Failure is only a success in progress,- Albert Einstein.

Veronica Iseminger

“Failure is only a success in progress,”- Albert Einstein.

Veronica Iseminger, Perspectives editor

No one sets out to fail. Usually, the goal in mind is simply a motivation you refuse to give up on. You put forth all your time, effort and strength towards achieving whatever it is you are after and hope for the best. There really isn’t anything else you can do other than try your hardest and believe in yourself. Yet, still, we as humans are obsessed with the thought of failing. And I think that is why we often do. 

I’ve spent a large portion of my life questioning why I feel like a failure, idolizing perfection and fearing that if I am a “failure,” my worth is less than. This unhealthy mindset that I have created for myself has time and time again set me back. Not that I believe this mindset must be the only contributor to possible failure, but one of the most confounding. Looking at the worst possible turnout often resurfaces the anxieties and doubts we subconsciously hold. It’s as if you intended to jump across a large gap, took a running start and stopped yourself before reaching the edge, thus jumping from there and plummeting into every negative thought you had in the first place. But, once you have landed into the pit of raw vulnerability, you can’t sit there forever and sulk about what should have happened. Because it didn’t, and that’s okay. 

There is no such thing as being a failure unless you choose to be one.  

You have the power to decide for yourself when you are going to quit trying. Albert Einstein once said, “Failure is a success in progress.” It’s only once you have given up on the desire to succeed that you can truly say you have failed. But even then, failure isn’t permanent. It is more than normal to feel discouraged and unmotivated at a failed attempt. You may be overwhelmed with the idea that if you didn’t accomplish your goal the first time, you won’t ever be able to in the future. So, what if it takes you three tries or 300 tries? I mean, it took Thomas Edison 1,001 to finally create the lightbulb. Imagine if he had stopped after the first or second failed attempt, how much later would the invention have been created? Or would it have been at all? 

Another factor that plays into the “I’m a failure” mindset is the instinctive urge to compare ourselves to our families, friends and peers. The thought that those around you have accomplished more or are better equipped than you. The danger in this comes from the suggested belief that your life, emotions and experiences are somehow parallel to every other individual. Which we both know is entirely untrue as not one single other person on this earth carries an identical past. They are not you. Your future is solely based on your actions. 

It may take someone 20 minutes to solve the same problem that takes you five separate endeavors. Instead of throwing out the chance at a second shot, learn from that encounter. Evaluate what it is that held you at a disadvantage and uncover the proper steps to improving yourself. Was it a lack of motivation, an imbalance of knowledge or other insecurities? Whichever it is, identify it and use it to your favor. Find a support system to help motivate you to take on obstacles in your way, educate yourself and research what it is you don’t fully understand and maybe try out some good coping mechanisms to combat those insecurities. Journaling is a valuable tool to help get down all of your worries on paper, especially if it is difficult to organize those emotions just in your head. A journal is also nice because you don’t have to be consistent. That was something I hadn’t realized before. You don’t have to write every day to make progress in your mental health, and you don’t have to follow any certain layout. Your journal can be anything you want it to be. Whether it’s an outlet to display your goals, a place to make to-do lists, a diary, a collection of letters or some kind of mix or in between, it’s an opportunity available to you. If journaling isn’t your thing, try speaking to a close friend, family member or counselor to discuss where the root of your insecurities are and from there make a plan of execution to recondition that negative self-view. 

Your potential is limitless. Don’t let a failure mindset make a failure out of you. You have every capability to see yourself succeed.