure, and the pieces of my life that haven’t worked out, I just need to accept them as my past, learn from them, take what I’ve learned, leave the negative aspects behind and move on. I have to find the way to cut the chains that still bind me to them.

I have to try, or that will be failure.


About StuHN

I am a creative individual with many areas of passion: Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; sometime Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; and sometimes more.

Posted on February 4, 2013, in Anger, Caring, counseling, Despair, Family, Fear, Friends, Grief, Healing, Inspiration, Love, Meditations, Mindfulness, Prayers, Spiritual, Support, Therapy, Transformation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Yes. If you read between the lines, then those that never do anything, just are positive what they can and can’t do, but never essay a darned thing… Would they be considered success since no failures ever crossed their transom?
    No, we must risk- calculatedly- each and every day- to reach the destination for which we dream. And, if we don’t reach that destination- to learn from that journey.

  2. As you probably already know, I relate to each and every one of these feelings. I’ve often asked myself why I feel like such a failure when I’ve done so many things, and most of them with some modicum of success.For me, I think the answer lies in the fact that I still define myself by the expectations of others, by the way others define success. My life, my career, my dreams, don’t fall into a neat label, but success–at least as it is modeled by society–seems to be neatly packaged. I too, have begun to realize that my only real failures come when I don’t try. My biggest failure at the moment is my inability to stop feeling stuck with what I am doing, because the only way I can get unstuck is to do it and stop making excuses why I can’t. You and I can help each other on this journey by reminding each other that we each have successes in our lives.

  3. Wise words, Stu. This reminds me of a saying I saw quite recently: To try and achieve is success. To try and fail is experience. The only true failure is to not try at all. You’ve explored this topic beautifully, I won’t sully it with redundant blathering. 🙂

  4. Thank you for this post. Fear of failure is a HUGE issue and one I understand all too well. It is comforting to know it has a impressive name – Atychiphobia – that even sounds villainous! It’s real and debilitating but we can beat it. One thing that has really helped me is imagining my best friend in my own situation. What you would you think of them if they failed? Certainly no less of them.

    Failure is proof we are trying. Keep trying.

    • Kate, I do keep trying. My therapist said I have amazing coping skills. I will keep trying, and doing, and working to make something happen. Thank you…and thanks for sharing the word: I like learning new words. I remember the Charlie Brown special where Lucy told him the word for fear of everything. 🙂

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