People often say that we should not take failures personally! We should not take it to heart!
How else are we supposed to take it?
I mean we were not able to accomplish something, a result which we desired, for all the hard work we put in, for all the time we spent, for the emotions that we had to go through and in the end it was all for nothing? I would certainly not be happy about that. I would certainly not be in a position to walk away from it saying that it doesn’t bother me. I mean no matter how many times I say that it doesn’t bother me, I honestly know that it is not true. It really does bother me, it makes me feel bad like it should.
What does this failure mean to you? :
However it might be interesting to see what a failure means to us. We have been operating under an assumption that every emotion is a call for action. Every emotion has something to tell us. So What is this failure trying to tell us? Is it trying to tell us that we are useless? Is it trying to tell us that we are incapable of something? Is it trying to tell us that we are unlucky? Or is it trying to tell us that we cannot do it at all? If the answer for any of these questions is a YES, then maybe I think we might want to talk to ourselves again but with a different set of questions.
What can it actually mean to you?
The new set of questions can be – What is the meaning of this? Where exactly did it go wrong? How can I make it better? Why am I feeling bad? How can I stop feeling bad about it? What should be the take away from it? How can I tackle this? See the difference between the two paragraphs? Every question here is leading you to an action whereas every question above is leading to a single unified answer and a solution which says “YOU ARE AN IDIOT” and you are not going to go very far with that answer!
And about taking it personally!
– Coming back to taking a failure personally, I am well aware that few people might not like the way I am portraying it right now. I understand that it might not be the best thing to tell someone, it is not even sympathetic. I really do understand how it feels to fail, to have your goals and morals questioned over and over again. It feels awful, it feels as though you have fallen below your standards. Now you can walk away from it, say that it is not your fault, call the grapes sour and say that it was your bad luck. No one is going to argue with you, not even me. I may in fact pretend to sympathize with you like a lot of other people will. But I can promise you that it is not going to help, it is not going to make a difference. You may feel that I am an ass when I say this, you may also feel that I am being unreasonable and insensitive as well. Maybe, but I am also being true.
We don’t want an escape vent, we want a solution!
I agree that it is a natural tendency to try and identify what went wrong and it is even more natural to try and identify people or situations to take the blame. I have done it so many times in the past and in the recent present too. And it is ok as long as you know where it stands. You cannot operate on a belief that someone or something else screwed it up for you. That way you will always find a recluse, a safe spot, an easy exit. I know it sucks to feel bad, it sucks further to be in it. But I am saying let us get over it, lets get past it, the entire thing is trying to send us a message and it is pretty plain and simple – take it personally, don’t try to mask your feelings, feel bad for a while, life is not all about smiles, it is about a few tears as well. But more importantly try and identify what you are going to make out of it? What you are going to let it mean to you? And how life is going to be different cos of this. Don’t try and avoid the failures or the disappointments, face them, win over them. Life is really a larger place and a bigger construct and you can make a hell lot of difference but only if you let yourself to 🙂