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There is No Such Thing as FAILURE

By HERWriter
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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

I tend to be very hard on myself. Part of this has to do with my strict upbringing and the other half has to do with my relentless nature.

After a successful career, I decided to enroll in the Harvard Extension School.

For some reason, I started feeling like the main character in the novel and movie ʺEat, Love, Pray.ʺ I stopped learning and needed an injection of challenging knowledge to jump start my temporary stalled creativity.

So, why not enroll in a school which offers one of the best educations with many of the nation’s top professors? My goals were to expand my brain power and complete the class with a higher than passing grade but walk away with a plethora of new knowledge.

The Harvard experience was brutal beauty. I had to discipline myself all over again and I had to balance home life, work and school.

When you enter college after high school, you generally only have to balance two out of the three. But now, I have the added bonus of managing a household, husband and very needy yet adorable dog.

I have always had a voracious appetite for reading. So, the reading assignments were fairly simple and class participation was a non-issue. The grade was based on the following criteria:

• 30 percent classroom participation
• 30 percent mid-term paper
• 40 percent final paper

My first major hurdle was the mid-term paper. The main thing holding me back from writing the paper was the fear of failure. I was afraid I would get an average grade.

But, once I mentally pushed myself over the failure speed bump, I began writing my mid-term paper. My sense of failure leveled off and I earned a B.

I was devastated and choked up when I read the critique because I felt I had failed. After crying my eyes out and beating myself up mentally, I realized, I was being too hard on myself.

I received a Harvard B not a C. My B grade was not a failure but a starting point.

From this point, I can build and I can succeed. So with this new-found energy, I decided to learn from my mistakes and work my arse off.

To make a long story short, I received an A- on my final paper. But, things could have ended differently if I stayed in the land of pity. My mantra was to stay optimistic and do not quit before the finish line.

Throughout our lives, we will make mistakes in our careers and in our relationships. We will probably make some major errors which we may never be able to correct.

However, one of the key ingredients to success is to remember there is no such thing as failure. What you may deem as a failure is actually a learning experience. These learning experiences are all part of the classroom of life and builds your character.

Here are some additional tips to launch through your learning experiences:

• Don’t call it a failure. Call it a learning experience.

• Cancel the pity party.

• Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are going to make mistakes.

• Write down what lessons you learned and review possible miscalculations.

• Visualize how you would do it all over.

• Know that you are a success because you tried and you did not give up. Many times, people quit when they are inches away from success.

Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment2 Comments

I always find myself saying we are our own biggest critics. This resonated with me quite a bit, because my standards for myself are always in the clouds. That being said, I agree that it's best to look at everything as a learning experience. If everything really does happen for a reason, then there is a world of learning experiences out there waiting for all of us, challenging or not :) Thank you for reminding us all that in a convoluted mess of resolutions, there is a silver lining.

January 5, 2012 - 3:51pm

Good tips.  I have learned over time that the universe does not give us anything we cannot handle and there is always a reason that things happen the way they do.  Even when diagnosed with a disease something good can come out of it even if it is a reuniting with a estranged love one.

January 5, 2012 - 12:10pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.