They say practice makes perfect but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We never become perfect. The better phrase would be practice makes permanent. And even that’s a stretch. The most accurate phrase would be practice makes pretty good. But that’s not as catchy as the other two. The problem is our obsession with the idea of perfection. Society has conditioned us to seek perfection in everything and scold everything else. The pictures, movies, and stories we’re shown always glamorize this perfect life. And while perfection is a beautiful aspiration, it distracts from the main message.
It is completely okay to fail. We all fail at something at somepoint. And we often fail one thing multiple times before we become proficient at it. Most people have developed a fear of failure that paralyzes them from attempting things. And it’s not as simple as not as not asking out a pretty girl or applying to the local talent show. Many people avoid big life-changing opportunities because they don’t want to fail. It’s okay to fail. You can’t let your life pass you by because you’re scared of being a failure. You have to be conscious of what you want and why you want it. Then remember that failure is often not life-threatening and it’s worth the risk. What has the fear of failure stopped you from doing?
Here’s a short story on what the fear of failure has stopped me from doing.
The night before I went out to Walmart to see what I could get last minute. The weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day was always super intense. I didn’t know what I should do since I didn’t have a girlfriend. I also didn’t have a Valentine’s date either. I was in like eighth grade so I couldn’t go on a date if I wanted to. I remember in elementary school the teachers forced everyone to bring in candy and Valentine’s treats for all the other classmates. That was so much easier. There was no worrying about if you’d get any gifts or notes. It was pretty much guaranteed. And of course you didn’t have to decided between two girls that you liked. Everyone got a treat and that was the end of it. Why couldn’t we just stick with system in middle school?
I didn’t have any date or girlfriend and all my friends were talking about their Valentine’s Day plans. They were going to get this bear and that expensive box of chocolates for their girlfriends. I would just sit there pondering if I should participate or not. I definitely had a girl in mind that I was attracted to. We were pretty close friends and have known each other since elementary school. So it was the night before school that I begged my mom to take me to Walmart. I picked up a nice Valentine’s Day card and grabbed a giant sized kiss chocolate. Then I went home and wrote Happy Valentine’s Day inside it. The next day on the school bus to school I was watching Jazmine Stewart from a distance.
I was thinking of the best time to give her the gift. I didn’t think it would be great first thing in the morning. So I waited until later in the day. It was lunch time and I saw her across the lunchroom. I had the card and chocolate with me. But she was with a group of other girls so I hesitated. I was overthinking the whole thing. I sat down and told myself I needed to be more bold. I decided I wasn’t just going to say Happy Valentine’s Day in the card. I borrowed a pencil from a pen and lightly wrote, “Will you be my girlfriend?” on the bottom. I instantly got scared and tried to erase it. But I decided to leave it and I went about my day. Then we had a pep rally in the middle of the day. I knew it was the time.
I walked straight up to Jazmine and handed her the card and the Hershey’s kiss. I wanted to piss myself from all the butterflies in my stomach. But I just told her Happy Valentine’s Day and smiled. She gave me a big hug and then I went back to my seat. I was feeling good until the end of the day. I got on the bus and waited for Jazmine. Person after person got on the bus but I didn’t see her. I thought maybe I scared her off. Then as the bus pulled off I saw her standing outside. She was getting picked up that day. I opened the window and screamed, “What’s your answer Jazmine?” She just smiled. I was sweating all day long wondering what she thought. I was going insane overthinking every little thing I might have done wrong.
Then later that night with my friends from church, I got a message. I opened up Bebo and it was Jazmine. She said she loved the Valentine’s day gift and was grateful. Then she said she couldn’t be my girlfriend. She said we were so close and I was like a brother to her. That was certainly my first real friendzone. I just slowly read it and tried to keep myself from crying in front of my bros. I just replied saying I agreed and I understood. But I felt kind of hurt. I was being sensitive. That affected me when it came to girls in my later years of school. I didn’t take any real risks with girls I was attracted to in highschool. I developed a fear of rejection from that one little experience.
Since then I would never take chances on things that could lower my pride. If I lost at something that I felt qualified to win I would feel a hit to my ego. So there were many things that I didn’t take a chance on. There were many opportunities that I could of tried to accomplish something but instead passed up on the opportunity. I may have felt I had a fighting chance but I figured that if I lost I was no longer worthy. So I ended up passing on all kinds of opportunities when I was younger. This means I didn’t compete in contests, ask for things I wanted, and surely didn’t talk to girls I liked. I feared the rejection of failure. Thankfully, I grew out of that fear. Now I’m a ruthless savage that faces fear head on every opportunity I get.
Side note, we would of been a great couple Jazmine ;).