You know that feeling you always get when you are remarked on how smart you are? You know, when everybody thinks you are smart? The stereotype everyone around you has about you.
No lies, sometimes, that is where you draw your strength from but the other times, it just instills fear in you.
Yes, fear of failure, fear of disappointing all those who trust your intellectual capability. Perhaps, you are not as smart as they give you credit for or you just feel an invisible pressure to keep impressing them; never to disappoint. That was me.
But then came a time when I realized that failure is part of life. Of course, I didn’t just wake up to this reality one morning or have the idea drop in my head like a bomb.
I had to go through a process. A process called experience. Well, the first time it happened, it came as a big blow that lingered on my thoughts for a long time or probably forever.
This failure had a companion, she said her name was shame. I was ashamed of myself, by myself, with myself and for myself. No one rubbed it on my face nor gave me a constant reminder of it but again, it was my first, my very shocking first! I didn’t want to get inured.
I thought people would tag me an inept if it continued like that just as they had tagged me ‘smart’ based on my previous consistent wins; especially because that is what I see the society do with other people virtually every day. I never wanted to wear those shoes.
I kept pushing, having a few wins, till it happened again, and this time they were three that came – failure, shame and depression. Interestingly, I accommodated all three of them myself.
A very good landlady, right? But that was bad because my home was gradually falling apart. Well cheers to the ones that we love, cheers to the ones that notice when our home is falling apart.
No matter how good you are at sole proprietorship, there is always a time when you need a business partner. So then came along one, I told him all what my business was about and the felonious, unwilling contract I had signed with those 3 tenants.
This business partner let me know that the first tenant was sometimes welcome because it is very normal and a part of human existence; he did this convincingly siting various instances of the time it had had contracts with other people, himself, very much included, and how it had led to other better deals like one very craved one, success.
‘In fact, it is a sure prerequisite for success’, he said. He reminded me that when I fail, I am never starting from the scratch but from experience and that all the losses were lessons on how to do better.
This was an eye opener. Growth occurred, I was restructured. Overtime, I learnt that failure was just another challenge in life and I should always be ready to overcome it, it should never be the other way round.
I started welcoming failure when it came but never letting it feel at home nor allowing it come with its friends, shame and depression. I never looked forward to it but when it inevitably came, I knew how to handle it and grow even stronger with it.
Lest I forget my dear, humans have this thing called mouth and most times, they use it to talk. It was meant for them to do so but its funny how they give up about 70 percent of this time frame to talk about other people.
40 percent will be used to lay emphasis on how you failed, then just 20 percent will be for a slipshod discussion on your wins; lets not even bother on what the remaining 10 percent is for.
All of these are like arrows going through the ears to pierce the heart, but grab a shield my dear. Grab a shield of confidence, a shield of hope, a shield of determination to always bounce back better; no pressure!
Even the universe sometimes seems to play a lot of games with us, hurling really difficult challenges, fails at us. But you must remember that youve already started this journey of life and you cant afford to quit now.
No matter how many times failure comes, tag quitting impossible! Understand that failure is only auspicious.
So my dear, till now I’m still learning, getting better, growing stronger and spreading this message especially to those that are still me of 2 years ago. I won’t be wrong to say like you, right?
‘Good! Do you understand what Ive been elucidating on?’
‘Yes miss, certainly!’
‘Perfect! Put it into practice. You should begin with starting to write that book now.
I have to run. Tell your mom I called.’
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