Failure is not something to be looked down on
Seniors Say Sayonara
May 8, 2016
Filed under Opinion
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This column is the second piece in a series of farewells from The Freelancer’s senior staff members.
Looking back at my past four years of high school for this opinion piece was quite difficult for me. It could be in part because of my terrible memory, but it was also because in many ways, I was afraid.
What was I afraid of? I was afraid of not being able to say anything significant in this article. I was afraid I’d never be able to follow up to the excellence of the first piece in the Seniors Say Sayonara farewell columns. Mostly, I was afraid of failure.
My reluctance to write this opinion piece got me thinking. I started to realize that fear played a large role in my life.
I was always very shy as a kid. I rarely talked to new people because I was afraid they would dislike me. I hardly ever raised my hand in class, and am still barely able to today because I was afraid that my answers would be wrong and I would be looked down on. Because I let fear rule my life for so long, I missed out on many opportunities. Because of fear, I always took the safe and easy route in order to avoid rejection and failure.
Allowing myself to be controlled like that was a mistake. An important part of cultivating the self is trying new things and realizing the strengths and weaknesses within. And then improving upon those weaknesses. By allowing myself to avoid new, and possibly failure-inducing, experiences kept me from realizing my true passions for a long time.
Fear does not run my life as much anymore. I can’t say when or how, but at some point I decided to take some chances in life. Junior year I joined The Freelancer newspaper after hearing about it through my English teacher. Problem was, when I joined there wasn’t an actual newspaper being produced, as the previous Freelancer newspaper was suspended in the early 2000s. This meant waiting for our small newspaper start-up to get a website from administration. Unfortunately, it was a long process. Stories were written, but nothing could be published. At first, it was disheartening; I couldn’t help thinking “why am I doing all this work for nothing?”
However, this waiting period turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Though I wasn’t receiving any credit for my work, I realized I still enjoyed writing articles.
Something sparked inside me. I figured out that if you truly enjoy something, you can’t let the fear of failure, of never being recognized for the extra work you put in, of waiting to receive something that may not come when you want it, to hold you back from doing something you feel passionate about.
So, what was the point of this rambling? I guess what I’m trying to say is sometimes failure happens. But you can’t let the fear of it hold you back. And in many ways failure is often beneficial as it allows you to learn from your mistakes, and helps you realize what you need to do to become the best you can be.
So say, do, and try what you want to (I certainly am with this article). Because at the end of the day, you won’t be wondering what could have been.