No matter what line of work we are in, no matter what path we follow in life, there will always be struggles and failure. One thing is guaranteed: anything you need to work for, you will fail throughout the process. We often try not to think about our failures or struggles, seeing them as an embarrassing or disappointing to others.
To shy away from truly processing these failures and struggles can be extremely counterproductive to one’s journey towards developing into their true selves and finding out who they really are.
If we’re not willing to look back and learn from our failures and embrace our struggles (instead of resenting them), I don’t think we’ll ever get the fulfillment out of life we deserve. Something will always be missing.
Notice the language I’m using here when I say “We” will never get the fulfillment out of life we deserve.” I am speaking like this from both a standpoint of humility and unity. I am a 27-year-old who is by no means a great success story. I have my own bag of rocks that aren’t nearly as heavy as some others, but might be heavier than the next person’s. We are all in this together.
Here’s a little example of my own:
Somewhere down the road, all I can see is myself on a stage speaking. I can’t really say exactly what it’ll be about, what it’ll incorporate, but I’d like to think it’ll be a tornado of self-awareness through helping others, comedy, education, confidence and charisma building, etc. Who knows though, maybe I’ll be talking to strangers wearing headphones on a subway, I can’t call it right now.
The realization of what I see myself doing was brought to my attention after examining my past. I’ve always wanted to have my voice heard, I know this for sure, and it was that yearn to speak my truth that got me into a music studio. I became your average Soundcloud rapper who inboxed everyone their new music links. It was at this time I first realized that if I wanted to be heard, I would have to be open to being critiqued by others.
I came from a small town/city where my identity had been laid out for me, and when I challenged this and did something others had no idea was coming, I fell at the mercy of public perception. I began to hear rumors of people talking shit to a degree that made me physically ill, I remember those I thought were closest to me really weren’t, and I also remember how hard it was to continue to put myself out there to be critiqued.
Feelings like those got me to a point where I realized nothing anyone said mattered. All that mattered was my willingness to stay focused and do what I loved to do at the time. This eventually got me on stage enough to find my own voice, develop my style, and realize I just wanted a microphone in my hand. Did I like making music and performing? Yes, but I loved the feeling of going back and forth with the crowd during conversation, seeing an audience laugh, seeing people engaged, etc.
If I shyed away from that initial struggle, from the initial failures of bombed shows and embarrassing moments, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Do I still continue to struggle? Hell yeah. Do I still continue to fail? Bet your ass I do.
But embracing and making it through that initial struggle, learning from previous failures, and identifying with those uncomfortable moments have enabled me to find comfort in uncomfortable situations.
I don’t want to ramble about myself here because that’s now the point of this Monday segment. The main point I’m trying to get across to you is to never shy away or feel defeated by what brings you down. It truly builds the foundation to who you’ll become.
Learn to love that struggle, learn to use failure as a lesson, constantly reflect and be open to critique, but never let it ruin you. Never let someone else’s perception of you dictate what you’re going to do or who you’re going to be. F that. Never ever let that happen, you decide who you are, you can change whenever you want, and the best time to do that is NOW!
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