7 clichés about failure and success

7 cliches

In light of recent events, I have come to realise how much I hate clichés. In fact, there seems to be an unspoken bond between clichés and failure. Just wait until you fail and a thousand clichés will come tipping down on you. Some will be comforting, others will make you raise an eyebrow, others yet will make you cringe and yet, somehow, they will (almost) all be true.

So yes, I failed to land this job. And equally so, I did the best I could. So here is what I draw from this whole experience: I’ll get them next time!

And until then, here is my personalised list of clichés about failure and success (to be taken with a pinch of humour because it’s better to laugh than cry about it…)

     1. Life goes on.

Indeed. Whatever happens, life goes on. In fact, life never stops to “go on” (until it really does and there is nothing else we can do). But when all you can feel is disappointment and frustration, is the thought of life “going on” really helpful? The debate is open for discussion.

     2. They/he/she didn’t deserve you.

A classic! One that will most likely bring a smile to your tearful face, or a snort if you are a lovely, sarcastic person like me. Hang on a minute. Is it really about merit here? In some cases it might – dysfunctional relationships for example – but a job where I had more enthusiasm than experience to offer? I wonder…

     3. When one door closes, another opens.

I must admit, I hate this one with passion. And yet, it couldn’t be more true. Mathematically speaking (and I hate Maths too), if one opportunity is missed, an array of alternative possibilities suddenly becomes available. They may not be visible to the naked eye yet but they are there. And oh how much I’m going to love it when one of them comes round.

     4. Don’t let this beat you down.

Of course I’m going to let it! At least for a day or two. With me, it took two days to get over it. Two days of lamenting and crying and staring into the void and weighing up my losses and falling back on my crappy alternatives and so on. Two days during which I was very much beaten down. Defeated. Nobody (amongst us humans) can wave their hand at failure the way they wave a fly off their cheek and resume the activity. We need time.

     5. It was meant to be / everything happens for a reason.

Was it really though? If you think about it, nothing and everything could be “meant to be”. Why spend the time and effort if… whatever will be will be? No. This comeback is nothing but a deluding, comforting string of words meant to absolve us from any responsibility. Instead, let’s blame it all on destiny.

     6. Failure is another word for experience.

I guess it may be. One day. In a vague future where, with this magical thing called hindsight, you realise that failing taught you this or that. But right now? It is nothing but pure discontent. There is of course this voice of reason whispering sensible thoughts at the back of your mind. But let’s face it, right now, you just want to silence it. Hell, you may not even hear it just yet.

     7. Patience is a virtue.

Yes, I am a hypocrite. I have been known to use this cliché with others and myself but it is only when someone else drops the bomb that it really hurts. Yes, patience is a virtue and I agree 100%. But between you and me, I no longer want to wait. I no longer want the “one day” hypothesis. I want the “tomorrow” certainty.

 

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17 responses to “7 clichés about failure and success

  1. I have a half bottle of Crown Royal left over from the summer sitting on one of my book shelves. I knew I was saving it for a good reason :) In all seriousness, you can always email (gwmatthews@rocketmail.com) if you would like. I’m a good listener.

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  2. Hell yes! Heard a few in my lifetime too. Sometimes people don’t know what to say so they fall back on these tried and tested old gems. Sometimes people don’t know how to empathise because they haven’t been through it themselves. Bad things don’t happen to us as lessons, but when they do, we can still learn from them. You really wanted this job, I know you did, and I understand the pain of rejection and the intolerance of waiting for the next opportunity. So while you wait, you have to use the time to learn how to be better, so that at the next interview you get the offer you want. And you can do it, you know. Xxx

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    • Ali, I’m a little late with this reply but wanted to thank you anyway. I have now (almost) gotten back up and am ready to start anew. The New Year spirit helps. I hope things are going well your side. Love xxx

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  3. I’m guessing you don’t want any more throwing in your direction then…

    It’s a long time since I was in the job market (one of the joys of working for yourself), but I actually wish I’d been for more interviews. That doesn’t mean to say that I only had one or two. I went for loads at times. The stress can be unbearable, but I know that after every interview I went to, I learnt something about how to do it better next time. Even those where I thought it had gone well, I was able to analyse (after a few days and a bit of perspective) and find things that, on reflection, I could have done more effectively.

    I’ve no doubt you’re already doing this, and I suspect you’re feeling more determined than ever to grab the next opportunity that comes along. And writing about it helps.

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    • I’m sorry Graeme, I’ve let your comment slip past me.
      Yes, hindsight is such a precious tool and I know my next interview will go even better, and the next, and the next, until I am so flawless they won’t find a way to say no… :D
      All the best for this new year to you Graeme! I look forward to it and hopefully see you at the BB in June?

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