Am I a Failure?
Failure is a subject I can talk about endlessly. I have failed at so many things in my life that it would take me. I used to look at those failures and torture myself for them, but now I look at them in a totally different light. I understand that my failures have made me more humble about life and about who I am. I also realize that those failures are also helping me right now. Through my failures I have learned how to manage better my relationships, I have learned to accept my failures simply as being a part of my learning process. The truth is I will keep failing. Someone very close to me once said to me: “Well you can’t keep failing your whole life”. I respectfully disagree. I probably will keep failing and its part of who I am.
The Failure doesn’t define you, deciding what to do with the failure does.
I wasn’t good at school; I had a very tough time all the way through high school. I can easily blame the ADHD I was dealing with through that time and even when I was well into my twenties and early thirties. Doing simple things for me were a challenge. Managing my finances were always a challenge back then, and I was miserable at it. I used to blame my ADHD for that and everything else. It was an easy excuse to hide behind that diagnosis.
I remember being in the army and the army psychiatrist saying that I did have ADHD. To tell you the truth, a part of me felt relieved with this news. At that point in my life, I felt like I needed an excuse to justify my failures in life. That army psychiatrist also said he wouldn’t be able to help me with it because I simply was not a priority. There were too many soldiers with much more severe mental issues than ADHD. I felt hurt by that at the time, but looking back at it now, I am glad he didn’t address it at that time. I thankfully didn’t medicate a problem that could have be overcome by other means. I cannot say that what I did to treat my ADHD could work for anyone else, but later in life I realized there would be more effective ways to handle my ADHD than being treated by pharmaceuticals.
Allowing labels to define me was an easy cop out. Why even bother trying I have ADHD? Hiding behind that label allowed me to stop trying and so I wouldn’t have to deal with the anxiety of failing. When I decided to stop looking at my diagnosis as an excuse and focused on how I could be more productive with my time and with my life did my life change significantly. What does this mean? If I can be totally frank, I stopped thinking the failures I had in my life were defining me. I no longer consider what I had done in my life as wrong. I look at them as ways to better understand what my life meant to me.
Why are we always worried about the Result?
Yes, I know we are a result driven society. How much revenue did we generate this quarter? How many clients did we capture? I think back to the legendary basketball coach John Wooden and how he explained it. He would tell his players that they should simply try and do better than they did the last time they played. I sometimes think we fail to see that the results are not good or bad, they are just results. Why do we feel the need to compare ourselves with others? Especially if we are just starting out? I used to fall into the trap of thinking this way. How did they do that? Why does a certain business have so many followers and we don’t’? Without even considering that they have been doing the same thing for many more years than we have.
I have shifted my focus more on how I can perform better than I did yesterday. What skills can I acquire that will allow me to have the kind of success I want? I am always looking for opportunities to better myself, and I have come to peace with not having all of the answers. If I don’t know how to do it, I just ask someone or even let them do it. I have learned that I don’t have to be good at everything, and that’s ok.
Failure is always an option
Failure is always something that is hanging in the background for me, and I have become ok with it. I have learned so much more from my failures than I have my successes. I have learned to speak my truth to my loved ones, how to handle better difficult people, conflict at work, and even move beyond the labels I put on myself. The truth is I will always fail, and I will keep moving past my failures.
Farrakh Khawaja is Co-founder and Director of Mandala Integrative Medicine. If you are interested in learning more about how to effectively manage your health and lifestyle, follow our blog: mimqc.com