What if you knew you were always going to fail?

Claire Heginbotham
3 min readAug 23, 2021
Photo by Jess Loiterton from Pexels

I want to do everything perfectly.

I grew up fast, and that means I know how to adapt, learn, and react. I’m sensitive to input and super intuitive when it comes to people. I also know firsthand what the cost of failure is (insert sob story here).

So I really want to do everything perfectly.

It’s a desire that’s almost obsessive.

And if I notice that I’m slipping in some aspect of my life, a big ‘ol nasty voice in my head starts whispering “fail-ure, fail-ure, fail-ure, oh-my-gosh-youfailsomuuuuch” on repeat.

It's a voice that simultaneously pushes me towards anxiety and excellence.

It doesn’t matter if it’s activities with friends, sports, beer pong, writing, taking a photo, or heck, even cooking. If that damn souffle doesn’t rise, I’m a flat-out failure.

Failure has a place in driving people to excel, but it’s debilitating when it makes you unreasonably upset.

Recently, I learned a frame of mind that helps reduce that unreasonable reaction. And no, it’s not that generic ‘failing = winning’ story that so many influencers sell.

I’m pretty stubborn, so when I decided to learn how to surf, I stuck to it. Surfing isn’t for the weak of mind. You’re basically wrapping yourself in tight neoprene, throwing your body into the icy ocean, and volunteering to jump into 100+ thundering waves.

Sure there’s fun, but it takes a lot of hard work before you can actually have it. Some days, you can’t catch a break. Waves tumble you, water goes up your nose, and that kid to your left is whizzing around on his board like it’s the easiest thing in the world (Is it bad that I wanna kick that kid off his surfboard?).

And then, amidst all that drama, you step on a fish.

Fish will freak you out. I don’t care how brave you think you are. The first time you step on a fish, it’s panic stations.

Because after you step on a squishy fish, you’re surrounded by fish. And no one wants to be surrounded by invisible fish.

Claire Heginbotham

Tech and travel copywriter who writes content, kickass websites, and emails that convert. Low key Star Trek fan.