The perception of “Failure” Redefining Success

Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. Societal standards define clearly what the dream or goal should be. You should go to school (god forbid you to fail a class), find a job, be married by 25, and have children. This timeline does not leave room for error, thus condemning those who “fail” at any point. However, what if your aim or purpose was to grow as a person?
 
Personal growth can be maximized when you fail at something. Failing to meet your goals improves your critical thinking and problem-solving skills and gives insight into your ability to improve yourself.
 
We are all human. We have all failed from time to time. Recognizing that you cannot change what has happened but can change what you do with it will redefine your perception of failure.

There are two options:

  1. Internalize your failure, question your capabilities and possibly your value. You are creating a cycle of self-degradation and low self-esteem.  

2. Accept that you have failed, reflect on the experience and learn critical lessons.


You are creating a habit of showing yourself compassion allowing you to analyze the situation and develop from it.
 
To choose option 2, you need to allow yourself to recognize your personal power. It is straightforward to get caught up in day-to-day life, feeling like you are going through the motions with no control over what happens. And you don’t have control over the outcome. But perception is reality, and you can control your perception. You are in control of your life, values, and thought patterns.
 
Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly
-John F. Kennedy
 
Going through life with the purpose of self-growth enables failures to be a catalyst toward success. Failure is inevitable, so use it to your advantage; to empower yourself to develop your insight, resilience, and character. Although society tells us otherwise, failure is not something to be feared. Failure shows that you dared to try something and that you are not afraid to be vulnerable. Reflect on some of your “failures,” evaluate if you chose option 1 or 2, and evaluate how they shaped you as a person. Do not fear failure or let it hold you back in the future. Go through life seizing every opportunity with confidence in yourself and the reassurance that you can succeed, even while experiencing “failure.”

Post COVID-19

What Will The New Normal Look Like?

It seems like a lifetime ago when we could freely roam about our communities without worries of catching a deadly virus. Life is certainly more unpredictable these days with the COVID-19 pandemic running its course. It used to be that we’d wake up and know fairly well how our day was going to go. We had the security of a job, a fairly good assurance of coming home without any type of virus, and a routine that helped us feel stable.

However, since COVID-19, we’re living in a world where fear and panic have risen to the surface, with many people struggling to cope each day.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), fear and panic are defined as intensified or excessive fear launched by something specific. Panic is defined as intense or paralyzing fear that tends to come on suddenly.

Life as normal changed when our everyday lives were hit with COVID-19. No longer could we wake up and use our freedom to engage in work or our communities as we pleased. No longer could we face each day with a certainty that we and our loved ones would be alright. The underlying emotion in most homes has become fear and panic.

Effects On Mental Health Workers

As a psychotherapist working in a hospital, I’ve witnessed the direct effects COVID-19 has had on health care workers. A co-worker shared with me how challenging it’s been for her to watch patients suffer alone. In one instance, she had a patient quarantined with the virus. His family was not allowed in the room to see him, so she moved his bed by the window so he could see them as he talked to them on the phone.
The grief and fear healthcare workers are carrying can become quite heavy at times. They are courageously stepping it up to care for those that fall ill, all-the-while trying to practice self-care.

COVID-19 And Generalized Anxiety

When someone experiences persistent, intense worry, it’s diagnosed as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It could very well be that most of the world is experiencing these symptoms directly due to the pandemic.
Anxiety, fear, and panic have set the stage for communities to begin living life in a different, self-distancing, isolated way. All of us have had to change our routines and make life adjustments that we hope will keep ourselves and our families safe.

To date, statistics report that almost four million people have COVID-19 around the world. Over 265,000 have died. The tragedy of loss behind the numbers is huge. The grief that cries out around the globe monstrous. All the while, most people continue to struggle with the same questions.

  • When will this be over?
  • Will I be alright? Will my family be alright?
  • What if I get sick?
  • Will I get my job back?
  • How am I going to recover from this?
  • What will life be like after the pandemic?

Moving forward, it will be important that all of us try to cultivate a new sense of normal. A sense of stability post COVID-19.   

Preparing For Life After The Virus

Most people want to get back to work and a sense of normalcy. They’re eager to get back to a routine with some stability. Routines help us feel stable and help bring a calming to our emotions. For children, parents can help them prepare for going back to school or being at home without parents when they return to work by keeping routine and structure in place at home during the pandemic. Children tend to thrive better when there are schedules and consistency. 

For adults, practicing self-care is essential. With the excess free time we’re experiencing, be sure to fill that time with things that nurture yourself. Get plenty of sleep. Take time to exercise. Do things that you enjoy. It’s easy to let boredom in the cracks, so consciously take on each day as it comes, engaging in meaningful tasks for yourself and with your loved ones. 

Hope For Life Post COVID-19

There will be a day when the pandemic is over. Keep that in mind. People will return to work. Children will return to school or daycare. The economy will startup again. Offer gratitude for what will be once again in the near future, as well as for all the good in your life right now. Enjoy the simple things right under your nose. 

In the grand scheme of things, it is an opportune time to evaluate our values and priorities. We have some time to reflect on what’s most important to us, as well as learn valuable lessons along the way regarding health, relationships with loved ones, community, and life in general.