Owning Your Failures Online
As post-graduation life inches closer, I’ve been faced with answering some intense questions. What field am I going to pursue? Where am I going to be located? Oh, and the biggest one of all: what am I going to do with my life?
I’ve been a multi-passionate person for as long as I can remember, meaning it’s been difficult for me to stick with just one field in college. I even changed my major to PR halfway through school before transferring and added an unrelated minor of Creative Writing because I wanted to learn more about another field I was passionate about just in case.
PR has encouraged me even more to have an active presence online. I love the communities I’ve been able to build and the real connections I’ve made, but there’s something else about being active on social media:
When you’re transparent online, people will not only see your successes but also your failures.
Well, everyone fails, right? Yes, but as someone who values being authentic and open online, my failures have been, well, extremely public. Every time I’ve tried something new and failed, anyone following along with my journey has lived it with me.
I started a blog last December with a good friend that failed because we were at different stages in our life. We both knew dissolving the blog would be hard, but that it was the right thing to do. Luckily our friendship has continued to grow as we both support one another in our passion projects.
I then quickly launched a new PR blog on my own and found my passion fading within a few weeks of its launch. My audience was jazzed about this new online space but I wasn’t, and my content suffered because of it.
Faced with yet another rebrand this past summer, I hired a great web designer to help me reshape my brand to include all things creativity, not just PR. While it has greatly expanded my reach and community, I’m still wondering what’s next.
I haven’t found my “a-ha” moment yet where everything comes together and makes sense.
My loved ones tell me they can hardly keep up with all that I’ve done this past year, and I can’t blame them. Sometimes it’s embarrassing when you realize everyone remembers each misstep you took on the way to figuring life out, but failures aren’t all bad.
Without these failures, I never would’ve had the confidence to self-publish my own poetry collection or to keep trying to find my blog’s target market. I never would have landed a full-time job after graduation so quickly or collaborated with an illustrator from overseas.
Without failure, we wouldn’t take additional steps to becoming even greater than we are now.
To ignore these failures would be to ignore one of the most important parts of life: learning from our mistakes. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Trial by error is how I learn best, and it might come with some downfalls, but at least I know I tried.
You are human, and I am human, and sometimes we stumble.
I hope this comforts you. As we all evolve, we are going to hit our stride at times and also come to a complete stop at others. This is okay.
Let’s celebrate successes and failures as they both lead us closer to becoming who we are meant to be.
Have you lived your failures online? How did you and others react? I would love to hear about your experience and thoughts in the comment section below.