Yeah, you’re starting to see the stress I create for myself.
This notion of failure not being acceptable started way back in the day when I was a student in elementary school. Anything less than a B was cause for frowny faces. My parents had high expectations and I thank them for that. As a teacher today, I see way too many instances of children not being pushed to reach the next rung on the ladder of their lives. I see students—and families—who settle for “good enough.” I don’t know for sure which parenting school of thought is best, but anything that emphasizes personal motivation has to be good, right?
I remember living for coming home with a test or report card and nearly bouncing with anticipation as my mother looked it over. When she reached for a magnet and displayed my work on the refrigerator for all the world to see (well, technically we didn’t have that many guests in our kitchen, but whatever), it was as if she’d called up CNN and had them broadcast it to the entire globe that I was a good speller. That I knew how to add and subtract. That I could color pictures like some fancy French artist. That I understood everything there was to understand (from a fifth grader’s perspective) about North American landforms.
I was smart. I was not a failure.
My teacher said so with the big red 100% or A+ she put on my papers. My mother said so when she slapped my work up onto the refrigerator. My friends said so when they wanted to copy off me. Wait… forget that last one. It’s so scene-in-a-John Hughes-movie, isn’t it?
Not accepting failure forces you to go the extra mile, put in the extra hours, stick it out just a little longer. Failure, when it does happen, also shows you what to do next time, and let’s face it, for most things in life, you can always find that “next time.”
You have the power to make it happen. Put on your best lip gloss and don’t take no for an answer.