This Thing We Call “Failure”

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” 

J.K. Rowling

Ever felt like a failure? Odds are that you did. Maybe you still do. I know I did. I know there were days when I didn’t want to wake up, I didn’t want to confront reality, to fight for what I wanted.

I used to spend a lot of time imagining the future, I used to do everything I could to avoid doing what has always been most important to me: writing.

Because I was afraid I’d fail. I was afraid that things would never be as beautiful as they were inside my head. I was afraid of rejection, I was afraid that the day will come when I will know for sure that I’ll never be who I always dreamed of being. That I’ll never be who I’ve always wanted to be.

And so time passed. Nothing much happened.

But then I decided to fight. I decided that I did want the struggle. I did want to fail, over and over again. And I did want to pick myself up every time I did so.

I knew that I had to make things happen. I had to write, I had to blog, I had to do my best.

Two and a half years later, there are still morning when I don’t want to wake up. There are still responsibilities that I’d rather not face. There’s still a shadow of doubt whether or not I’m doing the right thing. I think about quitting, about trying something else.

But guess what?

I always remind myself that it’s not supposed to be easy. That I would never appreciate it if it were so. That’s what keeps me going. Where others have failed, I want to succeed. I want to hold on, always finding one more reason to do so. I try one more time. One more day… one more week… one more month.

We think about bravery as this noble virtue, where someone is supposed to keep their heads high and not let anything affect them. Someone who fly when we seem to be walking. It’s not like that. It’s like crawling. You don’t feel strong, you never do. But you just don’t want to give up.

You fight through fear and pain and doubts, you fight with yourself and everyone around you. And you keep going. No matter what.

You will fail. I will fail. Time and time again. We all stumble from one failure to the other, and at times we do lose enthusiasm, we do lose hope. But we need to develop the habit of seeing lessons in each and every failure. We need to learn from them as much as we can.

And try one more time.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Samuel Beckett


  1. I always hated that Beckett quote. One of my old college professors used to have it on our door. Always struck me as hopelessly pessimistic. I’m starting to see the wisdom in it now. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “ I was afraid I’d fail. I was afraid that things would never be as beautiful as they were inside my head. I was afraid of rejection”……

    I was never able to articulate the fear as well as you did! Amazing!

    Soldier on!

    Liked by 1 person

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