We always advise and motivate our children to do their best, secure good positions and sometimes even tempt them with some material rewards so that they study or become successful in life. That is for sure, the best thing to do. But we often forget that if, for some reason, they fail or don’t fulfill our expectations or their own expectations, then what? Do we prepare them for failures? Most of us do not.
It’s time we do.
It’s not only children, haven’t we ever gone down in flames. A person who claims to have never failed is clearly a barefaced liar.
I would like to share some insight from my personal struggle, as I elucidate how can we overcome failure and make it just another learning experience.
From good old school days, I had always been a very sincere and hardworking person. Securing top ranks in studies, getting through top notch colleges was never so difficult for me. I would always burn the candle at both ends and it did pay me well. As an educator, I was liked by one and all. I shared a good rapport with my students as well as my colleagues. Once I participated in a beauty pageant and won laurels there as well. Basically, a task at hand and I performed fairly well. I had never had the bitter taste of failure. But I forgot, I might fail someday. It is inevitable. And it happened in the most unexpected form.
When I became a mother, I had no clue what was going on. I couldn’t deal with it. I didn’t know how to handle a cranky colic child. I would usually end up hitting the ceiling. Temperament was quite out of control. A perfectionist like me who had only seen success all through couldn’t bear the brunt of this failure. I couldn’t caress a baby. I was failing motherhood. The failure prolonged because I refused to accept it.
We all come across mothers saying – “child, you have fallen in my eyes”. But I used to imagine my baby looking at me and telling me how I was falling in his eyes. That little bundle of joy and beauty who couldn’t even speak was trying to convey this to me. This clearly lead to what I thought was postpartum depression.
So, things to do and not to do when you fail or when you feel you have failed –
- DO – accept it.
Failure is always a bitter pill to swallow but the earlier you accept the fact, the faster will you be able to deal with it. We all fail. But not all of us have the courage to accept it and fix it and move on. This is the first and the toughest step.
DON’T – let it sink into your system and become a habit.
Self-awareness may be the first step. But sometimes when we accept things and let it happen again and again without consciously dealing with it. In such a case, we will never be able to move to step 2.
And so I prepared myself for this unfortunate faux pas I was committing. It took a while but at least I knew and was ready to proceed to the next step and get up every time I made a fall.
BE aware and be ready to take those necessary steps to try again.
2. It takes two to tango – Talk it out. Find an answer.
Once you have got a perspective of the fact that yes you have failed, be ready to share.
DO share with someone you can confide in. Someone you think might have an answer. A friend, relative, parents, siblings, husband, anyone. Discuss with them and find out how the land lies.
DON’T go on sharing with everyone. You have to choose someone who won’t sell you out. But any which way do not hesitate from discussing.
If you feel awkward about what the other person will think of you, just share with someone who doesn’t judge you. That means, share it with a third party who probably doesn’t know your past or present. We have lot of people around who are there to hear us out, and many are qualified to do so. They will listen and help you find an answer for yourself.
I did the latter. The dubiety of being judged brought me to a conclusion that I wanted a third party intervention. And only through this discussion did I become aware of my problem. I began to comprehend that it was not stress or PPD that was causing this bad shift in my temperament. It was simply the fact that I had never quite failed especially in my own eyes. And this new thing was an unpleasant experience. No one in particular gave me this answer. I came to reason this out just by talking it out. I just needed to vent out to a suitable outlet. This in itself was a big relief
3. Follow up
Once you have reasoned out. Everything becomes easier. It’s time to take steps for improvement. It’s time to try a new point of view.
DO make sure you have something planned to set things right. If it was an exam, try harder with a better technique and some more help next time. If it was a relationship, be careful about what you have learned from the past. Whatever it is, just be confident that things will change and you will always look back and smile.
DON’T believe that someone else will come and find solutions for you. You will get millions of opinions from all your well-wishers but it’s you who will eventually decide which shoe fits you best. And never fear to try something new.
I accepted and came to believe that I am not the only one. And there a lot of mothers who face this and it does get better with time. On reading and discussing with my husband, we did come to a solution. He made sure I got an hour for myself in a day and a day for myself in a week. It was then I began to realize what I was missing out on. The best baby years. He will never be that chubby soft skinned again. He might not have that fresh natural unique baby fragrance. And most of all, he is totally clueless about what’s going on. I am his face, I am his voice, I am his ears. He will pick up everything I do. So this was a huge responsibility and it was no job, it was a lifelong commitment, a lifelong bond.
Also, I started practicing yoga and with its positive effects on my mind, body and soul, there has been no looking back.
4. Be optimistic. This time it will work out well.
DO stay positive that whatever steps you have decided for betterment will fetch you better results. Success will follow.
DON’T be in an impression that things will change overnight. It will be gradual and it will be beautiful.
I didn’t change in a day but I became conscious of my acts. I started taking control of my emotions and I realized that the connection was so much more than just of blood, genes, care or emotions. It was a selfless act of motherhood that is second to no other bond in the universe.
5. Be prepared to fail again and fight again.
Nothing is permanent in this world. Never limit life’s possibilities. People change, places change, circumstances change. You might succeed today but you might fail again.
DO your best every time to rise from the fall. Let it happen.
DO NOT let it put you down even if it happens again. Just remember failure is uncomfortable but now your memory recognizes it and you have overcome before and you can do it again.
Well, now, I write blogs on parenting skills and am proud to have mastered some of these skills too.