Think Pieces

What do you do when you don’t get it right the first time?

I was going to hide under the guise of “oh it’s Ramadan” and do a No-post April but seriously, what would that make me? It would make me someone who doesn’t keep to her word, and I think we can all agree that’s in a bad taste.

So I had this post planned out some type of way in my head since the start of the month but to do the actual writing? It was a lot for me considering how I’ve been on a lower energy wavelength than usual. Anyway, enough about me. In this post, I am going to write about failing and what it can be like when it happens all the time.

Read the previous post

There is so much reverence given to people that do something once and get it right at that time. Perhaps because it’s almost unnatural to do it once and get it, seeing as if we choose to go by the logic of everything that evolution stands for, it’s a bit tricky. So when people make an attempt, especially a difficult one, and get everything right in that attempt, it appears as though they have attained a god-like status. Which honestly, I understand why. You deserve all the accolades you can get if you pull something off brilliantly on your first try.

Now to the main crux of this post: what happens to the rest of us who try and don’t get it right the first time? or even some of us that try and don’t get it right the first 15 million times so much that the typical response we would probably get after that many tries is, ‘why don’t you just give up?’. Because by that point, it’s begun to look to everyone, including ourselves, as though we would never get it right.

Photo by Brett Jordan

It’s almost as if you are not expected to fail when truly; only the exceptionally exceptional get it right the first time. I think that it’s enough pressure dealing with failure at something you want but it becomes even more palpable when you fail and you do nothing but blame yourself for it. Especially if you’re like me and your default response to it comes out in a “how dare you?” sort of way.

Personally, I’ve had my own unfair share of failures (I say unfair because no one person should have to deal with so many fails 😭); and I have had days when I did nothing but chastise myself for how I am such a fraud. I remember moving from secondary school being unarguably one of the smartest kids and got to uni only to start failing like an idiot. It was the rudest shock of my life. I am quite adept at a couple of things but do I remember this when I have newly failed at something? No. I sulk and blame myself for not getting it right immediately. This seeps into my inner consciousness where I’ve found myself many times telling myself how I am not close to good enough.

I’ve spent a big chunk of my life taking first-time failures personal when I shouldn’t have. Asides from failing in general, I also sometimes fail to embrace some of the simplest truths in life, one of which is that you could do everything right, make the best-laid plans and still fail.

As a society, I don’t think we talk enough about how and why it’s okay to fail. Frankly, if you’ve failed at one thing more than a dozen times, you probably should stop. Not stop trying. Obviously not at first but stop and introspect because chances are you’re doing something wrong and that’s why you keep failing. I think it’s important to understand that while failing sucks and you’ve probably lost, it’s a chance to learn and grow into a more well-rounded person. It’s also worthy of note to state that failure isn’t actively seeking you out because even the best people fail. So when you don’t get it right the first time or any time at all, I hope you know what not to do. 👍🏾

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6 thoughts on “What do you do when you don’t get it right the first time?

  1. ….and all that is left for this newsletter is to have “Dear Joshua” at the top and enclosed in an envelope with my address on it.
    Needed this.

    Thank you!

  2. Thank you, this was very soothing to read. People need reminders like this from time to time

    Love you ❤️

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