You are not a failure

You are not a failure

Throughout my life I have failed. I have failed so many times, in so many different ways. Often, it seemed like the things that I struggled with came so easily to others.

There can be immense pressure to succeed. To live up to the expectations of others and ourselves. Whenever something doesn’t work, or we think it might not work, we create anxiety and stress about being labeled as a failure.

For most of my life I lived with that label. Dwelling on my failures and replaying every mistake in agonizing detail. What a fool I had been. How stupid was I. The fear of failure was so great that I hid, scared to take risks because that might lead to yet another disappointment. Despite all the heart ache and self doubt I never gave up. Not because I was brave or fearless, but because doing so meant giving up on life.

Eventually, I began to realize that my failures do not define me, they make me stronger. That our failures do not make us a failure. That to fail is to be human and to feel the pain of failure is to be alive. Only by letting go of the pain are we able to take pride in our efforts, even if they do not result in the outcome we are hoping for.

I’m sharing this because I want you to know that we all struggle, that this is part of life, and to say… you are not a failure.

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Nelson/Roberto

Separated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I am a writer, photographer, and storyteller.

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