A Successful Failure

Kristy - harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

When I was in middle school a teacher told me that “With great failure, comes great success”. This I know has been practiced and proven. However, it is not the fact that we failed that helped us achieve the success; it is how we react to the failure.

Last year my high school field hockey team lost their final game 0-5. It was a horrific defeat, as it was to our rival school. In my mind this was the biggest of all failures, losing by such a dreadful score in the final game of my senior year. Of course, since I was the goalie, it did not make the loss any easier.

I sat on the bench for a while after the game simply thinking about what happened. My best friend on the team, Steph, came up and sat right next to me. She did not say a word, just sat there quietly comforting me. Eventually, the rest of the team witnessed this display and came to join. All of us sat there in the dark not really saying anything, just sitting.

Yes, it was a horrible game, but I do not mourn the defeat. I rejoice in it. With this bonding we all gained a new respect for each other. We realized that it hurt all of us just the same, and that we were all in it together.

This was an enlightening experience, for with this setback, I learned more. It hurt at first, but I can only learn from the mistakes that were made that day. Winning the game would have been an amazing victory because no athletic team at our school could beat our rivals. However, the thrashing we received was much more beneficial. I often think about what I could have done different: dove farther, spoke louder, or moved quicker. These different scenarios played out in my head for months after the game. I have since come to the realization that a win would have been very boring.

Without the loss, my team would not have bonded and become so much closer because of it. After the game we were disappointed and dejectedly walked off the field. I was the most upset over this loss, because I knew my team’s potential, and I knew the score did not reflect the effort that they put forth.

This experience was a successful failure; it helped me realize how strong my team was. This is why I believe that you cannot achieve anything without failing at it first. We learn from failure and become better from experiencing it. If you were to succeed in everything you would learn nothing.