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Facing Failure

Margaret Lin, Staff Writer

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By all standards, I am average. There’s simply nothing about me that stands out. I’m not the smartest or the most athletic—in fact, I might be athletically challenged. I’m not particularly creative or artistic, and I’m not a great speaker . . . among my other flaws. There isn’t a single area that I can say I’m truly “outstanding” in.

I often regret not choosing an activity and following through with it when I was little. I’ve quit piano, tennis, swimming—the list goes on and on. Using boredom or a lack of interest as an excuse, I would convince myself that piano or tennis or *insert random activity* wasn’t the right fit for me and that I should stop wasting my parents’ time and money. Yet, every time I witness someone excelling in something that I had abandoned, I’m harshly reminded of the fact that I had run away. Away from responsibilities and sore limbs. Away from getting yelled at every week and hours of practice. Away from potential failure—I’d rather quit before I failed. Even now, when presented with opportunities to pursue the few interests that I still have, my brain comes up with plausible excuses as to why I shouldn’t take them. It’s too late to get started. You’ll get laughed at. You won’t make it in anyways. You’ll just quit like you always do, so what’s the point of getting started? Again, I’m running away from potential failure.

But why? Why am I so scared of the possibility of failing? The more I think about it, the less reasonable it seems. Even if I do fail, it won’t be the end of the world. The Earth will continue to spin, time will continue to tick, and the sun will continue to shine. If I fail, then so be it . . . is what I would like to say. Rationale tells me the unspeakable terror that is failure is just a harmless illusion I’ve played up in my mind, but a small part of me continues to hold me back from breaking free of it.

Because of my inhibitions, I’ve passed up opportunity after opportunity to be more than just average. I complain about being average, but it’s really because of my own irrational fears that I ended up this way. I’ve always understood that to be more than average, one must meet and exceed challenges. And with challenge comes the risk of failure. One cannot progress without facing some form of failure. As of this moment, I’m going to stop running away from failure. I’ll embrace it. So failure, come at me, because I’m not afraid of you anymore.

Graphic Courtesy of PINTEREST.COM

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Facing Failure