The failure factor

The failure factor

June 12, 2018 4 By Shan Ellis Williams

When I started blogging poetry over at my other blog, I never imagined how cathartic it would be. I find communicating in black and white so much easier than talking face to face, especially about important stuff like emotions. Opening up to my kids has been difficult too, as honestly talking about your true feelings is bloody tough. The truth is though, for all the good things I have done with my life, most of the time I feel like a failure. It’s my own high standards I’m fighting against most of the time. This striving to be perfect. Whatever perfect is. I find accepting myself so difficult. It’s also an issue that I’m forever comparing myself to people who I believe to be superior.

Why? It’s definitely something I don’t want to pass on to my daughter. To the world I come across as a warrior woman. But on a deeper lever I’m just a scared little girl. I don’t mind if people don’t like me. Other people’s opinions don’t really matter to me. I do however, care if I like myself or not. But my standards are impossible.

Setting myself up for failure?
dealing with failure

being a mediocre anything isn’t my style

I’m not a material person. I embrace life with both hands but I’ve never found where I actually want to be. Writing is my happy place. The children are also a great happy place especially as I’m privileged enough to watch them grow into polite, thoughtful adults. It started in my teens. I wanted to be a doctor or a surgeon. I wanted to be extraordinary. The best version of me I could be. But I was directionless. I failed to get into a medical degree by one A level (I got a B and not an A). I remember my headmaster saying that it was such a shame I hadn’t tried harder. That broke me a little. I’d done my best. I just wasn’t good enough.

Instead of trying again I went through clearing and found myself in Uni doing a degree I wasn’t sure I wanted to be on. Being a stubborn assed fool I struggled through just being mediocre. I actually rebelled a little and got into trouble for the first time in my life.

Met my ex-husband to be at Uni during this rebellious phase. I got my mediocre degree and became a mediocre teacher. Absolutely loved teaching, but I always felt inferior to my fellow teachers. See a recurring theme here? Yup! Failed marriages, jobs, blah blah blah. But one thing is for sure I AM NOT A FAILURE!

Man (MAM) up!

Right, this is where I stop moaning, and start appreciating.

I have had wonderful opportunities during my lifetime and I’m lucky enough to be able to use the skills I have for good. I’ve travelled, I have three amazing children who I’ve raised predominantly as a single mother. I am proud to be their mum and I’m doing a great job. I was single for six years after my divorce. The kids didn’t starve, go naked, or become feral. They are my inspiration to be a better person. They survived divorce, and moving cross country with me twice. And they are (all three of them) strong, feisty and a complete credit! My bills are mostly paid every month, and there is a roof that doesn’t leak above our heads.

embrace the change

My kids are a constant source of wonder!

I have cried myself to sleep more than once, but the sun has always come up the following morning and I’ve always been strong enough to put one foot in front of another and carry on. I’ve felt ripped apart in life by decisions I’ve made – but I’ve always been woman enough to stand by them if I’m right and apologise if I’m wrong.

Forgiveness and moving on

Ok, so I’ve come up with a plan. Feeling better already writing this down. Ten things I’m going to do differently the next time I feel like this!

  1. Be kind to everyone. People could be fighting a battle you know nothing about.
  2. Remind myself that I have two wonderful best friends – One of 26 years, one of 12 years, I can’t be that bad if they’ve stuck with me all this time.
  3. Look for the magic in life through my kids. We dived into the sea just the four of us last week and it was glorious.
  4. Cuddle my other half and tell him how I feel. I’m awful for this bit a problem shared and all that jazz.
  5. Recognise that my demons are mine to embrace. Not everyone knows what’s going on in my head.
  6. Be proud of myself for just a moment. This one could be painful!
  7. Make time for moments instead of stressing about wants
  8. Breathe, chill and stop beating myself up with the guilty stick. I’m such a Virgo at times.
  9. Stop measuring my self worth by comparing with those around me
  10. For one negative thought, balance it with a positive.
Dealing with the Feeling

I know I’m not the only one who analyses their lives in such terms. How do you deal with it? As the song goes how do you deal with feeling not good enough? Has it impacted your life? Does it affect your reasoning? I’m intrigued to find out, and chat about it. Aren’t you?