MY EXPERIENCE WITH FAILURE
In my little lifetime, I have had the opportunity to experience life at both ends (failing and winning). Not until this past month have I found a way of learning to deal with failure.
Early this week, during a class work we took something similar to a behavioural test, which showed I loved to compete (I cannot apologise for that). However, me being competitive has blinded me from foreseeing the positive effects of failing, and I would go on for weeks tormenting myself about missed opportunities. I would always wonder if people who ventured and succeed in a similar course or area while I failed had two heads.
The reason for this is because as a Nigerian, the culture around failing has not been healthy and there is also the thing about winning that makes you feel invincible to failure.
My closest brush with failure, in the past, was academically, and that bugged me to my wits. I was 34 people away from being bottom of the class. and usually I made sure I stayed at top 10. So, when this semester my internships fell through and my grades didn’t feel like me, I knew I had but to confront the way I understood and engaged with failing.
HOW I FELT BECAUSE OF FAILING
Because failing at the above things meant I felt less courageous, would struggle with my self esteem; most of which had taken me a decent amount of years to build. These insecurities often got worse when I saw others winning, and I’m no hater.
There was more to this failings. My blog count, had fallen below the bar, my Instagram (whose numbers people have come to associate success with) numbers were reducing with each passing day, which meant my endorsements were going downhill and it did.
For people who win or have a fairer advantage at winning than others, it’s harder to see the privileges and advantages stacked up, and to think our skills and capacity is what got us our wins. While that may be true, there is no denying that having a few privileges like a college degree, a cognitive ability to learn, and withstand challenges is a gift that should not be taken for granted.
So with all my failings this year, I had to lean into the advantages and privileges I had and that failing meant that I was putting myself in challenging situations. I learned from my failures that having another similar opportunity come my way, meant that I was going to improve or develop a different approach.
LESSONS FROM FAILING
Knowing that I had adopted this pattern of thinking towards failure has shown my growth, and I know that better opportunities will come my way by adopting this type of mindset. Winning sometimes can make us feel like motivational speakers, with obnoxious ideas that don’t ring true to everyone’s experience. So failing is very humbling for me and allows me not to fall into the trope of being a motivational speaker, because we are all in this journey together winging it and learning.
By the way, this year for me started with so much optimism, and I was hopeful about the opportunities that the rest of the year would bring. Unfortunately, my woes began during the summer break. The endless search for summer intern opportunities to help with my tuition, which never happened, also I needed an on-campus job to help with rent and transportation and nothing happened.
My footwear line in Nigeria was having sales and logistics crisis in August. Well thankfully there were no plans for my new year resolution, except the wish to graduate. So fingers crossed that this happens, because phew, I don’t know how my tuition is going to get paid. It’s all vibes for now.
But I have also won some things this year, and there is something about winning that makes you win again, and it just doesn’t stop. It’s almost like a jinx broken, and you would never want to go back to failing.
My grades this year in graduate school went up, and I became a better writer (learning from my failures), I found out the areas I was lacking and began to make adjustments. I started another semester in grad school when it looked like I was going to be a dropout. Although my business may not have progressed as planned, there have been huge improvements with logistics. Yesterday, I got word that I may be a TA for a tech class in spring of 2019 and now I feel invincible again… to be continued
You can watch my YouTube video on where I got my outfit from Here
Sometimes when I read your blog posts, I literally don't know what to say. I want to say words of comfort and encouragement and many other things but I don't know how to construct the words and sometimes i doubt I fully understand what you're communicating. I am not an avid reader/fellower I'm always in and out mostly cos of school but this year what i noticed from the times I've viewed your insta page and read your blogposts is that you have grown,better than last and the year before you have grown. You are wiser, smarter, stronger amidst the failures and tough times that you have gone through in this year. There are wins to count even in the failures.
I appreciate you Grace Alex. Thank you for who you are and for being you. I've learnt quite a lot from you this year and I'm grateful. Thank you for never giving up and for always giving your best. You are strong, bold, beautiful and you have what it takes to make the impact and achieve the goals that you want to. Never doubt the power you possess. You are greatness on two feet.
Lots of love
I am currently in loss of words to accurately thank you for your sweet message. However, I'll still say it, thank you thank you thank you. May things fall in pleasant places for you, love you.