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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

Life is literally hard af and we all have no clue what we are doing, but as long as we make it through, we’re content. Because we are human, full of emotions, desires, needs, and fears. We have bodies that are susceptible to disease and injury. We need food, shelter, and human connection to thrive. It was inevitable that burnout would occur and I eventually caught the “burnout bug.” During this time, I strongly believe that my everything was tested- my sanity, my soul, my dreams, simply my everything. I often referred to this time as the “fight for my life,” due to the significant way my life felt like it was determined forever, however, I remember my therapist reminding me of a few tips, that helped me tremendously during this tough time.

She reminded me that……….

Failure is something that is woven throughout the human experience and some of the greatest success stories are those that follow the twists and turns of failure and struggle before finally reaching the goal.

While almost everyone experiences failure — or multiple failures — at some time in our lives, it’s still something we fear, loathe, and avoid at all costs. Fear of failure is a huge reason we avoid taking risks. The biggest challenge of failure is its ability to cause us to freeze up and stay stuck in its terrible aftermath.

Living in the shadow of failure often creates a sense of hopelessness, uncertainty, and self-doubt. Getting stuck in this mindset holds you back from an ability to move forward and it can bring your comeback story to a screeching halt.

During this time, I was juggling a variety of interests of my plate. I was a full time student and student leader, a full time hospital worker, a part time model, full time CEO of my own skincare company, while trying to be financially independent due to the matter that I am first- generation student. Whew, I got fatigued just typing that all out, but as I reflect on this time, I realized how overwhelming that experience was and realizing that I have overcome a-lot tremendously and I am extremely proud of myself, however, getting to a space to where I’m able to say positive things about my experience, took a long time and I want to affirm those who feel like being kind to yourself is an unforeseeable action.

My Failure Experience

It’s a story I’m intimately familiar with. I lived through a period of epic failure in my life when, over a 6-month period my confidence dissolved, followed by the loss of a family member and courage.

The situation deteriorated so much that before it was over, I was living in an apartment, barely making ends meet, dealing with a chronic health issue, and simply ready to give up. It felt like life had strapped on a pair of combat boots and repeatedly walked all over me, leaving me bruised, broken, and too weak to get back up.

My future prospects seemed terrifying. I struggled with life, just trying to get through every day an hour at a time. The experience left me directionless and fearful. The thought of challenging myself or trying anything new brought up feelings of intense anxiety. The Universe had slapped me down, and who was I to think I deserved anything better after failing so badly?

I worked myself into a mindset that held me back for years. When I finally started to turn things around, I discovered three things that dramatically slowed my comeback. They were right in front of me the whole time, but were hard to see because I was so caught up in my failure experience.

As the vision of my life became clearer, I realized that there were a few patterns that contrasted my rebound from failure. After getting back on my feet, I made a commitment to myself that I’d use my experience to help others facing the same challenges. The biggest things that slowed my climb back were:

  1. Allowing Failure Become My Identity: I associated failure with who I was. For a period of time, I was incapable of seeing myself as the “inspiration” everyone considered me to be. I believed that everything happening to me was my fault because “I allowed them to happen” and or considered myself to not be “strong enough to fight back.
  2. I Played The Blame Game: My failure experience left me feeling so beat up that I believed the Universe was against me. I blamed just about everything for what was wrong in my life. I walked away from personal responsibility and blamed others for my awful job, my isolation, and my suffering. I gave away the power I had over my life and let the currents push me along anywhere they wanted to carry me.
  3. I Lost Perspective: Everywhere I turned it felt like menacing forces were ready to pounce. My experiences were colored through a lens of hopeless despair. As a result, I felt incredibly lost and alone. In response, I shut out the world and pulled back from people and relationships.

No matter what happens, you can always bounce back. We are resilient beings. We are made to thrive and not just to solely survive. Human beings have been thriving since our earliest days. They’ve dreamed big dreams and seen them through. Anything is possible with the right amount of determine focus and persistent action. Anything. You got this, I believe in you bestie!

-M

Makayla Greene

Winthrop '24

A brown girl exuding Cindy Crawford and Ms. Frizzle.