So, here’s what happened: for the past year, I’ve been studying to become a Pilates instructor. Much to my annoyance, this means learning a crap ton of anatomy and physiology. My brain is not wired for science, so I’ve found it intensely difficult. I crammed hard for my first exam and passed with 83%. A couple of weeks ago, I sat my advanced level exam. I failed. I failed HARD, my friends. Embarrassingly so. I shared this fact on Facebook and got a lot of messages from friends saying how refreshing it is to see someone share a not-so-glowing element of their life with such humour.
Here’s my thing: if you fail, OWN IT.
I’ll tell you what constantly gives me the chuckles: pre-social media, we’d all complain about how mainstream media portrays things in an unrealistic light, blah blah blah. Now we have the chance to tell our stories, share our real lives and we’ve all become master curators – picking and choosing our life highlights, filtering and airbrushing ourselves, presenting the shiniest, happiest picture perfect versions of us.
Look, it’s not like we don’t all know that there’s more to life than the highlight reel. Are there elements of my life that I don’t share? Of course, but that’s mainly just the things that are none of your damn business. I’m not scared to share my failures, I’m fine with telling you when things go left. If I’m writing about it, it means I lived to tell the tale, so it can’t be that bad, right?
Failures, be it an exam, not getting that job, not nailing that presentation or the break up of a relationship, are there to remind us that hey, maybe you need to do shit differently sometimes. Failures are like little tornadoes sent to whip you into a momentary frenzy so you get your mind right and try again, this time with a different plan of attack. You may need a few of those tornadoes before you get the point, but eventually, you will.
I failed my exam ’cause I didn’t study enough. Simples. I was being all YOLO and buggered off to New York the week before to live it up. Now I have to pay to re-sit it. The lesson? Study harder and make sure I actually sit and pass the exam before going to New York to celebrate.
So here’s to failing hard and putting it out there. Ain’t no shame in that game. Own it, learn from it and come back out swinging.