OPINION: What my fear of failure has taught me

Chloe Baker, Web Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Morgan Goertz
Failure may seem to always be present, but the more I have faced it, the grip it once had on me has loosened.

I stand at the very edge, looking down toward the thing I fear most. It’s what haunts me everyday: failure.

I shiver at the thought that the failure I have grown to fear  looms closer than I had ever imagined possible. We are all far more capable of falling than we believe.

But recently, it seems like I can never catch a break. I constantly feel as if I’m on the edge of failure, almost about to fall.

Like many people, failure has been one of my biggest fears. I often wonder: how do you bounce back after such a great defeat?

Over the past few years, I’ve had to look failure straight in the eye too many times. It’s not easy. It hurts, and if you are like me you internalize it and let the failure define you.

As someone who has always had to work for what I want, I know that one of the most heartbreaking experiences is when you work your butt off and are still met with failure.

There has come a point however, that I realized failure is subjective. Only you can truly define what failure looks like for you. Some people are heartbroken at the sight of a 84 percent on a test while others will be filled with joy.

In a world focused on comparison and being the best, we often forget what being our best means.

Your ultimate goal should be trying to be your own best, to give everything you can. Over the years I have heard this being said from so many people, my parents, teachers and even peers. But it has never had a true impact, at least not until now.

My grades and my success may not match other people, but that is what makes it mine. Learning to avoid analyzing my best to others’ bests is probably one of the most frustrating things to balance. Grades and success is pushed on us at the same time as comparison.

For those who struggle, make hard work your success; while it can be discouraging, your work ethic will pay off. How is it that you have failed when you know that you put as much work in as possible? Hard work is a success in itself, despite the outcome.

Failure is all about perspective, if we let ourselves drown in it, there never really is an escape. But we all have a choice, we can let our apparent failure define and dictate us or we can choose to accept that it happens and to move on from that.

Because ultimately what happens is the world is going to keep spinning and time will keep ticking away, what is the point is wasting it worrying about what we can not change. You are never too far lost that you cannot be saved, you aren’t as far into failure as you tell yourself you are.

Failure is not meant to ground you, its meant to drive you. You are so much stronger than you consider yourself to be.

I understand what it is like to feel failure. To feel the world is crashing beneath your own feet and genuinely having no clue how to escape the failure that has consumed you, but as someone that has dealt with this more times that I can count, it will be okay.

The important thing is to realize that your failure is not the same as others and neither is your success. Society has set standards for us, and in all honesty not everyone can reach them, but that is okay.

Looking out into the abyss called failure, I wrestle with the journey I have experienced but I have learned how failure is subjective and it’s up to you, as an individual, to decide your own failure.