My 12 biggest failures of 2021

Mental Health
Social Media
December 31, 2021

My 12 biggest failures of 2021

I believe that we can all benefit from other people sharing more of their losses and failures publicly. Especially after a year where “how do I take care of my mental health” was searched more than ever before it seems inappropriate to only hide behind public wins, awesome job offers, graduation diplomas, 100x crypto gains, learning certificates, exotic holiday destination reels, etc. Comparing our lives to the ones of others is in our nature. Social media mostly being a universe of overly fabricated, polished, “best of” stories of people’s lives, is exactly what makes us feel like we are unsuccessful, and our life is a boring mess- leaving us to feel bad, overloaded, and unhappy.

I think that we can all be part of the solution and help everyone’s mental health by being more transparent about failures, losses, and rejections. They are normal and happen to everyone. On top of that, failures are more than just an unfortunate by-product of life to me. They are an essential part of my growth as they are often necessary for successes that follow- so why not share more of them publicly? Here are my 12 biggest failures of 2021 (in no particular order):

  • Rejection: I applied for an exchange semester in Australia for which I did not get accepted. I applied to both Melbourne and Sydney but got rejected to both.
  • Inconsistency: I failed to consistently write blog posts throughout the year. Although I wanted to write and post them regularly, I did not finish a single one since June.
  • Habit failure: Over the year, I began neglecting some of the habits that I preached. For example, I only read before bed about once or twice a week now, although I set out to do it every day.
  • More is more Illusion: This year, I wanted to start focusing more extensively on a few things only. However, I kept digging into new areas, trying to do lots of different things (learning about web3 & psychology, editing photos & videos, coding, designing, ...) at once.
  • Letting friends down: I failed to keep in good contact with many friends, although I wanted to be more thoughtful. There were too many “Let’s have a (virtual) beer” with no follow-up.
  • Crypto Fail: I sold a lot of my ETH in a small dip, only to buy again much higher afterwards. I was too fearful and should just have hodled.
  • Study Fail: I had to withdraw from the Honours program of my master's because I could not handle the workload.
  • Hustle Culture Fail: I preach good mental health but felt very stressed out on several occasions this year. Also, I traded a big part of my summer break for more work.
  • Forgetfulness: I failed to remember a lot of things that are important to me, or to other people. Names of relatives, dates of events, information about people close to me- too much faded too quickly.
  • Investment Fail: I spent 600€ on a studio softbox that I barely used. I had big plans of shooting lots of portraits but couldn’t find the time or motivation to do so.
  • Design Fail: This year I designed a product that, still to this day, has no clear concept, does not solve a real problem, and does not even look good.
  • Uncertainty: Another year has passed, but I am more uncertain than ever about what to do after my master’s. Getting a full-time job, working freelance, taking psychology or coding courses, doing more photography & videography, getting into blockchain & web3- I failed to narrow down on a plan for my future.

These are my biggest failures of 2021. And I am looking forward to failing more in 2022.