Confessions of a Failed One (and How to Deal with Failure) 473

I have failed. Again. At the same thing.

I still have a long way to go until I reach Thomas Edison’s personal record of 10,000 times of not succeeding, though (that always encourages me).

First, you should know that by writing this post I don’t want to earn your compassion, ask for help and support or complain about my problems. I simply don’t want anyone else to feel like I did this day, and many other days as well.

I want you to understand failure, see its real purpose, learn from it and even benefit from it. Being prepared for the consequences will help you avoid disappointment and other unpleasant emotions that go with it.

I’m talking about my exam. It may sound like a shallow thing to some of you and not at all important, but keep in mind that no matter what it refers to, the feeling of being failed is the same.

Overwhelming, burning…

Here is a little overview of the situation:

I study Marketing. And before I have the chance to get familiar with Marketing Research, Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior and other interesting to me topics that are important to my subject and I will actually use in real life someday, I need to deal with other things like Statistics and Financial Accountancy.

They are general studies I need to know as Marketing is an economical subject.

The problem I had was with Financial Accountancy – a not so pleasant thing to learn. I realize that it is one of the most important economic activities, no enterprise would make any proper business without it and that nowadays economy would be unthinkable without it, but it all comes down to how interesting a subject is and whether you find any motivation to sit down and learn a whole textbook of theory and be able to solve all kinds of problems.

I did well on other exams – Micro- and Macroeconomics, Higher Mathematics and others – by putting up with an unpleasant subject, trying to get its essence, devoting many hours of studying, giving up my free time and other things I love. This is how I proceeded to prepare for the exam in Financial Accountancy as well.

I didn’t pass it.

Then for the second chance I had to do it (This is how our educational system works, but don’t take this as a reason to consider it weak. Quite the contrary, it is difficult.) I prepared even better. I devoted even more time and energy, stayed focused only on that, tried to find many sources of motivation to keep me going, took a few private lessons, prepared mentally (that was actually the hardest thing of all – I had to remind myself constantly that it’s all worth it, to try to think positively and delete the picture in my head of not passing the exam). I didn’t listen to all the negative people around me and did my best.

And yet, I failed.

The morning before the exam I was enthusiastic and looking forward to it as I felt confident in my knowledge and understanding of the subject. Throughout the exam I did well.

While I was waiting to hear the results, I was happy and awaiting the great relief I would feel after I hear my mark.

And yet, I failed.

Many factors may have led to that. But here I am – having disappointed my parents again by not passing the exam for a second time. It makes me feel bad. I feel like crying. But what I do?

By Jane Rahman @Flickr

A few ideas stepped into my mind right away – to give up on my education because it’s just not for me; to just go to my room, cry my eyes out, be alone and stay there for days; to act like a victim in front of my relatives and friends and blame the professor, university, educational system, etc.

Maybe some other time.

Here I am on the way back to my home town (I just traveled to the city I study in for the exam.), writing on the bus.

Writing about failure, confessing my feelings and wishing to help others not to feel like that, and to be prepared if they do.

People are actually staring at me now. They wonder what I’m doing, being so concentrated. It’s not a very comfortable place to write either ( as I’m using a pen and a sheet). But that doesn’t bother me. I need to do it now – while the feeling is fresh.

And, to be honest, I’m helping myself even more. It’s healing. It takes a heavy weight off my shoulders.

I just did a few very important things – accepted my failure, understood it, analyzed it, learnt from it, found its benefits – and I want you to be able to do them too.

They are a result of a lot of mental work, affirmations, a change of the perspective.

Here are a few key things to know (they may refer to everything and everyone):

  • This has happened for a reason – I need to draw a lesson from it.
  • Things don’t always go according to plan but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect them to turn out for the best next time you give it a try.
  • It makes you stronger, wiser, more experienced.
  • It means you have done something , you have tried. And it goes without saying that you did more that many others, who can’t find the power and motivation to take action.
  • You are a step closer to succeeding now.
  • This is a great chance to try to understand failure, accept it and move on.  This is a big challenge!
  • Be grateful – it may sound weird to some of you but appreciation plays a huge role even when it comes down to failure. The moment I failed, I took a deep breath and thanked for it (it’s hard to do it and resist the urge to start complaining, feeling bad about yourself, losing hope for future achievements, etc.). And only this little thing made me feel better.

I fail at other things too – getting up early, eating healthy, working out regularly, being kind to the people around me and not getting angry with them…

But I accept it. Let it go. And move on.

What things do you fail at? How do you feel after that?

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4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Mental Health 13

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Mental Health

While most people pay the most attention to their physical health and work hard to achieve a healthy body, they often overlook the potential mental health issues that may have been well tucked away.

Understanding and paying sufficient attention to your mental health issues is an action that should be prioritized in every situation. What could seem like the simplest mental health problem to you might actually be affecting your life in more ways that you can imagine.

Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t ignore the signs.

1. It Is Way More Common Than You Believe.

You might think that mental illness is not present in many situations but the truth is that almost everyone has or is facing such an issue.

In fact, one in five Americans suffers from some type of mental illness. The saddest part about this though, is that very few of them seek treatment.

The person affected by the illness can even be one of your family members. Sadly, symptoms are easy to hide and even people who are severely depressed can mask their health issues from their families and avoid getting help.

2. It Can Also Affect Your Physical Health.

How to Green up Your Morning Routine

It is known from a long time ago that the connection between the mind and the body is strong. Any sort of physical distress can have a huge effect on your capability to work or focus on things around you. Following this same rule, any sort of mental problem can easily affect your physical health too.

The first few things that a mental illness will affect are your mood, energy levels, sleep cycles, appetite and quite possibly your sex drive. Along with these problems and as a result of them, your immune system can also be affected and that can lead to more often colds and an overall impairment of your physical health.

People who face mental illnesses are often left unmotivated and drained of energy.

The illness blurs your mind so much that you have no energy left to function properly in your everyday life. Ask any person that has faced a major depression and they will tell you just how much they let themselves go and how they stopped caring about simple everyday things, such as brushing their teeth or taking a shower.

Physical symptoms won’t take long to appear and you will simply keep increasing your risk factor of a number of health problems such as heart disease or heart palpitations, insomnia and fatigue. It is very important that you ask for help if you feel such symptoms arising. Make sure that you consult a board-certified practitioner to be certain that a mental problem is not the cause of them.   

3. It Plays an Important Role in Your Success.

One of the most frequent symptoms of a mental illness is the lack of motivation. You just feel so tired of everything, you find that you are not interested in what others are doing and you just end up losing interest in things you used to love.

The lack of mental health can, therefore, play a huge role in your success. No matter if you are a college student, an employee or a working parent, you can easily lose sense of what’s important to you and hinder your success in whatever role you might have.

In whichever situation you might be, you will definitely need to be able to be creative and productive. Your success in your studies or your workplace might be your only source of stability and income.

An untreated mental illness can be the reason behind your reduced productivity, your lack of creativity and your overall negative attitude towards your work.

Keep in mind that a large number of homeless people are those who are suffering from a mental illness but sadly left it untreated.

Looking for help and letting the mental health professionals guide you can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. It can help you see things from a different perspective and give you the courage and motivation you need to get back on track and find yourself again.

4. It Can Affect Your Relationship with Your Peers.

Most people who face a mental illness find themselves intimidated by social situations. Even spending time with friends or family can seem like a very tiring or pointless task and they will often opt out of it. It is important to remember that this does not apply only to depressed people, as many might think, but to a large area of mental issues.

Anxiety disorders can alienate a person from their circle because of the constant fear of something going wrong, of someone not liking them or of an overall new situation. It is very common for the solution to your mental health issue to be holding the key to you getting back your behavioral health.

Mental illness can also affect your relationship with your family.

Apart from losing contact with people you probably care about, you might even end up harming them more than you think. It is not rare to see a person struggle both financially but also emotionally when it comes to helping family members that are battling mental illness.

Another very important reason to not take your mental health lightly is for the sake of your children. It is very often reported that children of people who struggle with a mental illness are abused or neglected. That can play a huge role in their lives and affect their entire lives, from childhood to adulthood.

Make Your Mental Health an Everyday Goal!

There are many places to turn to for help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, otherwise known as NAMI, can be a great place to start. Through it, you can find a suitable medical center that will provide you with the suitable health services to help you regain your mental health.

It is important that you are not ashamed of your personal struggles or mental issues. Everything is part of the human nature and the fact that there are so many people available to help comes to show just how human this situation is and how much attention we, as a society, should be paying to this important issue.

***

Leona Henryson is a professional writer and passionate blogger. Her goal is to help people achieve their personal self-development and mental wellness.