Failing to Succeed

The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


Beep. Beep. I opened my eyes, turned my head to the right, and saw the spiky graph on the little monitor that told me someone was alive. I looked at my body and saw the wires stuck to it, which informed me that the beeping heartbeat was mine.

I closed my eyes and recalled months of sitting silently in the therapist’s office as my parents spoke for me. I recalled the final weeks of 8th grade that I had missed and the moment my gymnastics coach told my parents that I was anorexic, and was too sick to practice. I recalled the weekly, and then semi-weekly, visits to the doctor to check my vitals, and finally the visit that resulted in me being rushed to the hospital.

I was only in the hospital for a short amount of time, but it was enough. My life had been spiraling out of control for months in my attempt to achieve perfection, and I had hit rock bottom. It was time for me to pick myself up and make the arduous climb to a healthier and more fulfilling place in life.

Recovery necessitated that I reflect on who I was and who I wanted to be. From this intense period of introspection, I gained penetrating insights into my limits, aspirations, flaws, and strengths. In light of my newfound wisdom I was able to chart a path forward, and...

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