A while back I started discussing the concept of failing well. This means deliberately taking part in activities that aren’t perhaps your strong point, to expose yourself to what it means to fail.
I was encouraged to embark on this journey after it became very clear that as a result of my perfectionism and high standards that I set for myself, I only attempt activities that I know I will exceed at, and if I try something and I am not immediately good at it, I give up easily. I have only recently realised that this is something I definitely need to work on, because failure, or – in a nicer way, not being amazing at everything is SO important.
Why is it important? Because if you do not expose yourself to situations in which you will fail, or not be perfect, when a scenario inevitably happens in which you aren’t very good at something, this will be a shock and will leave you feeling disheartened and knocked back, because the phenomenon of failure is so alien to you.
So, my task is so familiarise myself with the feeling of failure, so that if a failure happens (those who have read my previous blogs know how terrified I am at failing in the realm of education), I won’t, quite simply, feel like my world and sense of identity is crumbling around me.
So, what have I been doing to purposely fail well?
One word: Running
Running, jogging, whatever. At the start of lockdown, I started going for jogs with my mum to stay active. To my great surprise, as someone who doesn’t exercise much apart from walks, and hasn’t taken part in straining physical activity other than.. wait for it.. PILATES since my high school PE lessons, I was not very good! I ran out of breath easily, my leg hurt, I got a stitch (the image is lovely, I know).
And of course, me being me and only wanting to partake in activities that I was good at, after a few weeks I was tempted to give it up. I would see people out for a jog flying past me, even my mum could run for longer without taking a break! BUT – 4 months later, I still go out for a jog maybe once or twice a week if I can, and I am both accepting and embracing the fact that I don’t love exercise, and I am not competitive enough to power through the pain as my dad advises me.
I’m not great at it, but it is exercise. I feel good after it, and I’m pretty red in the face, meaning my body has had a fairly good workout!
I also did some sketching the other day with my sister. I haven’t properly taken the time to do anything really arty since it was a compulsory subject in school. I had always been good, but never top of the class. To draw Disney characters the other day, with no pressure for it to turn out well (believe me, some friends commented on my odd looking Simba!), felt strange. Strange in a good way! I didn’t NEED to be great, I just wanted to enjoy myself, which I did!
Hopefully I’ll report back to you soon with some more successful failures soon!
On a side note, I have reached 100 followers – thank you so much! It’s not a huge milestone, but a milestone that I am celebrating nonetheless! I am so pleased that I started blogging again during lockdown, it has been a great few months!