Failing is Not the Same as Being a Failure

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas Edison

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
– Thomas Edison

When I look back on my day, failures are the main things that I notice. My own failures in particular haunt me. Lately, reminiscing on these problems has been especially time-consuming. In fact, I can list them in my brain from just today:

  • The lowest grade ever on an exam (28 out of 40)
  • Eating two chocolates in addition to a (smaller) dessert
  • Not being able to figure out roommate arrangements at Disney
  • Looking gross in the mirror
  • Almost being late getting my costume on for Narnia 

This list continues on and on, but dwelling on it only depresses me more. Instead, I need to remember that my failures do not make me the failure. Sure, I am not perfect, but no one else is either.

Who else failed? Einstein, Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Tolkien, etc. What great artist, scientist, philosopher, explorer, politician, or any other person did not fail at times? Do we remember them as failures or successes?

Perhaps the people who fail the most also succeed the most in the end. If you are not willing to tumble down the hill, you will never reach the mountaintop.

Thus, when you feel like a failure, try instead to see how those failures make you better and more successful in the future. Here are some examples:

  • I will study more for my next exam.
  • I will keep trying to understand what I am using food to help me cope with in life.
  • I will continue searching for the right roommate.
  • I will slowly get better at accepting my body.
  • I will get in to costume sooner next time.

Remember, you are not your failures or even your successes. You are just you.



2 thoughts on “Failing is Not the Same as Being a Failure

  1. MEM says:

    Dear Rose with Thorns,
    Although you may not be a baseball fan, it may be interesting for you to know that the famous and endearing Minnesota Twins baseball player, Kirby Puckett, had a total of 207 home runs in his 12-year career with the Twinkies but also a whopping 965 strike outs!
    Your personal examples about how to get up and keep trying show your inner pluck and resilience. Hang in there! You are worth it.

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