“Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success.”

–Wikipedia

My daughter’s soccer team lost this past Sunday to a far superior U10 team. The final score: 5 to 1. Not very news worthy, I know. But the marvel is in what happened after the loss. Did my daughter and her teammates walk away with sullen faces and “that sucks” attitudes?

Strangely, no…

These budding athletes were laughing, tackling each other, high-fiving and looking forward to the next game. Not a moment of negativity that I could see. They knew they tried their best and despite their effort, they lost. So what?

Wow. Don’t I feel immature.

I was totally bummed out for them even if I did manage a “Great game!” here and there to a few of her teammates on my way out of the building.  I’m such a bad liar though, I was sure they could all see right through my pathetic attempt to be positive during their moment of loss that I practically ran to our car to avoid further eye contact.

Thing is that when I don’t win or get something that I’m trying really hard for, I’m crushed. I immediately think: What’s wrong with me? Why didn’t that person like me? What could I have done differently?

I obsess over what to do better next time. What did I say or do wrong? Did I have a food in my teeth? A booger hanging out my nose? What? What?!!!

Failure is not easy.

Problem is there is a delicate balance between being so overly passionate about what you do that you can’t accept that someone else isn’t impressed and being genuinely disappointed when things don’t work out they way you’d hoped.

Sure, my daughter gets frustrated and disappointed now and then. But what I don’t see in her is the self-doubt and inner turmoil that can sometimes plague me for days, weeks, even months after a disappointing result.

Perfectionism? Depression? I call it “anti-failurism”.

I’m hopeful my daughter will continue to have a strong work ethic and positive attitude despite the failures she’s bound to have along with way.

Me? I’m still working on it.

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