Tuesday, 7 April 2020

F for Failure #AtoZChallenge

source: dreamstime

Their faces were pleasant and smiling. But somehow, they intimidated me. I sat restlessly rubbing my fingers against each other, waiting for them to finish reading my resume. It was my first placement interview and I was brimming with worry. Waiting patiently for them to begin, I watched as they made notes from that sheet of paper that defined me professionally.

A basic question was thrown at me. I answered, but not without stuttering. Then came another, and another, and I found myself drawing a blank. They were subjects that I was familiar with, but it so seemed that I struggled to explain the fundamentals. It was clear that they didn't want to waste their time any further and I was shown the door. The floodgates waited till I got out of the building to release the tears.

Failure. Was this how it was going to be? Was I facing the truth of my incapability in this profession? Perhaps I should've focused more on my writing internships and building an entirely different resume. But what guarantee of success did I have in that field as well?

The dejection and the fear of failure I'd experienced from a mere ten-minute interview was chilling. The age-old inhibition had resurfaced. I'd always believed that my journey so far was largely contributed by luck. I was afraid of the time when luck would finally leave me to fend for myself. This must be that time. It was the beginning of my downfall.

One is bound to make a haven of negativity in times of dejection. What we really need at the moment is to remind ourselves how much we've grown and accomplished on our own so far. I was fortunate to have someone remind me of the same. A certain someone who'd themselves faced dejection incomparable to mine before finally hitting the jackpot. And I felt stupid for being a weakling that fell from the very first blow.

Having received the small upliftment from the friend, that night was spent sweeping through all the portions that I figured I must focus on. There was to be another interview on the morrow, one that really mattered. The day's performance had drowned my confidence, but I needed to at least try and not panic this time.

It amazes me how much can transform in a day. For, the following morning, I found myself grabbing hold of my strong points and being at my best before all the panels. I was definitely not the ideal candidate, but I was happy to have stayed composed throughout the process. Luck seemed to favour me yet again as I landed the job.

To me, the previous day's fall was important. It told me what I was weak in and what I needed to work on. And it was important to keep my mind calm to prepare for the same instead of giving up. For that, I am grateful to my friend.

I am not qualified enough to speak of overcoming failure or the fear of it, because I've only just touched its brink. But with what little tryst I've had with it, I've learnt that it is important to not lose belief in our strengths. Failure, as I see it, could be but a means to help us know ourselves better and to grow. So we must accept it like we do our mistakes and learn to move on.

What has your tryst with failure been like? Has it treated you well? Or did it manage to crush your confidence at the time?

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This is a part of the April A to Z challenge under the theme of 'My Inhibitions' or 'An Ode to Myself'. Read the other posts here.

Theme Reveal - An Ode to Myself
A for Awkwardness
B for Books
C for Connections 
D for Decisions
E for Extempore

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