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I Am a Complete Failure

It’s true.

I am a complete and utter failure.

I have failed in relationships (both romantic and platonic), in plenty of career opportunities (still have just a teensy problem with authority), in schooling (I left my Master’s program with only one internship left), and in countless other areas, including photography.

Especially photography. Hell my first photo composites were replacing friends’ drinks with cats so we could post them on Facebook.

No…scratch that. Those non-alcoholic cat photos are brilliant.


But nonetheless, the fact remains: I have failed at virtually everything.

And thank sweet baby Jesus that I have.

Let’s backtrack for a bit to my freshman year of college. If I had been successful in everything I set out to do, where would I be right now?

Let’s see…I’d be an aerospace engineer (my very first major) married to a very, very abusive man (my first serious boyfriend). I’d still talk to my father on a regular basis (no, trust me, this is probably the worst thing about this little flashback) and…actually, I don’t even want to think about my possible alternate life. That already sounds pretty horrible.

The truth is, if I had stuck it out for the sake of avoiding the dreaded “failure” stamp, I would be pretty miserable right now. Failure, as it turns out, is not that bad of a thing. Boil it down and you see that failure is really just another way of saying whatever your end goal might be, your current track isn’t going to get you there. It gives you the opportunity to recognize something isn’t working, make an adjustment, and try again.

You know what’s worse than failure? Inaction. Standing aside and doing nothing. Making the decision (yes, inaction is a choice), to literally do nothing about your current life situation.

Falling on our face is natural, having an idea go horribly wrong usually makes for an amusing story later, and stopping in the middle of something that isn’t working and starting over is just plain good time-management. But without action, we are stagnant. We cannot grow or develop. We experience nothing, we learn nothing and we gain nothing. Sure there’s the possibility things might not work out, but the sting of embarrassment is a helluva lot easier to swallow than the sting of regret. That shit lasts forever.

So from this point on, redefine how you see failure and redefine how you see success. Don’t stress so much about the end result and focus more on the process. As long as you’re trying, you’re still moving forward; no matter how slow it may feel.

And if you’re still a little wary of the whole idea, think of this fun fact: a high failure rate is actually what sets apart the most successful people in our society. The more you fail, the more you learn, the more you improve.

So with that being said, yes, I am a complete failure. Come join me down here, the future looks pretty fantastic :).



Get anything out of this? Share it so someone else can too!

And if you ever need someone to talk to, feel free to talk to me – I answer best through email or on my Facebook page, Jenna Martin Photography :).

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  1. Reply


    May 14, 2014

    We all fail at something, some things. We are human: not perfect. I have also failed at plenty but believe that for those in my life that are absolutes: my children, care of other human beings and animals, a kind, giving, compassionate soul I a have succeeded. Failure is a state of mind and you worded it perfectly. At this moment, in this time, you are not a failure. You spoke from the heart! You have achieved success!

    • Reply


      May 14, 2014

      Thank you Debby! I see failure as a good thing, and figure as long as I’m failing, I haven’t given up! 😀

  2. Reply

    Suzy Taylor

    May 14, 2014

    Thank you for this hun, I needed to be reminded of this reality. I wasted 3 years mourning my failures and the loss of everything including myself as I knew it, photography has rekindled that fire in me but because of past failures I’m so afraid of screwing it up.
    Thank you for reminding me that is all about learning and growing – any direction is better than none! Hugs

    • Reply


      May 14, 2014

      Absolutely Suzy :). It’s tough to see our failures as anything but a waste of time, but when I look back I’m glad I had them. I’m sure you will too someday! Keep growing hun!

  3. Reply


    May 15, 2014

    This was such an amazing post, in so many ways Jenna!!! And just the kick in the ass I needed this week. 😀

    • Reply


      May 16, 2014

      Awesome Lisa!!!

  4. Reply


    May 15, 2014


    • Reply


      May 16, 2014

      Thank you Nina!

  5. Reply


    April 14, 2016

    Thank you for being so real. You really hit it on the nail for what is going on in my world right now. Your awesome Jenna!

    • Reply


      May 10, 2016

      You’re awesome Kathleen! 😀