Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Failure Killed

A few years ago I heard a teaching by a very good friend of mine in which he used 5 words that rocked my somewhat perfectionist world.  He said, “Failure is always an option”, he followed up with, “because we always learn from failure”.
Failure is always an option? Really?  I’ve always heard coaches or officers barking in those sports or military related movies, “Failure is NEVER an option!!” I have to admit, I don’t like to fail, never have.  But the fear of failure has at times blocked my willingness to do something new or stopped me from persevering when success was just “around the corner”. 
I have mentioned that I’m not a math wizard.  I’m not stupid; it’s just that in a classroom setting, math concepts take an extra long time for me to grasp and usually by the time I do grasp a concept, the class has already moved on ahead 3 more concepts!  I have spent a long time avoiding and fearing math and have dropped out of several classes when it has gotten too difficult.
Recently, I have gone back to school and I had to face my old nemesis….math.  This time around, I made sure I was not too proud to ask questions in class, asked for extra help from teachers and students, some, MUCH younger than myself, went to every lecture, spent countless hours doing every homework problem, and worked at getting every single extra credit point I could.  I’d like to say I passed with flying colors; I didn’t.  I passed, sure, but it wasn’t pretty!  I’d like to say it was easier than I thought it would be; it wasn’t, it has been a most difficult journey.  I’d like to say I didn’t “fail”; I did!  I actually failed one of the classes!  Yup!  Spent a whole semester’s tuition including parking pass not to mention all the time I spent on campus and on homework etc., and I failed!  You know what?  I didn’t die.  I remembered what my friend had said and purposed myself to take the class again….and then I passed.  And now, finally,  my math classes are behind me – whew! 
Here’s the point: failure is only temporary until it becomes a success.  I just know that there are things that you’ve failed and are afraid of trying again (or for the first time).  But today, I break the chains of the fear of failure and set you free with the knowledge that failure is always an option.  You WILL persevere until that failure becomes a success and nothing can ever take that away from you. 

-Tessa L. Charles

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