I sometimes feel the youth are put under a lot of pressure to deliver. Expectations for them are set too high, sometimes unrealistically, yet they are expected to live up to them. Pressure is needed and can be a sufficient motivator to perform, but it is expectations that need to be managed. Otherwise every outcome will be considered a failure.
One of the biggest drivers of fear is failure. I have not yet met anyone who wants to lose or fail. Being second place is a great achievement, but it is also at the same time the biggest failure, apart from not trying at all. As the saying goes ‘being number two is just being the first to lose’, that is a bitter pill to swallow for all the silver medalists.
Sometimes I ask myself what it really means to lose or to fail. Does it mean you were not good enough? You did not practice or train harder or in the case of many students, you did not study enough? Or you simple just suck! What does it mean when one student puts in two days of studying and you study for two weeks, and yet they still manage to score more than you in the exam? Does that make you a failure? In my eyes that does not make you a failure. We cannot all be champions at everything, we can try, but that is about it, anything beyond that you are mentally and physically forcing yourself to do it, thus setting yourself up for failure. A lot has been said about not giving up and persevering through it all, but little is said about pivoting and starting over. Failure can be the best thing that ever happened to you as Wendell Phillips said, “What is failure? Nothing but education, nothing but the first steps to something better.” So failing at something is not necessarily the end of it.
There are of course certain things were we do not have a choice but do them well and meet compulsory requirements not to be regarded as a failure. Like in school, if you are studying to be a doctor, there are certain things you have to absolutely know before you can go out there and try to save our lives. I wouldn’t let a medical drop out operate on me, simply because he did not meet the requirements to be a doctor. That does not make them a failure or loser, it just means that medicine was not for them, not everything is for everyone.
We already have high expectations of ourselves, which put enough pressure on us to perform. Expectations from our parents and the general society only make things worse and the pressure too much.
Find what you love and are good at, work on it and live a happy stress free life.
Say less, think loud!
* Olavi Popyeinawa has a Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is currently studying law, LLB at the University of Namibia (Unam). He will weekly be contributing this column on youth matters.
Facebook: Olavi Longfellow
Twitter: @OlaviPopyeinawa New Era Reporter
2018-07-18 10:07:11 | 2 years ago