By Keep It Cleaner – Laura Henshaw
@laura.henshaw @keepitcleaner

Failure and why it is ok to be 20 something and not quite yet know what to do with your life…

I want to share what I have learnt about failure (from failing), how I have learnt to deal with it and why I believe it is just as important in our lives as success.

Through our schooling years we are painted a picture of the way our lives should be. We should finish High School, we should go to University or TAFE, we should get a job, we should get married, we should own a house and we should have children. And while at the time this seemed like the perfect plan, no one seemed to warn us about all the things that come between these ‘life milestones or goals,’ known as failure, mistakes and bumps in the road.

Things like….

-What happens if you don’t get the score you need to get into your dream course?

-What happens if you get to university and realise you have chosen the wrong course?

-What happens if you get through your whole degree and realise you hate it?

-What happens if you break up with the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with?

-What happens if you get to 25 and you aren’t ready to be an adult and buy a house?

-What happens if you can’t or don’t want to have kids?

The thing that no one seems to tell us is that every single scenario I have listed above is completely OK. They are all very common and normal situations. I don’t think I know one person who can’t relate to something above.

The little thing they forget to mention at school is that you can’t have success without failure. Failure is such an important part of life that we learn so much from. I used to be so scared of failing that I didn’t want to risk anything or try anything new just in case. I believed that if I didn’t try it I couldn’t possibly fail- so why would I? This seems ridiculous looking back now but at the time it seemed completely normal to me.

We need to fail to grow as people and find our path to success.

While we do learn a lot through school and tertiary education I think the biggest things that we learn in life are through our mistakes. We make them, we learn from them and the next time we try we do better. Sometimes we may even fail three times before we get it right but that doesn’t matter. Sometimes you may even get things right the first time, however I wanted to share this with you so you know that if you do maybe fail a little or fail miserably you are only human and I promise you will get it right.

I myself am studying a degree I don’t think I will use once I finish and while you may think I am crazy for putting myself through five years of study for something I don’t want to do, I honestly do not mind at all. If I hadn’t tried it in the first place how would I have known I wouldn’t like it? And if I hadn’t realised I didn’t want to be a lawyer then I wouldn’t have started my business on the side or be here writing today. You cannot put a monetary value on education and so while you may have done two years each from three different courses or 6 months of one course that you don’t like, I promise you it will all be worth it in the end. You will find what you love and when you do you will look back and be grateful for all of the wrong turns that you took because they are what lead you to the right one.

Try to focus on telling yourself whatever effort you make will be better than the one you didn’t. People will fail you, love will fail you, some of your choices will fail you- it is called life. But you learn from every lost love/opportunity/choice and all of these things turn you into the amazing person you are today.

And most importantly do not let your failure define you and don’t you dare give in. Let your success define you and let yourself look back at your journey and be grateful for your failure and that you never stopped trying.

“A person who falls and gets back up is much stronger than a person who never fell….”