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  • Writer's pictureSchwartzen "Shway" Precil

If at first you don't succeed...

"...dust yourself off and try again." -Aaliyah

Truth be told, most of my inspirations come from woman. Specifically woman of color who have gone through obstacles and became better people because of it. Songs like "The Greatest Love," by Whitney Houston, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" by Aretha Franklin and "The Conquering Lion" by Lauryn Hill I heard dozens of times yet I lacked the awareness of the words being spoken. I grew up memorized by songs like "Ima Hustla" by Cassidy and other gangsta rappers. I notice the kids at Boys and Girls Club sing the songs that are trendy today as I once did as a youngin'.

You will fail... it is a fact of life. It does not define who you are. You may be mightily successful in a particular area. I believe true success is thriving in all areas of life, not just one. Believing that failure has fatal impact keeps many from seeing the lessons within their failure. (#BeYourOwnHero #Success #Courage) As someone who has experienced both success and failure, I take Aaliyah's words to heart. "If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try it again."

Fear of failure is a serious dilemma that can make people feel unnecessary pressure. The fear of failure is commonly transmitted from parents to children. Studies show that parents who have a fear of failure transmit their fears onto their children by reacting harshly or withdrawing emotionally when their child disappoint them.

Failure is a great time to self assess

"Failing does not make you a failure"

Try telling that to someone whose parents have always held them to a high standards of performance. I went to high school with an individual who had to retake a standardized test because they received a 95 out of 100 and their parents were extremely upset. Talk about pressure.

Some of us never question the pressure, others have always questioned it. If you are like me, I am now asking the questions of why is "fear of failing" a topic that has its way of slipping through the cracks. If failure is on one side of the spectrum, success is on the other. Does the spectrum favor those who have an advantage at life?

Is the relationship we have with success influenced by the media? This is true for me. As a young boy that grew up in the inner city, I did not see any black authors on TV or in my surrounding area. It subjected me to think I could only be a rapper, drug dealer, or sports player. I tried all three and was successful at only one of them, sports. Unfortunately, I see the trend is still popular for many of our young black males. The lack of a proper vision for themselves limits them to what they see on their mobile devices.

With my book releasing in a few short weeks, I have to know that I will encounter some failure along the way just like I did with basketball. No matter the outcome with my business, future wife, children, and community I serve, I will apply the words of the late Aaliyah Dana Haughton, "if I do not succeed, I will brush myself off and try again."

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