Monday, 5 May 2014


by Sophie Whitehead

It’s something we all have in common. All have to face the nauseating possibility of failure on a treacherous day-to-day basis. It’s what many of us think of when we wake in the morning and later go to bed thinking of at night. In truth it surrounds anything and everything that we do.

The idea of failure is such a scary prospect because it is purely measured by our own feeling of self-accomplishment and our own inevitable self-esteem, and this varies from individual to individual. After all a great victory for one may be the ultimate disgrace to another.
We are a generation that loves rewards and loves to define the indefinable. We cling to material medals and trophies and even monetary awards to praise each other’s right actions when in the past the simplest congratulation would have done just as well. Therefore because of this the idea of failure is echoed in everything we do for the idea of not achieving this award or statuette is an unthinkable, unapproachable possibility.
On top of this, our lives are filled with constant failures: to impress, to be on time, to do well, to reach our potential. How else is it possible to explain the near reality that when an important exam approaches, when our natural instinct to flunk it creeps in, we swipe it away to study the books for hours on end, just in a desperate attempt to…not fail.

It’s constantly surrounding us like we’re only chess pieces on a board playing out our inevitable fate and that’s when failure itself isn’t even the worry, it’s the future beyond failing that’s the real concern. Its why when important decisions loom on the horizon, as they do so now, people are given the choice to sink and be thrown into an abyss of catastrophe or swim, and swim fast as often is required, to reach and extend your potential because the idea of not reaching your best, and having to possibly breach your second choice –if you even have one that is, is an impermeable, ridiculously ludicrous can’t-even-think-of-such-a-thing prospect. 

No one can even describe the feeling of failure itself except for the idea of being launched into a swamp of self-misery and the biting, beating sensation that ‘I could have done better’ or ‘if only…’ which although you try and resist, eats you up, consuming you piece by piece...
But how do resolve failure? Will it always dictate what we do however hard we try to beat it? 

The common idea is that failure aids eventual success by teaching us important morals that we need to gather along the way to reach our eventual stardom. I guess the reality really is we will always cram the night before for those tests that are important because really futures are important, for they hold the hope that things can get better, and sometimes, just sometimes, this is all we need.

However much we hate it, the biting reality is, that without the threat of failure, the taste of success is just that bit dulled.  

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