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Failing is not fun but it’s not bad

Tyler Vosinek, Grade 12
From a very young age, we’re all taught that failure is a bad thing. As we grow up, our natural instincts develop so that we try to avoid failure at all costs.
If we are unsure about something or we lack confidence in something, many of us will not do it, and that’s the issue. We need to fail. Just touching back on Caleb’s speech before you all left for break, if we do not take risks, we will achieve nothing of great importance. My speech here, is similar in the sense that rather than seeing the things you think you might fail as risks, we must see them as opportunities.
Life throws countless opportunities at us in different ways for everyone. The one thing we all have in common with these opportunities is that we learn. If we never fail, how do we learn? If we don’t see what needs adjusting, how will be adapt? The ability to view challenges as a positive thing is difficult, there is no denying that. However, once we are able to do it, it opens our eyes. If we can see challenges as opportunities to show everyone who doubted us to be wrong or to prove to ourselves that we can achieve anything we want, things will become that much more clear about who we are and what we are made of.

            People say it's how you respond to failure that counts more than failing itself, and there is nothing more true than that. We are all three-term athletes here, so I’m going to put the idea of positive challenges into perspective. Picture this, you’re eligible to play at both the senior level and the junior level for your favourite sport. You’re on the cusp of making the senior squad, but in the back of your head you tell yourself that you’re a bottom-of-the-barrel player. You go into tryout week with the pre-conception that you may get cut or that you’re not good enough, so you settle for the worst and your game isn’t the best it can be.
Like you predicted, you are placed on the junior team. No hard feelings, right? Now, maybe for some of us, that may not be such a bad thing; you’ve accepted and already placed yourself in a state of mind that says that you’re a junior player. End of story. In this situation, whether you have the talent to play on the senior team, you ease back and settle for “second place” because you’re afraid of failure.

            Like I said, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if you want to be the best you can be and show everyone what kind of character you have, you need to disregard the psychological handicap you place on yourself.
I’ll recreate the same situation, but this time, failure is not a barrier. You go into tryout week knowing you are good enough to be on the senior team. You play to the level you know you can, and you settle for nothing else. By going in with that attitude, and not worrying about the possibility of failure, you allow yourself to bring your game to a whole new level and earn that spot. Everything you do and every risk you take, is in your head.

I know what you’re all thinking: that if you fail after going in with the confidence, you will be let down and crushed. You’re right. You will be crushed, and you will be let down. That isn’t a bad thing. If you can truly let go of that fear of failure, when you do fail, it won’t break you. The ability to use the failure and adapt, to understand what you can improve on and how you can adapt, is what will take not only your game, but your personality to a whole new level.
             Failing is not fun. There is no getting around that. The thing is, failure is not a bad thing. Every time failure is a possibility, these are all opportunities to develop: to improve and to be the best you can be.That being said, if you have yet to pick your new year’s resolution, a good one would be to take the things that present a chance of failure and turn them into something better. Use them to make you at the top of your game in all aspects of your life and go into every single day knowing you can do more than you did the previous day.

- Tyler Vosinek, Grade 12