Failing could mean flying (high)

Shame would typically be the first emotion I feel when I finally can see and admit and I am failing. Failing relationship, failing exams, failing business, failing start-ups, failing dreams, in all sorts of failure the first feeling that would normally hit me is the feeling of shame.

Years ago, when I broke off an engagement with my ex and admit that it was a failing relationship, I started to feel ashamed to admit that I have failed to fix and keep the relationship. I thought of my mom’s reaction as I know she will think of me as a daughter who will not get married by the time she is 28 (my family has the typical asian standards of marriage age), I also thought of what my friends would say.

Couple weeks ago, when I can finally admit that my start-up is a failing business, I started to think about others would think of me as not talented, stupid, and not trustworthy. I also thought of moments when I first established the start-up and how fiery I am when I told people where I am heading towards and my goal with this start-up business; and now, I am admitting that I will never get to that goal and would soon need to think of dissolving the start-up.

It makes me wonder, is it really shameful to fail or have failed on something? Is failure really a bad thing hence should be avoided at all costs?

I sat down for hours and contemplating scenarios in my brain, for weeks, about my start-up growth before I finally can admit that it is a failing business. I worked really hard to try to safe it, I read through the revenues, I read through all articles and lots of books about how to raise funding, I sent cold emails, I cried hard and pray harder, and I finally see the ‘ugly’ truth.

When I admit that the business is failing, I then imagine what my morning would look like without my routine to look into my personal business before starting my day job, I imagine how I will speak to my employees, but amongst all the most terrifying thing I thought about was ‘what would people say’ and ‘for sure they will laugh at me’; believe it or not, the amount of money I spent on it is the least I am worried about.

More often than not, there are costs contributed to experience failure and most of the time it is pretty expensive. I am not talking solely about the money, but the energy spent, the hours spent working for free, the sleepless night; these are expensive commodities we could never recover when spent.

It has always been my personal view that we will always get something when we pay (either monetary or non-monetary payment) something; there will always be return from what we have paid. So, after days of feeling disappointed and ashamed, I swift my mindset to start looking into what I actually get from all the things I spent for my start-up business.

I started to see that I have learned a lot from that failing business; I learned all sort of things that I would need to venture into my adulthood and even for my marriage life that will start soon, amongst others, I learnt how to budget my money, how important it is to have friends and circle who will support you, how to control my impulse and emotion.

The failing business has shown me that I have an extremely strong will power, I have a relentless character, and I am actually fearless. It has given me countless lessons I could never get anywhere else if I did not start that failing business. It was expensive, very expensive, both monetary and non-monetary.

Looking into all that, I started to think that it is not entirely fair to me that I feel ashamed just because I have a failing business. The business has failed, yes; but am I actually failing and should I feel ashamed about it?

At this second I do not think it will be fair to say I have failed because I can now proudly say that I have tried everything. I have done all my best and I have tried all I can try to keep it. I do not feel obligated to think of what people will say about me anymore, because I know I have done my best.

As I am writing this, I have a clearer picture of who I am and what I can do, for the first time in my life I listened to myself more than my stubborn logical thinking, and I even able bow my head and to admit that I was defeated; those are valuable beyond anything. I feel ready to finally get into the next stage in life and whatever challenges it has in store for me because now I know myself better.

Nothing change the fact that the business is a failed business, it does not erase away my feeling of shame or even disappointment, but I know that did not fail. In fact, I am flying high as I am now prepared for whatever the future will bring to me.




A proud human who is after growth, not perfect but I love myself as it is. Attempting to understanding how life works.

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Maria A

Maria A

A proud human who is after growth, not perfect but I love myself as it is. Attempting to understanding how life works.

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