Failure is an Option
Failure is an option-it's not a choice.
In other words, it's feasible. It's possible. Every time we do something.
I'm reminded of this daily. Every time I fail. And I do fail at something daily.
One of my latest reminders that failure is an option is from submitting some of my best photos to the San Diego County Fair.
Submitting your hobby or craft to a county fair may seem like small potatoes, but in the large city of San Diego it's pretty competitive and cutthroat-or so I'm told.
To make things worse for wear entering the competition was not free. So, if you don't at least get past tier 2, and get to display your photo, you feel like a sucker.
Let's just say that's me. And I spent $100.
There are many ways I could handle this. I could sit paralyzed and dwell in the feeling of losing $100 and some self-pride.
Or, I could reject the feelings and take the good the situation has to offer. In this particular situation, the good offered is possible feedback for the future.
My biggest frustration with submitting my photos to the fair was the wordy and technical instructions. While I think my pictures were good, and I have taken a few photo classes in high school and college, the wordy and technical instructions left me Googling endlessly.
I never took a digital photography class, so I Googled, and confirmed with my tech-savvy husband, that I was resizing to the correct pixel guidelines or ppi.
Then, the instructions further stated that the images would be judged with screen set to a specific color temperature, Gamma, and brightness. Huh?
We were lost.
Google and I did our best to change my screen settings without the purchase of hundreds of dollars of specialty software. The photos still looked good, in my humble opinion, so I crossed my fingers and hit submit.
When time came around for the results, I got an e-mail politely declining the use of my contributions. In the past I would just say good riddance, but this time I sent a quick e-mail stating that my photos were not accepted, and asking if my photographs were properly submitted so I would know what to do if I chose to enter again.
I'm still waiting on that e-mail, but at least I know that I did not let failure freeze me.
I didn't choose failure, so there is no reason to let the effects of failure choose me.
Knowing this emotionally is freeing.
Oftentimes when we face failure we just stop. Pushing through seems to negate the impact of failure.
For me, pushing through failure meant sending a humble little e-mail asking for feedback, but for you it could be something else. All I know is I didn't feel like sending the e-mail, and it certainly wasn't my first reaction.
It was a choice.