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You Are Not a Failure!


Photo by Norbert Kowalczyk

You are not a failure.


They can tell you that you failed. They can tell you that you are loser. They can create a list of all your screw ups and all the opportunities you missed in your life. They can arrange it in a file under your name and add that file to their library of shame. They can hide your shame file from relatives, friends, and everyone who might know the both of you. They can dismiss all your “other” successes, especially the ones you are proud of. They can hide them too in that same shame file. They can even hide you from their conversations with people. Your name may have a disturbing sound to their inner peace. You know what? This is all beautiful and great. They can say anything they want about you. It’s their right to express themselves. What they think of you is none of your business.


You are not a failure.


You spent the first decades of your life thinking that success was a goal you could achieve. You were handed over a checklist to continuously track if you were on track in your life (degree, job, money, car, another degree, house, wife, children, more children, more money, retirement…). You inherited a fixed image of how a successful person should look like: stable, happy, educated, rich, married, and parent. And now that you are ditching that checklist that worked well for generations before you, you are losing your way in the dark and miserable abyss. What a tragedy you are living! In their eyes, success is right in front of you but you can’t see it. They have to explain to you over and over again and remind you of what you keep forgetting. But you continue to forget. And they continue to remind you. That you are their best definition of failure.


You are not a failure.


Your path may be uncarved. Your plans may often be changing and evolving. Your dreams may be bigger than what they expect from you. Your goals may require more time until results can be fully seen. And your past achievements may be hard to explain and are beyond their understanding of what exist out there in the world. As you navigate the fast pace of the ever-changing modern world, you are becoming more and more distant from others in how you define time, goals, and dreams. And while this disconnect may signal to them that you are a failure, it can never be escaped. They will always misunderstand who you are, and you will always mis-explain yourself and who you’d like to be. Not you nor them failed at anything! As strongly as you believe you are not a failure, they are also not a failure for thinking that you failed.


You are not a failure.


Sometimes, doubt comes to visit you as a kind friend handing you a generous gift called “Reality Check”. More often than not, you start to believe it. You start to believe that you are a failure. You look at your list of achievements. You look at your bank account. You look at your relationships. What you see disappoint you: An unchecked list of unmet goals. You start believing that you are really a failed project. You get stuck in the never-ending conflict between success and failure. And back to your wonder about which of them you are! This episode comes every now and then, and lasts for as long as you keep forgetting the truth... The truth that you are work-in-progress. That you are playing the long game! But when you remember this, you realize how far you are from being a failure.


You are not a failure.


As you pursue your own choices in life, you are starting to become a danger to yourself. Your loved ones see your self-destructive impulses attempting to explode all the blessings in your life. Your choice to live your life your way is threatening to bring pain and misery to the person they love, which in turn is bringing pain and misery to them. They can never accept you throwing away this precious gift called life. You are still young to them. They believe you have so much more potential than the limited, vague, and unjustified choices you are making. One thing I promise you: if you had the chance to live in their minds for one day, you would realize how much they’re trying to understand you and understand your choices. They want to understand you. But they can’t. They just can’t. For that, you must be the wise one. You must attempt to rise above your ego and understand that they cannot understand. If you don’t transcend this battle of egos, you will then truly fulfil your prophecy and become a failure for failing to understand them.


You are not a failure.


Your parents, friends, relatives, and everyone who exists in your life love you. Their love increases as you fail more. And maybe their objection and resistance escalate as a reflection of their longing to express that love to you. They express their love to you by putting you back on their predefined and right path towards “success” every time you lose your way. And maybe they cannot see a better way to show up for you and to share their love with you than to influence your actions. Maybe it’s time to love them back for their constant, heroic and noble attempt at expressing their love for you.


My dear, what if they were right? What if you accept that you are a failure! And what if you come to peace with their terms and conditions for your success? After all, it’s theirs.


If you accept (instead of resist) your shame file in their library,

If you come to peace with failing to check their success lists,

You may have a chance at forgiving yourself for inheriting your failures and shames from their limited story about you. Those failures and shames that they carry about you… You are carrying them too.


Maybe now is your time to drop the heavy weight you’ve been lifting.

Maybe now is the time to understand your loved ones for their limited understanding of you.


And maybe it’s time to love them...

for unlovingly loving you in their own way.


Yours in Magic,

Naser

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