It Hurts Feeling Like a Failure


Recently it was pointed out that I had failed at something. The specifics of what I was accused of failing at isn’t important. What is important is why that one thing hurts so bad.


From the time I was little I was reminded that I can’t be perfect at everything. But I was also told, “I can do anything I put my mind to”. I think both sayings were supposed to make me feel better depending on the situation. But oh how I wanted to be perfect. Having a learning disability, I work twice as hard to be just as good as all the other students. Thursday nights were filled with tears as I struggled to learn my spelling words, and Friday afternoons were dictated by the results on my spelling test if I pass I felt good and if I didn’t I felt stupid. I didn’t seem fair. I tried so hard. After high school things were different. I was able to excel because I could do things my way. I was able to accept some of the things I could not change because of my disorder and learn different ways around them.


As an adult, I have started a successful business, written a book, started a podcast, and achieved my dreams of living in paradise. Even at my age, when I’m told I have failed at something I slip right back to my middle school self.  “It’s not fair, I tried my best” but it just wasn’t good enough.


I had to take a step back and remind little me that I can’t be perfect at everything, even if I try my best and that’s OK.  I gave it a shot, I put my heart into it and that’s what counts. I need to take the lessons I have learned from this experience and move forward. Even that can be difficult.


If you find yourself to be like me, where you want to be the best at everything and you end up failing, remember to be kind to yourself. Sit with your feelings, take what you learn from it, apologize if needed, and keep moving. We all fail, we all make mistakes at times but learning from them is what can make us well-rounded individuals.