Today i’m going to talk all about failure… from personal experience. Failure… what ripple effects it has!
Yesterday I had an exam. Two actually- the whole day. So of course you’d expect I’d been busy each second of each minute of my past week… or two. Well, I was not. I had study times, yes. But not as deeply as I probably should have. Here’s the thing – I was scared. Up until yesterday I’d been terrified of what was to come. I’m not talking about the normal ‘examophobia’ that we all get. No, this was different.
My papers were retakes. You see, my heart knew deep down that I’d once failed at it. So here I am, about to face a monster that maimed me not too far back. To be honest, I didn’t know I was capable of such cowardice. I’d wake up, take a run, shower, eat a hell lot of fruits… (meanwhile knowing i’m meant to read) make myself a face mask (totally irrelevant but time-consuming) drink water (for minutes on end) ..I mean, the list goes on. When I found that I couldn’t ‘busy’ myself any longer, I’d open a book and sit to read.
After a few minutes I’d get up and look for something else to do, then lie to myself it was of uttermost importance. I now realize that my agitation was all because I was scared. I could draw Balance Sheets and what not, but my body would literally heat up if anyone asked me the simplest question. My book-confidence had totally been tossed out a window without me realizing it!
Fear. It stole my ‘mojo’, my confidence and wasted a lot of my time. I got so overwhelmed that mid-reading, I stopped to just pray. I told God the truth (even though I knew He was way ahead of me). I went like ‘God? …Hi. I’m scared.’ From there I went on and on about how I’m feeling, how I felt when I’d first failed, what I know the fear is doing to me and that I didn’t know how to ‘get over it’.
At that point I hoped God would send down an angel with the questions and marking scheme. Well, He didn’t. But I received something else. You see, there’s something that comes with professing. Confessing something. Heck if possible, shouting (within acceptable standards). Confession comes with the acceptance of whatever realities we are in. And so I did, I accepted that I was scared of my one-day-two-papers reality.
After the prayer I said I felt like I could do something. So I sat at my desk and put in work. I read quite a bit and when I headed downstairs, I looked at the clock and was impressed. 🙂 I’d actually put time into it and got something out of it. I learnt something there. Two things actually. That one,it’s hard as hell to face fear. Two, that what matters is we take the first step – acceptance. Once we accept it as our reality, then and only then can we take the second step – trying.
In my case though, there was not enough time to take baby steps in the ‘trying’ sector. I had to sort of just plunge in and do my part. But tell you what? Talking about it had a huge impact. Though not completely eliminated, my fear was kept at a distance. It was there, but for the time being, I was safe from it. Yesterday though… it came back. Hitting hard.
As the papers were being opened, I shook – literally. My fingers grew cold and I knew what I was feeling. I knew what had engulfed me. And so I had to detach. I felt the fear, recognized and embraced it, then let it go. ‘Not now’ I thought, then said a prayer. I know it will probably revisit me when my results near, but it’s fine. With time, fear gets old. You get used to it’s form and when it comes knocking, you develop the ability to ignore it till it goes away.
Till next time 🙂