This I Believe

Carolyn - Bloomington, Minnesota
Entered on April 19, 2006

I Believe in Failure

Since childhood, facing reality had been too painful for me. I grew up in an alcoholic home and I was inadvertently taught to repress all emotion. I had not felt real pain in a very long time. I had been running from the realization of my imperfection.

Over the years I found ways to repress this pain. I constantly bit my nails, I overate, I suffered from depression, and I learned how to analyze people so well that I knew exactly what to say to hide my loneliness. I also was the top of my class, president of my choir, I won awards for citizenship and excellence in scholastic achievement, and I expected myself to never fail.

I believe that in order to grow, you must face failure. My personal conflict was admitting my imperfection. Even though I knew in my head that I was imperfect, admitting that I was imperfect meant facing the pain of my past.

My breaking point came when I failed Latin. That was it; I could no longer be perfect. The dominoes had been set and all it took was one to fall for my world to be turned upside down. I had a choice now to continue living in this pain or to work through it and find something better.

I made a choice to face my inner conflict and grow. I knew I needed to take action so I took a leap of faith and put my trust in the counseling center at my college. This act of desperation was the catalyst for my change. The counseling center offered me different tools than those I had been using. I began to see that it was possible to use failures as lessons and grow as a person.

When you apply this to the world, facing conflict is truly the essence of growth. When you face conflict in a relationship, your relationship will grow. When plants and animals face conflict in their environments, they evolve and become stronger. They grow out of conflict and so can we.