After retiring from being a professional athlete at the ripe old age of 12, I had a lot of time on my hands. And with that time I unfortunately picked up a handful of bad habits that I’m not too proud of. To list a few, I started eating hummus like way too much, I watched Mean Girls on my laptop at least two times a week, and I used to cry sometimes, because One Direction went five different directions while it seemed like my life was going in no direction. Now blame it on a lack of motivation, stress, or puberty, I was stuck at a standstill. Typical words to describe middle school me on my Friday night would be along the lines of mess, meltdown, failure. It took a lot of deep thinking, support from my friends, and honestly, some Shia Labeouf’s “Just Do It” memes for me to realize that even though my life was spiraling downwards, this wasn’t going to be the story of my life. Looking back, I was a very dramatic 12 year old.
American singer and songwriter Brendan Urie puts it best in his hit song High Hopes when he said, “Had to have high, high hopes for a living, shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing, Didn't have a dime but I always had a vision, always had high, high hopes.” Urie later explains in a tweet that he at some point in his life realized that he had to aim high and fail, fail, and fail in order to keep growing. Wise words from a very wise man, and yet despite Urie’s teachings, society still firmly believes that failing is deplorable.
An unspoken wave of stigmatization against the very idea of failing is still prevalent in today’s society, causing up to fear failure itself, and thus to not even attempt anything we deem risky, because we are afraid of the potential outcomes. And that is my concern, that this fear of failure will halt our growth as human beings, causing us to never reach our potential, or exceed it, because we’re too afraid that we will fail.
So, let’s embark on a journey by first failing miserably, and learn why people are so afraid to do just that. Next we’ll set some high hopes, and understand why failure is necessary for success, before finally, failing even harder so we can go back to the drawing board to create a new solution, one we aren’t afraid of.
To be continued.....