Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thinking Thursday : Success and Failure

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Lately I've been pondering lots of things. What's new right? I'm super happy with where my life is right now, things are going my way, and I'm in a good spot with who I am and what I'm doing, but little issues always seem to come up in the middle of all the goodness so on Thursdays I want to talk about those. I'm going to call it Thinking Thursday. #zing 
Success and Failure
Why is it that so much of this generation's time is spent worrying about this? I feel like so much of my time goes to trying to define what equals success and what means failure and what the consequences of those will be when really, will it really be that bad? And maybe I'm just feeling that because I have a test today and it's worrying me a bit, but I can't help but feel that our parents and grandparents stressed about these things too and look how they turned out…with amazing freaking children and grandchildren, that's where. And I'm counting that as successful. 
When I read the quote above on Tumblr I thought "What? That can't be. You must always be excellent and excel at things because if you don't people will pass you up and you're going to fail!" And then I realized, not really. 
My life is not in competition with everyone else's. 
Ever since I was little, I was always good at everything. I don't say that in an arrogant way, I say it because, luckily, it's true. I knew my letters and numbers and how to write my name before kindergarten and people always freaked out about it. Then, I was tested and moved to GT (gifted and talented) in first grade…and people always mentioned it. From an early age I was taught that I was smart and ahead of other kids my age and I got accustomed to people thinking of me that way and that generally carried all through high school. I joined all of the clubs, I took the AP classes, I ran for leadership positions, and I was always teacher's pet. People always treated me like I was perfect and smart and ahead of my grade and so I believed them and then the first time I slightly slipped I felt like a failure.
I thought "This is not me. I don't make C's. I don't even really make B's. How could this have happened? Something must be wrong." When the reality is, no one is good at everything. Even if you are good at things, you're going to slip up sometimes or not prepare enough or just have an off day. 
And that's okay. 
I have always been set up as the golden child who does everything right, turns things in on time and always has the great idea to make things work. And don't get me wrong, I love it, but I never realized that sometimes it's okay to not be that, to not always have control. Recently I've been stressed about how to get everything done and make everything come out perfectly and when it looked like that wasn't going to happen, I panicked. I didn't want to except a little less than perfection because I saw that as failure and I thought other people would see me as a failure, but now I see that it's not that at all. 
We hold ourselves to a much higher standard than everyone else. No one expects us to constantly be perfect except ourselves. We think they do, and that constantly stresses us because we don't want to let them down, but if you really asked them, they would tell you they couldn't care less….not your real friends anyway.  And I'm going to tell you now what I wish I had listened to when people told it to me so many times. Life will be okay whether you make that A or that B. That club will be okay if you have to miss a meeting to study for that test or to catch up on some sleep that you missed the night before. Things will not fall apart because you were less than perfect. Fact is, no one's perfect. 
So in summary, you will never find a perfect foundation that is without cracks, just don't let them get out of control because then that foundation will crumble. (Gosh, that comparison was rough…I try.) And out of control is not two or three either (you little stubborn perfectionists, you), I'm thinking closer to 100. So you've got plenty of room to make a few mistakes and still be fine. I promise that failing that test will not lead to you being single and homeless and living on the street. (;
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