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You know the feeling. You’re opening up that email you have been waiting for, only to begin reading, “We regret to inform you… .” You’re studying so hard it feels like your brain might explode at any given moment. You open up Canvas the next morning and find a “C+” waiting for you. You find yourself coming in at second place, which might as well be last because it is not first. Is this feeling ringing a bell?

Growing up, I came from a household that pushed competitiveness and winning. Even if I was the winner in any given situation, I had to keep driving myself to win everything. If I was not the best, I was not satisfied. See, here lies the problem. When you are growing up, successes are not as complex and they are easier to obtain. When you grow up, life is unfair, hard, unknown, and one huge obstacle course. How could I expect perfection all the time in circumstances such as these?

If you know me personally, you know I make music. I would release albums and feel horrible about it because it would not garner enough attention. When I graduated high school, I did not win any awards. I felt so furious. All this work and for what? I apply to job after job and nobody seems to want to hire me. Gosh, sometimes it seems like I just exist in this haze of failure!

 

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Thankfully, someone I hold close to me shed some light on my mindset recently. I figured why not share with everyone? We have to stop seeing what we did wrong so often. We have to stop pointing the finger at ourselves to be perfect. Stop creating this unrealistic standard for yourself to live up to. Life really is not as stressful as we make it out to be. Learn to value your time and efforts.

I should have celebrated my albums because it took a lot of hard work and time. It is so rare to record and release something like that. I should have known that I did not need an award to be proud about flipping my tassel. I should have been grateful that I even have the skill set to apply to all these jobs. Are you getting the big picture?

It is cliche, but life is way too short to not be celebrating the small accomplishments. You have to make it a habit to point out the positives in your life. Otherwise, it is so easy to get lost in that haze I mentioned earlier. Did you exercise today? Amazing! Did you write a short essay? Also amazing!

I hope you take away at least one thing from reading this. Please, put yourself in that spotlight because nobody else is going to do it for you. Only you have the ability to recognize and give yourself credit for what you do day in and day out. Once you start to internalize this positivity, I promise it will make a difference in how you see your “failures.” Until next time, happy failing.

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