F & F discusses the favorite Friday Failures of people from all around the world ranging from different fields from medicine, culinary arts to makeup. There is always so much drum beating when somebody gets successful but let’s kickstart the discussion around failures that eventually shape up the struggle. With this initiative, we are aiming for readers to connect with people they can relate to and learn from their mistakes, challenges and lessons. The intention is not to glorify failure or treat it like a fad but to develop and normalize a culture where failure is not looked down upon and where those who do not succeed are not considered outcasts.
Let’s be real. We all fail at some point in our lives, we all fail daily at something. Some jobs don’t do us any good, some relationships make us miserable, some initiatives fall flat, some exams totally make us helpless, the courses we flunk, some opportunities we miss-life is all about trying new things and discovering success or failure in them. The deal breaker is not the failure itself but how we react when things don’t turn out as we expect them to. Dealing with undesirable outcomes is what we all need to focus on and next time when you fail at something, don’t rush to erase that from your memory instead pause to learn, make better decisions and don’t downplay the lessons. The important point is to use the setback to improve yourself and leverage that experience towards your future success.
Maryum Salman is one such chirpy and chic blogger in your feed that keeps pushing you to do all the right things while having fun. Whether it’s her home based workout videos or her experiments with healthy green juices, she keeps sharing her experiences for everyone’s benefit. She is a relatively new blogger on the block but her content comes across fresh and unscripted. She is a mommy and blogger based in Sydney, Australia who is a true Lahori at heart when it comes to food and dressing up. She is a fitness and beauty aficionado who also loves to create styling video series that are liked and followed by many on the popular medium, instagram. She keeps it genuine while working everyday either through the course of her professional degree in Development Studies or entertaining the audience with her blogging updates while managing her cute daughter, Bano at the background.
Let’s find out what story of failure she is sharing with us today
Talk about a time when you failed miserably at something? How did it happen? When did it happen?
This question takes me back to my school days. I was the star student, teacher’s pet some would argue. Even the principal’s pet, for that matter. One of the few girls who were called forward to represent their school whenever needed, host the annual prize distribution and present that flower bouquet to any signatory visiting our school.
What assumptions did you make?
Needless to say. I was popular too. (Or so I thought.) I always won all the student elections that slides you into the upper echelons of the student hierarchy. To get a position into the student council was all most of us wanted. I think at that time for us students, it was comparable to the electoral seats in the real time government. I won everything up until the last election I ever participated in. It was my final year into O’levels and the position was none other but of that glorious head girl. I mean I knew I was going to be nominated (duh) and of course win. Such was my conviction and self belief.
The moment of failure or realisation?
Long story short. The Elections hullabaloo all happened and soon came result day… I remember I was eagerly waiting with my friends, in our assembly to hear my name. But that moment never came.
I felt my body go numb and mouth dry. And a little dizzy too, when I hear the principal call my opponent’s name… “Asma!”. It was ridiculous I thought. It was the first time ever I was bowled out. I was never used to this side of the story. Of the one where failure gathered. I went home and didn’t speak to anyone. Amidst my family’s attempts to get me kfc, coaxing me to say something, what my mother said made the most sense to me. She said, now you know just a little about how the rest of the school feels when you are up on the podium making welcome speeches. I am sure she must have said so much more but this has stuck with me since good 15-16 years ago.
What would have done differently? What was the biggest lesson you learnt from that experience?
That defeat taught me so much more than it took from me. Enabled a mind shift. And I wouldn’t change a thing about those school elections. At 16 years of age, I finally and completely understood the that there are two sides and more. Not just that of the winner. It dawned to me that where there is someone one winning, there is always someone losing. Someone coming in on the second place. There is always someone who never got selected. So embrace it Maryum. Let it teach you something. About grace in accepting defeat. About being a good sport. About humility. That I won’t always win. Even when I thought I will. From a very adrenaline pumped school days, and a no failure story, came a defeat I wasn’t expecting.
But that defeat was my realisation into maturity, grace and humility.
The dawn of a new journey
I went up to my the head girl next day, congratulated her, handed her a bouquet of flowers for her win and I never felt so liberated. Liberated of jealousy, entitlement and of self made assumptions.
About the Author: Hafsa Shorish is a freelance writer and designer based out of Los Angeles. She writes about technology, startups, fashion, entertainment and doesn’t shy away from voicing her opinion about the social causes. Hard to put her in one box 🙂