As I continue with my journey, I face more failure than I had but life has taught me that it is how I deal with the pain that really matters.

Failure Does Not Define You

By Lilian,

Gap-year intern

In life, we have to let go of the life we have planned to live the one already waiting for us. This is a valuable lesson that has since then saved me a lot of disappointments and I am grateful to have realised this.

I have always had a problem with failure. I have never quite taken it very positively and have ended up beating myself down. Failure meant defeat; something I could never bring myself to accept. I am not a very competitive person, but we all love being on the winning side, and this is especially the case in sports and academics. I had the mindset that one would only seem brilliant if they are amongst the best. I know that thousands of people often have this narrow idea of success as it is the societal expectation. The education system especially in Kenya has been modelled in such a way that success is defined by how well we do in our studies and not how much effort we put in developing our talents, strengths and passions. Moreover, we as students learn by cramming what is in the books and not actually internalising and reasoning with whatever is being taught.We continue creating photocopies of generations and not actually appreciating diversity. Due to this, everybody has an expectation to be the very best at what they do.

The pressure for me only got worse when I joined Precious Blood Riruta High School. This was a whole new overwhelming experience for me since I was now competing with some of the best students countrywide. I had to up my game, study harder and got lost in the fantasy of only passing my exams thus I put clubs, games and societies aside and realised I was only killing the creative part of me. I was definitely depressed and unhappy most of the time due to failing some subjects. I did not realise that the more I failed, the more I pushed myself further and further. I was obsessing about what I hadn’t achieved and failed to notice that I was achieving greater things … I then decided to participate in other extracurricular activities and reflecting on my achievements I realised that I should have done more. There truly is a very thin line between success and failure, and I decided to erase this line. I realised that failure is not the opposite of success but just a part of success.

As I continue my journey, I face more failure than I had but life has taught me that it is how I deal with the pain that really matters. I do realise that it is not easy as sometimes it feels like my world is falling apart but learning that failure really does not define me has given me motivation to push myself further. I have taken a personal step in life to accept that everyone hasfailed but what I cannot accept is not trying!