September 23, 2016

Manifesto for the Ones who are never “Good Enough.”

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Failure is never ending. In fact, I would think of it as an everyday companion in our lives.

You fail once, you fail twice and you fail over and over again.

From a young age, we are taught that failure is something wrong and something that we should be ashamed of. No one wants to talk about their failures. Some may even choose to not accept it as a normal part of life.

When I was in my first year of high school, I used to spend a whole lot of my time during recess writing poems and stories. My grammar and punctuation were poor. My English grades, though they weren’t failing, were consistently a bunch of Cs and Ds.

I didn’t have any of the qualities a great writer would normally have and I’m pretty sure that a lot of people would have thought the same. Before I started publishing and posting some of my works online, people would say that my writing would never get me anywhere.

Even now, there are still some people who would say that my writing is not something they would bother reading. People who I don’t even know personally would tell my friends that and my friends would then relay that message to me. I even entered writing competitions that I failed in and there was a time where I passed several stages of a copywriter interview only to be rejected in the end. The interviewer ended the conversation by saying, “We found someone else, someone better suited for the job.”

And you know, maybe that’s true.

Maybe there are a lot of other people out there who are better, maybe I don’t have what it takes, maybe my writing is not something that a lot of people would ever read. Maybe it is not something that will ever have the potential to craft a career path for me but this is, in all honesty, I love doing.

Writing is something that makes me happy and something that serves me an outlet to express everything that is going through my head. Be it good or bad, writing is my only form of self-expression. That is why I don’t want to give up on it.

Of all the things I could give up in this world, writing is not on that list. Why would it be? Why would I give up just because of all the criticism? People will always have a lot of things to say, people will criticize and people will belittle us all the time.

It’s normal and it’s something that even the best of us have gone and will go through. Besides, there is no sure guarantee that they will stop doing it after we stop doing what we love. In fact, they may as well start finding something else in us to they want to criticize. So really, there is no need to spend countless hours of our time dwelling on what someone said or even trying to figure out a way for them to like us. I do believe in criticism but only if it’s healthy criticism—opinions, feedback, suggestion whatever you’d like to call it. Criticism is good but only if it helps us see where else we could improve on.

I remember a couple of years ago, I gave up learning the harmonica and the guitar. Both my siblings could play instruments and it came so easy to them but that wasn’t the case for me. I was tone deaf and I had a lot of trouble memorizing chords. So I gave up and I regretted it. I really did. Most of all, I regretted how easily I gave up something out of the feeling of inadequacy brought about by comparison. I kept comparing myself to my siblings and to everyone else. It didn’t do me any good. All it did was lower my self-esteem and hinder all the possibilities of what could have been if I hadn’t given up. It isn’t wrong to compare ourselves with others but only if we use it in a positive way such as using it to set up a higher benchmark for ourselves—a benchmark that will inspire and motivate us to constantly improve ourselves, our skills and our talents.

Along with this and writing, I do however have another interest which is photography. This summer I got an internship related to that field. Compared to my writing, people were more positive about my photography but during this internship, I learned this was not the truth.

I made several technical errors and my editing skills were not good at all. It was then and there that I knew that I still have a lot to learn. I realize now that even though we may have talent, it’s never going to be enough unless we keep learning and we keep practicing.

So this is to anyone who heard that they are not “good enough:”

We need to keep pushing ourselves past the limit of what we think we can do.

We need to be persistent, motivated and willing to work hard and accept feedback.

We need to learn to communicate and we need to learn to cultivate relationships with the right kind of people.

We need to learn that we can’t do everything by ourselves. We need to accept that other people will help us move forward. (I’m not saying to use them, heavens no, the fruitful road to success doesn’t require us to cheat off people.)

We have to work with people who share common goals and interests as us, not only because they can teach us a thing or two but also because together, we can help motivate and inspire each other when things get hard and when obstacles appear which they will for sure.

It is necessary that we stay humble and don’t allow our egos to grow in such a way where we think we know everything there is to know.

Don’t give up just because it starts getting tough. If you think you might regret something a few years from now, then don’t let it go because that’s when you know it’s worth it.

Keep working and keep doing what you love till you get there, till you make it and till you reach your end goal.

Failure is not the end, there is so much we can learn from failure if we let it teach us. It can teach us a lot of things but most of all, it can teach us the right kind of attitude and mindset to attain the success that we want.


Author:  Casie Bartolome

Image: Still on Youtube 

Editor: Sara Kärpänen


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