Have you ever stopped and asked yourself: What does failing really mean to you?
Is it when you don’t make it for a promotion, when you get to where you wanted in life only to realise it wasn’t what you wanted, when you go through a divorce or break up after years of being together with the person you thought was going to be your soulmate?
I know for some people failing is when you reach say your 30s and you’re no where near where you thought you were going to be. Or it can be that you don’t have all those material things you really wanted, or when you haven’t achieved all those things society expects from you.
I thought long and hard about this. It wouldn’t be fair to ask you this question and not answer it myself. To me failing is when I stop pursuing the things I want in life for fear that I am not good enough or that I will be ridiculed or criticised.
I fail if I don’t get to be who I am…flaws and all.
I fail if I live by other people’s expectations.
I fail if I don’t get to try all the things I have dreamed about
I fail if I pretend to be anyone but me
I fail if I stay in relationships that don’t serve me
I fail if I surround myself with superficial friendships
I fail if I don’t have the courage to tell my friends & loved ones how I feel
I fail if I stop trying after the first few failures
I fail if I at least don’t try to make my dreams a reality.
This week I had a realisation: as we “grow up”, we tend to lose that childlike naivety towards life. We think we have huge responsibilities now and we need to stop dreaming, we have to get a “proper job”, put any dreams we might have on hold (ideally forever) and really just deal with life. In other words, go through life on auto pilot.
Most of us accept being confined in a box, being told what’s right and wrong, what’s acceptable by the usual society standards. And you know what? It’s so easy to fall into that trap… because you want to do the right thing. We usually forget that trying to please everyone around us will leave us with displeasing the person that matters most: OURSELVES
I am sure you’ve had the one “friend”, colleague or relative who’s “concerned” about your wellbeing and they start suggesting all sorts of things you should and shouldn’t do. I know, it’s so refreshing to get advice especially when you didn’t ask for it, isn’t it? *eye roll*
But don’t blame it on them, we are all biased to our own experiences and it’s normal to believe that we are right in the way we live our life.
To help you get through this just remind yourself of this simple fact: There is no book to tell you how to live your life, that’s something you alone decide, so own it! Plus, success has a different meaning to each and every one of us. It’s such a unique measurement stick that it would be truly unfair to compare yourself with others.
I always think back at the time I was 14 and everyone was asking me what did I want to do when I grew up. I would always say I wanted to have my own business although I wasn’t always very clear what that was going to be. One thing I kept repeating over and over again was: I am going to uni in Bucharest (I am from the eastern part of the country, a small town), then in my 3rd year of uni I will go with a scholarship to study for 6 months in a different country (UK in my case), come back, finish my studies and go for my Masters degree abroad. And guess what I did? Just that!!
No, I don’t want to brag, I am just going back to the time when I was “naive” and believed all my dreams were possible. And I was visualising them over and over again.
Now…I encourage you to do the same. Go back to that time, find your childlike naivety, what did you dream about? Write it down, even if it sounds totally crazy and unachievable. And of course, I would love it if you wanted to share it with me in the comments below. Scary, I know! But have the courage to do it! 😉
As Walt Disney said:
If you can dream it, you can do it
Till next time, stay awesome!