How Does One Handle Failure In Something That Matters?

I’ve been having this feeling lately like I wanted to write something but I wasn’t quite sure where to start. This isn’t going to be a quick-fix list or a panacea that I propose for solving anything humane. Today I wanted to discuss the concept of feeling like oneself. Of having your outer self match your inner self or -who you feel like you are.

I wonder, do you know what being you feels like? Have you ever caught that moment when you felt something graver than happy and serener than calm? Have you ever found yourself feeling like all of you fits just right within your silhouette, with no extras bursting out, or margins left unchartered? When you have felt like all your height and breathing space are safely housed and nothing seems loud enough to bother them?

If you have read any of my previous articles you will probably know that I stand for multitasking. I believe that we are all juggling between different roles and through these circus-like dances we fill our days. From our jobs, to our studies, to our boyfriends and girlfriends, to our families, to our travels, we build our selves accumulatively. Growing up, it took me a while to resonate with the idea that we aren’t built to be steady and reliable structures but assemblies of fleeting feelings and experiences that move along with us as we slide through our weeks.

In a life when the only constant is, punctually, change, breathing the air of what feels like you is rare. It’s hard to explain but I have been feeling like catching glimpses of myself- more often than not- this year. I have been writing in the Huffington Post for more than two years now and as I’m going through my previous pieces I realise that this is the first time when I feel like I am -at least academically- where I belong, since I started my Masters in Psychology a few months ago.

While studying to take a Psychology Subject Test during the summer, I found myself being exhilarated by reading about the anatomy of the brain and by making sense of what is known about it. And then I felt it: it was me.

Has this ever happened to you? Do you know what I’m talking about?

More than half of the articles I’ve written are dedicated to the concept of failure, how to destigmatize it and how to overcome it. During these two years, I have contemplated failure in terms of finding what really matters to you, deciphering it from what doesn’t and growing resilient in the process. Now that I - personally - feel like I’ve found what it is that I love, I can’t help but wonder: what happens when you fail in something that you 100% want to do?

The kind of failure that I’m describing was recently introduced to me: in my case it was feeling like I want to do more and more to build on my passion but having my energy leak little by little until I felt like I needed to pause and regroup. So what do you do when you want to produce but your body stands in the way?

If I were to face this dilemma in my black-or-white-thinking days, I would say: quit or persevere. But if working on failure has taught me one thing, that is that these dilemmas only arise for things that don’t matter. When you’ve found something that allows you to feel like you are you, even for minutes, quitting is not an option. When you’ve felt it, you don’t back out.

Not backing out is a decision on its own. So there is the first step in facing failure within your passion-zone. After this, there is breathing and re-strategising. As I said in the beginning, this post offers no solutions. This is why I want to emphasise on something else: the feeling of failure that tattles on what matters. When you wont quit and when your failure doesn’t seem as decisive, doesn’t seem as adamant as it did in the past and when you know there are other things you can do to face it, you have a keeper. So fail these mini-failures and keep going at it. They will not stand in your way.

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