I am not perfect. As much as I would like to pretend that I am, I am filled with flaws, imperfections, and distance from who I would love to imagine myself to be ideally, to the individual I actually am. I am not unique in this whatsoever, as all of us have differing levels of imperfection. However, it is how we deal with these perceptions of what is termed “cognitive dissonance”, or the difference between the real self and the ideal self.?? I asked friends of mine who are teachers, and how this is perceived among kids as well as adults, and was sent here to a great page describing how the being considered a failure and failing is set early in the educational process of children.
So, the site got me thinking: if we learn early on as individuals the perception of failing, and we internalize that definition, how often do we respond within this role? Is it only in education? If we view ourselves as failures at school, do we then fail at work? As husbands or wives? As parents? How often do these broad definitions define ourselves as failures at life? How these questions are answered play out in all of our relationships, especially with those whom we are closest to. That level of intimacy also can lead to vulnerability, and remind us of memories at failing in the past. If we consider ourselves failures, we can become reactive when these memories get kicked up.
I suggest that the concept of failing is integral to a happy and successful marriage or set of relationships. I use the arena of sports again to form an analogy of how this is true: how many undefeated teams have their been in the course of history? Typically, in all different types of sports, it’s very rare. The concept of being undefeated, without any losses or setbacks, is almost unheard of, and those times when it is managed those individuals can cite within the time period of being undefeated how adversity stared them int he face, and they were able to overcome it. The idea of overcoming adversity, setbacks, obstacles to success, is one of the key ingredients of success in sports and success in life. If we learn to love the failures and setbacks of our goals, and gain character from the journey of life, we can recognize the value of failure in helping us to eventually attain what we seek – happiness.