You may of heard the similar saying, that the word no can often mean wait, there is something better around the corner for you. It is hard to know where to begin in this article, but I felt deeply motivated to write about it. Failure has many meanings, but the main one I am focusing on is: The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends. It has been a really difficult few years since my early teens. Psychologically and mentally. I have always been personally over ambitious, and expected a lot out of myself. If I never met my standard, I would mentally beat myself over it.
Whether this was learning how to play the flute, practicing at least three hours per day, doing well in an exam, applying for university at fifteen or trying not to make my parents disappointed. The problem with being over ambitious is that one can often get to the point, that they don’t allow ones self to freely make mistakes. Success is always paved with many failures, in order to build and learn from them. Without them, no one would know all the things we shouldn’t do, before being able to discover how to do it the best way. Ever since I was young, I was always convinced that I would always be a Classical Musician. I told myself that in all my diaries I wrote, every single night I would pray about it and I would talk to my parents endlessly about my dreams about it.
The past three years have been really tough, because I felt that I had lost myself. I lost the passion I had as a child. I felt that after I decided to leave university, I disappointed my teachers and parents, and I felt that I had disappointed myself. But, from moving to Sydney, I realised that life is about all these experiences and moments that combine to define who we are as a person. Most importantly, I didn’t regret my decision. All the people I have met and had the privilege to talk to, were there at the moment in time of my life for a reason. From 2013, I struggled socially, and practicing or listening to music was always a huge escape from the world. From 2014, I was losing the enjoyment, satisfaction and deep down I felt the nudge, that I should be doing something else. I began to feel extremely unhappy and lonely in the city of Auckland. All I really wanted was to see my family and do something that made me smile everyday.
From 2015, it has been one of the toughest years so far. Whether it was from the many endless interviews I have had or trying to discover more about who I am as a person. Whether it was my parents being confused as to why I don’t finish my degree, and telling me that having a degree is the easiest way to find a job. Whether it was me trying to convince them that I just have my different way of thinking. I really strongly, deeply and honestly believe that the career we do, should be something of passion, love and energy. It should be the one to make us smile to wake up in the morning and have a sense of love for it. We are only on this Earth once, and I don’t ever want to do something I feel I will lose satisfaction for, because I simply love music so much.
I felt really upset these past few months, from interviewing and facing rejection after rejection after… rejection. But, I really believe that these rejections that are piling up, are a sign that something better is waiting around the corner. It also made me realise, maybe these places are not suitable for me. It also taught me what I can improve on. The difficult thing is, I am much more productive when I work on my own, and this is something I am still battling with as an introvert. The thing that makes me tired, is the emphasis some people place on what our career title is. Does it really matter what position I have in a company? Does it really define who I am as a person? Does it matter how much my salary is? No, of course it doesn’t. It does not show any higher status, personality, value or views, just as finishing a university degree does not mean you are smarter.
We have all faced failure. Whether it was small or big. Whether it was lightly brushed off or crashing and tormenting. No matter what. Failure allows us to grow. Everyday I try think of at least three things I am grateful for. It allows me to reflect on the day and stay positive and realise that everything I am grateful for are always the small things. People associate failure with not being good enough, not living up to expectations and being crushed. Just as people associate being introverted, quiet and soft spoken with weakness. It is a common misconception, that is really harmful. It has really harmed me throughout my whole life from being constantly told to be more this or more that. Even though I really just wanted to be me. Remember this – you are not alone. You are not the only one. Even though, you may feel at some point, that you are the only one who feels a certain way, many people have felt it too. We are all human.
The people we are inspired by, the people we look up to, the friends beside us. They have all dealt with all different kinds of failures. They have crashed down, shed their tears and felt upset. It is how we bounce back from these that show our character. It is how we view it and use it to lead us to success and happiness.
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” – Steve Jobs