Why Failure IS An Option

Location: 
new york
United States
US

While scrolling through Twitter one day, I stumbled upon a page that had shared a video of Will Smith talking about failure. He preached that failure IS an option and that you should learn to love failure and expect it. “Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward,” was the quote he chose to start his speech. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve failed, but the number must be high because I have a tendency not to do something if I believe I am going to fail.

Throughout my life, people have always said, “Failure is not an option.” Whether it was a volleyball game, a test in school, or even a board game, I felt the words hanging over my head like a storm cloud. My parents raised me to be competitive, so much so that certain board games were eventually banned in our household due to the intense fights that ensued. I always believed that to fail was not an option, I saw it as worse than it actually was, and believed that if you failed you'd be seen as weak or stupid.

Last semester, I realized that failure isn’t such a bad thing. Sure, you might feel horrible when you do, and sometimes it's embarrassing to admit defeat, but you shouldn't give up on something just because you failed. For example, I failed at college; not my actual classes, but I failed in every other sense of the word. I was buried by everything. I made some friends but mostly closed myself off in hopes that it would make it easier to leave. When it came time to go out to parties or meet new people, I didn’t feel it would be worth it. I knew I would fail somehow, whether it be that I never spoke to them again, or I would hate the party and go back to my dorm to watch Netflix and sleep.

So, I made it a point to try and introduce myself to as many people as possible this semester. Whenever there is an event that I am helping out with, I will talk to everyone. This has been great for me. When you put embarrassment and fear behind you, suddenly you feel like you can do anything!

The point of trying is not that you’ll always succeed, it’s knowing that you might fail, but you learn something from of it. That lesson might be that you hate parties, or you love to party, but whatever it is, the best thing you can do is to put your best foot forward and keep trying. Try new things, whether it's food, a new study spot, or introducing yourself to someone on the first day of class, just try.