Fail. Fail again. Fail better.

Oh gosh. Today’s challenge is to write about your fears. Hahahahaha. That’s a good one, WordPress.

Spiders. Oh my effing goodness, it’s spiders. I just killed one and it was the toughest little SOB on the planet. It refused to die. I guess I kind of admire it for toughing it out, but holy crap it scared the crap out of me. No, you don’t even know. I was sweating like crazy just getting the nerve to kill it and then fighting it. No joke. In fact, I’m still in the process of cooling down. Sympathetic nervous system aka fight or flight was working overtime. I’m actually on a little adrenaline rush, which is why I’m posting now instead of trying to sleep before my big embryology exam. I don’t know if it’s the fact that it has too many legs, too many eyes, it can crawl on anything and it can effing bite. I had bad experiences with that as a kid, so maybe that’s where it stems from.

Anyway.

I don’t want to talk about that anymore. Lets talk about other substantial fears — like failure. Since I’m on this entire failure kick lately, which I’m guessing this whole challenge is about — themes and writing — I’m going to continue on. I won’t hold it against you if you decide to skip over this post since all I do is talk about my failures as a student. That’s cool. I wouldn’t blame you. But this is also one of my biggest fears.

I’m afraid to fail.

I know everyone says that failing is good, failing is progress or whatever. Failure is an opportunity, only if you take it as one. Since I was a child, my parents always told me to get good grades, so I did. If I got a B, it was bad news. My reward was earning money for every A on my report card, and then less for every B. Yes, they basically bribed me and it worked. Forget about anything if I ever got a C. My first C came in undergrad. That’s when I experienced failure, or what I attributed to failure anyway. Maybe that’s when I started getting complacent after I kept getting Cs.

Because I was afraid to try.

Well, even when I tried, I failed. So, I figured why keep trying? Just keep being a C student and you’ll still graduate. You’ll still be able to move on with life, get a job, etc. That’s what I told myself anyway. Trying leads to failure. Trying = failure. I don’t want to fail or keep feeling like a failure, so I stopped trying. I realized trying was the root of failure.

No, lack of trying is the root of failure.

By Pablo Pintachan

By Pablo Pintachan

I love this picture. I found it on Baron Fig. They’re selling a limited supply of these kinds of posters and I’m seriously debating shelling out the $25 for this just because it’s that awesome. Fail. Fail again. Fail better. That is life in nutshell.

It’s not easy. I’m not going to sit here and preach and say that yeah, failing and getting up again is easy. It’s not. There’s all these inspirational quotes that go around saying that getting up defines who you are or whatever. It’s true. But they also don’t tell you how incredibly hard it is to get up sometimes. I was flat on my face for years before I finally peeked out from under the rock and plucked up enough courage to pull myself up. For some, this comes natural to you and I’m slightly envious of you. Rock on with that confidence and courage. For others like me, who are scared of the consequences of failing, and want to hide and pray it’ll all go away, it takes a little more. Sometimes we need a little nudge of encouragement from others, or in my case, a massive shove to get my butt moving.

Everything seems scary until you dive right in. When I finally did that with grad school, it felt liberating. I actually was proud of myself for stepping up, filling out an application, and writing about myself (which I hate to do when it comes to academics and such) regardless of the outcome. I put it all on paper and left myself exposed, and it felt wonderful. Because I took a step. Because I finally had the courage to get up, face some of my fears, and push through. I did something I never thought I’d be able to do before.

I know, I know, sending in an application shouldn’t be that big of a deal — except that it is. At that time, it was the first major step to the rest of my career, to my life. I put everything I had left in me into that application, and made myself sound the best I could to land an interview. Luckily it all paid off.

So not all consequences equals failure. Sometimes there are great outcomes. But most of the time, it takes a lot of failing and rejection and getting up again and again before we finally see some of that success pay off. I had so many schools reject me the first round before Drexel said yes during my second round. In fact one school sent me TWO rejection letters, you know, just in case I couldn’t figure that out from the first one. I think I still have them. I keep them as motivation to prove to all the other schools who said no that they’re missing out. And sometimes, it’ll serve as a reminder of my journey to get to this point.

Don’t give up. Don’t stop trying. Get up again. Fail. Fail again. Fail better. And remember this:

I saw this floating around on Twitter before. Don't know who to credit, sorry!

I saw this floating around on Twitter before. Don’t know who to credit, sorry!

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