The Daughter is trying out to be a ballperson at the US Open.  (you know- the kid that stands at attention at the side of the net, and gets to hold an umbrella over the head of a ranked player)  The following is a conversation I had with someone regarding this.

Friend: What’s up for today?

Me:  I told daughter that I would go to Queens with her.  She has a callback for ballperson.

Friend:  Didn’t she try out last year?

Me: Yes.  Same thing.  She made it to the second round last year, and she made it to the second round this year.

Friend:  But she didn’t get to be a ballperson last year.

Me: I know.  That’s why she’s trying out again.

Friend:  But she didn’t make it.

Me: I know.

Friend: So why is she trying out again?

Me: She wants to be a ballperson.  The only way to be a ballperson is to try out.

Friend:  Wasn’t she devastated last year when she didn’t make it?

Me:  Disappointed?  Yes.  Annoyed at herself? Yes.  Figure out what she could have done better?  Yes.  Devastated?  No.

Friend:  Why are you letting her try out again?  What if she doesn’t make it again?  She will feel so bad about herself.  She will have failed twice.

Me:  OMG you’re so right.  A hole will form in the earth and she will get swallowed up.  She will take to her bed and start wearing a wedding dress because of the man that left her at the alter.  She will put a curse on all those that make ballperson……

OK- you got me.  I really didn’t say that.  But I thought something along those lines.  My actual reply was:

Me:  Do you think the humidity is going to break?

Because how else do you answer that?

Here’s the cold, hard facts: (opinion- I don’t have a degree in cold, hard facts)

  1. Life has winners and losers. (I don’t really need to cite examples do I?)
  2. If you want something, you need to do something to attain it.  No one just hands you something for sitting home on your couch.  I have never met a Publishers Clearing House winner.
  3. There will be things you need to try out for, and you are probably not getting everything you try out for.  Ask any famous actor how many auditions they went on before they landed a role.
  4. When you are rejected (which you will be) you’re allowed to be upset.  You are not allowed to wallow for days, weeks, months, years.  What good is wallowing going to do?  Is it getting you what you want?  If it does, please write about how you wallowed your way to success.  It will be a bestseller.
  5. If you are rejected- learn from your mistakes.  Figure out what you need to do to improve your chances.  Try again.
  6. If you fail again- what’s the worst thing that happens?  Does a monster eat you?  If that is a possibility, I would rethink what your priorities are.  Anything that ends with being eaten by a monster is probably not a good life path.
  7. And after you fail, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on with whatever you need to do.  Because that’s what winners do- winners pick themselves up and get on with life. (FYI- there will be a future blog with more examples of failure and it’s benefits)

No one wants to fail.  But guess what?  We all do.  And if we don’t, we haven’t tried for anything- we never went out of our comfort zone.  We played it safe because we were afraid of being devastated.  So great- you were never devastated.  But guess what- you were never anything else either.



72 thoughts on “Failure is an Option

    1. I think sometimes as parents we try to protect outer kids from bad. Which I get. I taught my daughter to be careful crossing the street. But we have to teach our kids that failure doesn’t make you a weak person, it actually makes you stronger. My daughter has has an amazingly successful life. But she has also not gotten things she wanted. Many times. But her greatest attribute is that she is resilient. Failing and trying again builds resilience and confidence. The most I,portent things we should be teaching our kids is how to be resilient and confident. I’ll talk about this more in the future, but I try to keep my posts economical, because I tend to wander off point.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly. I cant imagine saying that to someone but then again Im sort of lost on most people in general. Your daughter is successful *because* she has failed. And tried again. And it didn’t define her. Good for her! I hope to impress on mine that it means they get a second chance, not just that they weren’t good enough the first time…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I am so confused by your friend’s response. Why wouldn’t your daughter try again? How else is she supposed to achieve anything? I’m just staring at the wall here trying to understand friend’s bafflement. As the kids say, “I can’t even..”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s sad. I always thought that regret feels worse than disappointment, and regret is what you get when you don’t at least try to achieve what you want.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. OMG, how could you put our conversation out there today. I just… ugh, failure should never happen… I’m so embarrassed! JUST TEASING! Hehehe… I’m humorous today.

    Seriously? On the floor laughing, just picture your expressions during this conversation. Oh how strong you are… I might have smacked said friend. Twice.

    But I do have some answers for you:

    1. Winner = You. Loser = Friend. (No offense meant there…)
    2. There are no PC winners. It’s all a fraud!
    6. Yes. It is a monster. I am paid on Thursdays for that role. Too bad it didn’t happen tomorrow. I could have had fun with it. 🙂


    Liked by 3 people

    1. First of all….laughed so hard I almost fell off elliptical when I read this. Thank you for clearing up pc issue…..I waited for ed McMan (so?) for years…..I didn’t know you were temping as the monster, I applied but didn’t get it…. thank you for kind winner comment. I’m guessing you received my check….
      Sorry about exposing you to the world, but you wanted to be naked! Kidding! The amazing jay was not the friend to which I refer!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree. She should try again. Im proud of her that she is trying again. You never know until you try. I always wondered how the ball people got the jobs. Is there a website i can look at. I woild like to read the job description

    Liked by 2 people

  4. But on a more serious note… good luck to your daughter. I think it’s fantastic that she’s trying again. Shows how good of a mom you are that she can do that, too.

    Also… you are my recommended blogger to follow today on my 365 daily post! Just wanted to share it on your site so all your followers know how awesome you are if they are new to your site.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love that : wallow yourself to success!! 😀 Would be a good title for an autobiography of a high achieving hippo… Good on her for not giving up, she shows remarkable maturity for her age, seemingly much more than your friend!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Proud of your daughter for not giving up on her passion. JK Rowling (Harry Potter series) received many rejections BEFORE she got a book contract. We need to believe in ourselves and forget about the naysayers. Most likely the nay Sayers are creatures of comfort with no real ambition. GOOD LUCK to your daughter!! Glad you were smart enough to “change the subject” when your friend wouldn’t stop with the negative comments. YOU are a STAR of a MOM!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True, I’m a Mom too, so I get it. BUT I like when I see my daughters being strong and independent and focused on making their dreams happen and not worried about failure. Sure, they don’t want to have hurt feelings, but good if they can get a scrape on their knee and rather than cry and hide in a corner they get back up and ride the bicycle again, right! I’m always amazed when I want to protect them from getting hurt and they seem to have strength and perseverance to keep going! That’s great!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I feel the same thing! But there are so many parents that don’t see the benefit of failing! My kid once got hurt in a soccer match. Her face was totally bruised. She badgered her coach to let her get in and play. The hardest part for me was not running out to comfort her…not that I didn’t want to, but I knew my facial expression would reveal how scary her face looked.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Smiling… I used to show my expressions when my daughter got hurt too. However, we had a doctor in the family and he said that is the worst thing to do. Think about paramedics when they arrive at the scene of an accident. A person might be bleeding, etc. and the paramedics talk calmly telling the patient they will be fine, etc. I had NEVER thought about that, so I learned to be calm when I saw bad scraped knees, swollen ankles and nose from ultimate frisbee, etc. ESPECIALLY if the kids don’t seem to care and they jump back in. THEN I was the cool mother who had tons of ice packs in my cooler. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes! I’m a highly skilled failure. LOL! As much they hurt, my failures have definitely be good teachers. I’m sure the future holds many more. Oh, well. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Kudos to your daughter for trying out again. She will eventually get it. She just needs the one person who will say yes.

    I really needed this today, by the way. I’ve been an actor, professionally and locally, both in NY and the desert for over 15 years. Rejection never stopped me; lack of stability led me down a different path. That being said, I am looking for a new job and I’m highly qualified, but I was freaking out about not hearing back from anyone during the holiday week. For what? I’m not going to die if I don’t find a new job immediately. Sometimes we all need a reality check.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never met a Publisher’s Clearinghouse winner either. You just show up, everyday, and keep trying. I don’t adhere to the concept of failure, only learning opportunities. Life is full of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this! I hate “buzzwords” but resilience is definitely something kids aren’t learning enough of these days. Mine is only two but I know I want to teach him to be excited about the trying as much as about the achieving. I don’t want him to grow up being afraid to try things for for fear of failure.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. If only all people were as strong as you, imagine how many ballpeople the world could have now. Such wonder!


    And of course you know that I 1000% agree. I’m proud of you for not trying to a pig to sing (pushing the idea with the other person who didn’t get it) because I wouldn’t have been able to resist the bait. Why would you ever give up if you really wanted to achieve something? Some people accept a first time pass as a permanent slam and a sign to stop forever. Stoppers – stop stopping! I hope your daughter becomes a ball badass, but she’s already shown that she is an overall badass by continuing to chase after it (Get the pun? I’m so funny!). 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are funny!!! I think people focus on the rejection, and not on the possibilities. I hate when I see people not reaching for the stars because they’re afraid to fail. And I know, safe is comfortable….but really…comfort is overrated!


  12. You’re right; we must try, and keep trying, if we are to succeed.
    However, we do have to consider what we try to achieve. For example, under no circumstances at all could I have been an Olympic sprinter; I’m just not built for it. “Anything that ends with being eaten by a monster is probably not a good life path.” is a very witty metaphor for that!

    Liked by 1 person

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