COMFORTABLE WITH FAILURE / by Angela See

The idea of being a failure used to hold me back. I used to consider myself a perfectionist, and therefore would beat myself up whenever I didn't get something right, even though I thought I had carefully planned ahead. I used to think that working hard meant getting rewarded, but really, to expect anything as a reward for working hard is unrealistic, I think. I just want to be financially stable and happy with how I spend my time.

I used to pride myself in being a perfectionist, but I don't anymore. In fact, I don't think anyone should be proud of being overly critical of themselves. Sure, being a perfectionist may help someone in performance phases where one's skills are tested at a specific time and place, but to be perfectionist in a practice setting, such as in class, or while working on personal projects, no longer makes sense to me.

 In school, as a pre-health undergraduate, I felt pressured to preemptively know everything and get all the in-class questions right, or else my peers and professors will think I'm an idiot. But then, I realized that I am paying to attend University to learn, and not to pretend like I was born with knowledge of anatomy and physiology, therefore I shouldn't be afraid to try, ask questions, and get things wrong, because that is how I will truly be invested in my studies and learn.

I am slowly learning that failure doesn't necessarily mean that I am not meant to be something, it just means I have to try alternatives in order to succeed in the field that I want to spend my time in. Also, feeling like a failure (i.e. not feeling good enough compared to peers) and actually failing something are two very different things. There will be people out there who shame others for messing up, but those aren't the types of people who will help you grow as a person, so why should their opinions mean anything? Much easier said than done, but failing is necessary in the realm of learning to succeed. 

It's 3 a.m. and I am very sleepy, so I hope this makes some sense.

Goodnight,

- Angela