How to do deal with feelings of failure

I recently bumped into a person I hadn’t seen in a long time; she was a school mate at college.

We spoke about this and that. Once we started talking about the good old school days we just couldn’t stop. We delved into what other people (mostly our mutual friends) are doing, where they are and one thing became clear to me.

During the conversation, it hit me that …

We shouldn’t look at our situations and think we are the only people who have things tough. (Because then, often, it is easy to descend into a deep dark hole of self pity.)

After college, I went on to work in the retail sector. Well, after school didn’t work out due to financial constraints. I had to find something with which to occupy myself and crucially, I had to raise money to pay the fees I had accrued leading up to my dropping out. Anyway, I found myself at the Pep store in Carlton Centre, Johannesburg CBD. And I was there for the next three years.

It was the best time of my life in a place of work so far.

Put another way, some of the plans I had in 2010 when I started college haven’t come to fruition yet and that’s enough to rile me up and make me feel like a loser. Especially when your previous school mates are flourishing. But, I’ve had to learn and accept that other people are pursuing things I have no idea about and I am chasing goals they know nothing about.

And therein lies my peace.

I am now comfortable with my process, however slow it may seem.

And so the conversation went on for a long time, we lost track of time. She told me how other people are in the doldrums career wise, and how a few others are doing amazing things with their lives. It was both painful and heartwarming to listen.

We had a great conversation. We rekindled a connection and the love to talk to one another in one go. In a mere twenty minutes.

I took away one important thing.

You need to try and look beyond your circumstances to find and expand your perspective. To know that you are not alone going through difficulty. And that things will get better for you. That you’ll pull through.