Ways to Survive Failure

By now we all know that failure teaches us precious lessons. Einstein said he had never failed but only found 10 000 ways that would not work. Dali denied the possibility of not failing and the attainability of perfection whatsoever. And then there was Steve Jobs. So failure must indeed be just a blessing in disguise.

Yet, this does not stop us from feeling shitty about it and wanting to just lie in bed, wallowing in self-deprecation. I am just days away from a massive disappointment in myself since I failed NaNoWriMo this year. I had a dream, I set a goal and I failed (unless I pull-off writing 46 000 words by Saturday and call it my novel). In the future this will probably be the big flop that would get me a Nobel Prize for Literature, but how do I manage in the short-term?

I pondered, I wondered, and, like the good girl I am, I made a list:

1. Take a break and start fresh – Getting back on the horse is important, but you do need some space. Let go for a while – it does not mean you are giving up – and allow your mind some time to get enthusiastic again. Use the opportunity to focus on other hobbies or to start something entirely new.

2. Make a list – whatever list – you will probably lose it or forget about it, but for now it will give you structure. Make it a list of the biggest set backs that caused you to fail; of what you will do different next time; or a timeline for a next attempt. But for the sake of structure a grocery list would do nicely. (And yes, I am busted – this is my feel-better list)

3. Cook these and let me now how it went, because I have been meaning to for ages. Or engage in any other activity that would require your undivided attention and will benefit someone else more than yourself. Time commitment is the best way to show someone you care and have them in your corner no matter what. And these do look delicious.

4. Procrastinate. Research has shown it’s like carrot-juice level of healthy. And, like the good girl I am, I will follow up with suggestions for guilt-free procrastination, that will make you a richer person (metaphorically).

Any ideas to add to the list – let me know in the comments below : )

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5 thoughts on “Ways to Survive Failure

  1. Haha, I also failed NaNoWriMo. I’m a consistent blogger, but that sprint to 50k was way out of my writing capabilities. On top of school, website, etc, there was no way. But no problemo!

    I’ve been working on facing my fear of failing, that I’ve gotten so good at it, it’s been hurting my marks in school. In turn, I’ve been working on personal development and self improvement, so it’s not a complete loss. So in terms of failure, it doesn’t really work with academics, and it shouldn’t. I’ve seemed to have forgotten that along the way and I’m picking myself back up now.

    Anywhoo, gunna try that recipe and slather it with maple syrup before hitting the gym 😛

    1. Hahha That would be some energy boost! 😀

      About NaNoWriMo – well, hopefully next time we will both make it I am still glad I started it this year, even though I didn’t hit the 50k mark (not even close), because it reminded me how much I enjoy writing fiction. But then that’s the real disappointment – to really enjoy something and still not pull it off..

      I agree that failing in academics is not easy to mask as future success. Maybe all those stories of school drop-outs achieving greatness and changing the world are just reminders that few can do it, but still the bunch of us would do well to get that degree.

      I think it’s great that you are juggling so many things and still motivated to achieve more. Wishing you best of luck!

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