Do not let failure stop you from trying

Liz Stephens, Columnist

A combination of recent events over spring break really hit the nail on the head for me with the saying “you can’t fail if you don’t try.”

My uncle Nathaniel and his father Jerry were both an inspiration to try things without fear of failing, since Jerry is running for judge in the town they live in, and his son is his campaign manager.

I would assume that it would be scary risking failing at something that big after putting so much effort, money, time and energy into it. I asked my aunt, who was working alongside my uncle in the campaign if she thought Jerry would be upset if he lost and she said “no.”

I thought about this more and more as I helped my family with any campaign needs.

The more I saw Jerry interacting with community members, the more it became present in my train of thought that he was not campaigning for selfish reasons, so why would he be scared of failing?

People often make the mistake of making success a competition, thinking if they fail they are losing.

Sometimes failing and having tried your best can leave you feeling successful because you simply tried.

There won’t be a trophy if you learn how to successfully play an instrument, and you sure won’t have an awards ceremony for scoring a high LSAT score.

There will be some instances where you get certificates or a new position for succeeding at something, but people need to be comfortable with succeeding with no applause in response.

This lesson I unknowingly took from my visit with my family really sank in when doing this week’s CrossFit competition workout.

I went into the gym self-conscious and worried about those scoring me being able to see me struggle with specific moves, or even seeing me fail at them.

I went in the second “heat,” which is what we call rounds, because I wanted less people to be there to see me struggle.

Throughout the workout, it wasn’t my mistakes that weighed on my mind the most – it was me continuously trying even though I was struggling.

I felt successful after the nine-minute time cap for the workout was up because I didn’t stop trying, and I assume Jerry has felt a similar emotion during his entire campaign so far.

Every attempt people have made to hurt Jerry’s campaign have only benefited him because of how he chose to react and solve the issue.

In one instance, he was not given a campaign handbook that all other candidate received to know specific laws and rules to be followed during the election.

For Jerry, this meant that he didn’t know that his election signs had to have “paid for by Jerry Crane” on them, so he reordered signs and replaced his old ones.

This benefited him because he got to talk to and meet new people, and got to know others who were in favor of him winning while revisiting every place he had to replace a sign.

Not only did I learn from him that sometimes failure can be inevitable, but in other circumstances you don’t fail until you decide that you have failed.

Seeing my family members and Jerry persist at giving this campaign their best shot encouraged me to be more persistent and not see the bumps in the road in life as failures, but as something to overcome to reach success.

  Liz Stephens is a junior journalism major and can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].