The Day I Tried My Best But Still Failed...
Do you remember the first time you tried your best at something? Like, really, really tried your hardest, only to fail in the end anyway? It usually happens when we’re kids and involves something trivial to our adult selves, like trying to braid our hair or keep up with the others in dance class.
Mine was a sports moment. I was 10 years old and went along to T-Ball try outs with a friend from school and didn’t make the team. I tried so hard that day. And I mean HARD! The coach even sat us all down at the end, pointed to me, and said “You almost made the team just by how hard you tried”.
I remember sitting in my friend’s car on the way home, using all my strength to not lose my shit and cry like a baby. It felt like her mum was driving 5km/hr.
I got home, after what felt like an eternity, went to my bed, and laid there crying for a solid hour. I mean, full blown ugly crying. Mum saved the day with cuddles and demands to my older sister to stop laughing at me. It was the first time I would try my hardest at something and fail.
Don't look at me! I'm a monster who can't play T-Ball!
It happened again to me recently, but this time with a client at her wedding trial.
I always try my hardest at most things I do. But especially makeup on my clients. And I always try to listen to their needs and give them the look they want to achieve. And up until last week, I’d always met the brief. But I didn’t make the cut this time and it hurt.
My application was too heavy, and the client felt it would be best for her to go with someone else with a different style.
I immediately went into devastation mode and the questions and doubts came flooding in. “Too heavy? But I’m the natural look specialist!” I thought while reading the email. “Well, obviously not Shell” I retorted while I contemplated my future now that I couldn’t possibly go on as a makeup artist after this.
But then something in me snapped. I went from devastated to happy. Well mostly (I’ll always be a little bit bummed when I’m not a good fit for a client). I was happy because we worked this out on her trial day and not her wedding day. I was happy that she felt comfortable enough with me to be honest. But most of all, I was happy that I could hold my head high because I knew I did the best that I could.
So, I deleted my long-winded (and if I’m honest, slightly pathetic) apology that involved lines like “would you like me to do another trial free of charge” and “I am so sorry I've let you down” and took the news like the bad ass that I know I am. Of course, I apologised for not meeting her needs, that’s just good manners, but I thanked her for letting me know, wished her all the best for a fantastic wedding day and hit send.
I'm back bitches!
Regardless of the job you do, you’re never going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and trying to be will leave you bitter and exhausted. Whether you’re a graphic designer, mum or high-flying executive, there will be days (or clients) where you just don’t get the outcome you want.
But if you’re staying true to who you are and giving everything your best shot, you’ll attract your tribe and go through life with a sense of calm knowing you're a kick ass superstar who’s got the guts to give it your all.
And it doesn’t get any better than that.