Last week I attended an event that honored people with disabilities who had participated in an art competition. An organization asked people with impairments to send in their drawings, and the selected art pieces would be printed on the wrapping paper of granola bars. The event was organized to unveil and recognize the winners. In retrospect, I can say that it was not only a beautiful and amazing occasion, but for the most part it was empowering.
...even the small ones. Last week, there it was an email reminder from my website provider. It was time to renew my yearly subscription. Almost surreal, it had indeed been a year since I embarked on this blogging journey. Time had gone by so quickly, and for a moment I looked at the email and wondered if it was time just to let go and move on to other things.
"I've failed!" Only a few people would admit that. Maybe out of fear or insecurity. Some might consider it a sign of weakness. In reality, it's not about admitting that you've failed but what comes afterward. So, if you're one of the few who is honest with themselves and uses their failure as an opportunity to do and be better - congratulations!
If you find yourself thinking about the times you knew you messed up but didn't want to admit it - there's some good news for you:
At some point in life we all encounter that one person that pushes our buttons. A particular person that seems to be constantly teasing or even mocking us. That person that makes us feel scrutinized or even judged at all times. That unwanted adversary that appears to be in constant competition with us. Someone you want to - just have to prove yourself to.
I recently read an interview with the music artist Kelis that was published on HuffPost Black Voices. In the interview, she talked about her previous relationship with the rapper Nas. Spoiler alert! This article might touch on some things that may be difficult to understand for people who don't listen to hip-hop music and are not familiar with the culture surrounding it, that is why I encourage you, even more, to continue reading.
I do advocate for seeing failures as lessons because they truly are. But this shouldn't be mistaken for being oblivious to the areas you still need to work on. In fact, only a foolish person would not think about and weigh the things that led to not succeeding. There is so much value in self-reflection. That is the key to growth.
There are situations you may find yourself in that are bound to fail from the very beginning. No matter how hard you try or the different manners of approach, everything seems to be working against you. How did you find yourself there? Well, there is no easy answer to that. Very often the wrong choices we have made put us in a position of "I really don't know where to go from here".
I believe that receiving recognition and being awarded for your work, something you have put time and effort in, is one of the greatest feelings there is. The awareness that someone has seen and appreciates your hard work, even though in some moments it may not have seemed like it. But this is not where it ends. Your awards don't mean "It is finished. I can relax now." On the contrary, recognition also comes with more expectations. It sets the bar even higher and that can be a good thing.
Sometimes we find yourselves in situations where we gave our all, tried different approaches and yet it didn't work out. Does that mean our best just wasn't good enough? No! It means that your best didn't fit with the situation or environment. Neither does it mean you have failed either. In fact acknowledging when things don't fit or work well together could be one of the best things to ever happen to you.