When it comes to failure, I find myself excruciatingly tied to the idea that my measure of success is tied to what I do. Am I being a good enough friend? Is my dog happy? Am I pushing myself to be a better person? Am I educating myself? Am I spending too much time watching Netflix? Am I failing my diet? Failing my job?
I think there is such a huge gap between “doing my best” and real success. So, I’m left to question it all. Am I really failing or am I just not living up to other people’s expectations? I often compare myself- to other teachers, friends, grad students, and family members who seem to have it all together. Because I’m not doing and saying what they do, I find my self-worth dwindling and looking in the mirror to see a big, fat failure.
So, my message to myself and you today is SLOW DOWN. Did anyone get a degree in a day? Did anyone lose ten pounds in a week? Did anyone become the best version of themselves in a moment?
It’s about giving yourself grace and forgiveness. When the waves are slapping you in the face, you are fighting for your life and it takes a while to wade past the rolling tides. Once you wade out farther, and the white caps are behind you, you catch your breath, find an inner tube and some friends playing volleyball on the sand bar. It’s rough getting there and the fact you are fighting for your life is enough. You are doing enough- even if it’s just surviving for now.