Have you ever felt stagnant? Perhaps you have struggled to feel proud about what you have accomplished in life? Take note that the previous sentence focuses on what you have achieved rather than have not. This is because all people have achieved something.
Many times feelings of failure arise from not living up to the expectations of the world. There are high standards for appearance, academic achievement and athletic talent. The world demands excellence in all aspects of life. In fact, the standards of this world are nearly impossible to achieve (sorry for the let down). However, when people learn that they can set their own standards, a sense of relief may set in. Additionally, people have the ability to change their perspective. There is a good chance that a person is much more successful than they believe.Feelings of failure are not always based upon facts. It just takes a different perspective to bring this to light.
Below are a few examples of what might appear to be failures, but with a different perspective are actually accomplishments.
1 . A person who is chronically late for work, but is battling depression
The focus of this case would most likely be on the tardiness of the person. Punctuality is certainly an important part of employment. Can you picture this person being reprimanded by their boss or judged by their colleagues? Most people would think of this situation as a failure to fulfill the requirements of the job, but that is far from the truth.
In reality, this person is accomplishing something extraordinary. They are getting out of bed, getting dressed, and coming to work despite a battle with depression. That is incredible. In no way is this failure.
2. A person who is awkward while out with friends
Have you ever been that awkward person that doesn’t fit in? Have you ever been around the awkward person who seems to be a huge damper on the outing? Either way, it’s a negative thing. People to tend to gossip about or avoid awkward people. Awkwardness can appear to be a failure to socialize well.
However, what if that awkward person struggles with excessive shyness? What if making it through an evening with friends was an incredible challenge? Rather than having a debilitating panic attack, they appeared a bit awkward. If this was the case, then the situation has now become a major accomplishment. That seems like a major win.
3. A person who decided to forgo a friends event to stay in alone
People often meet at bars, go to happy hours, and celebrate with alcohol. This can be difficult for people who struggle with addiction. Have you struggled with an addiction or know someone who has? Addiction can be hidden pretty well. On top of that, there is a lot of pressure in this world to be sociable and have many friends. Although people with addiction learn to be social without alcohol, they may not always want to be around it.
Imagine this person decided to skip his friend’s birthday party to sit in. He may take a lot of heat for this. They may give him a hard time and he may feel guilty about staying in. However, what if attending the event meant risking his sobriety and well-being? Wouldn’t that mean staying in and spending time alone would be an amazing demonstration of will power? The ability of this person to identify what is too risky and to follow through with a plan of self-care is incredible.
All of these situations may be seen as failures because they do not align with the worldly views of success. That is why the people in these hypothetical situations may not understand these situations as accomplishments. Eventually, their self-esteem will begin to diminish. Failure to recognize an alternative perspective is damaging for the person who is being misunderstood.
A person’s self-esteem and well-being are at risk when only one perspective is taken into account. Do you want to risk this? Change perspectives!