The Other F Word

From a young age, we’re conditioned to believe that failure is the lack of success, and in the most literal terms, it is but there is so much more power in failure than we allow ourselves to believe. As I sit here writing this post, my cell phone screen is continuously flashing Instagram notifications. People from all over the world are liking and commenting on my newest post, one that I carefully crafted with all the right angles and filters, topped off with a caption that I spent 5 minutes mulling over. “Does it sound right?” “Does it give off the right vibe?”. We’ve become so wrapped up in this digital world that we sometimes forget the reality of it all. We forget that we are more than an online persona. I once heard that we never truly are able to see ourselves – know how we look. We only see reflections of ourselves in mirrors and freeze framed photographs. Now, in this digital era, we’ve detached ourselves even further, allowing ourselves to literally manipulate our bodies and our minds through apps and filters that allow the world a glimpse into our carefully crafted, online persona.  We moderate our lives without any fear of mental or social consequences. Not realizing that one day, the smoke and mirrors will clear and you’ll be standing in front of your own reflection, forced to ask yourself “who am I?”

I used to fear failure and rejection (as I’m sure many others do). I never allowed myself any room to consider that I wouldn’t achieve all my dreams and goals as early as I wanted to. I reached a point in my life where all I cared about were the numbers on my social media platforms and the false sense of validation I got from each like and each comment. I would stare at the thumbs down option on my YouTube videos and hate myself whenever the numbers would rise. I never realized that the rejection was actually a positive thing. Something that was pushing me forward and showing me the areas I needed to improve upon. There is a sense of power when you let go of the fear of failure, one that doesn’t come easy. It comes from doors being slammed shut in your face, from dead ends, from a constant stream of rejection and a sense of being lost in the world. From that point you have two options, wallow in self pity and allow yourself to let the world kick you while you’re down, or use the failure and rejection to better yourself. I can’t speak for the latter option because I’m still in the process of picking myself up and continuing to navigate this scary world but I know I’m on the right track because I’m allowing myself to gain strength from the failure.

I strongly believe that success does not come without failure, in order to really understand the world and really understand yourself, you must first see how much you can endure. How much the world can throw at you and still pick yourself back up and keep going. I don’t exactly know where my life is headed right now, my 5 year plan has gotten a little foggy but there is one thing I do know, I will not let the other F word control my life.


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