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Manoel Thiago Nogueira
Manoel Thiago Nogueira

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Failure & lessons learned

I am incredibly self-critic. Frequently, it's not in the way of being perfectionist, but in creating anxiety and discomfort, and plunging me into procrastination zone. This means, in some measure, I don't deal too well with failures. But I am starting to handle it better.

Recently, the Gatsby Team announced the release of themes. They also made a contest to create a theme, with rewards for participants and a great prize for the winning creators.

I had a concept that I thought was interesting enough, so I took some time to try my hand on themes. Fast forward to now: I wasn't able to complete the theme in time, so I won't be participating.

In other times, I would probably be grumpy. I caught this experience, however, decided to look from another angle, and take into account not what I lost, but what I gained with the experience:

  • I have a concept that I still think is interesting and useful, so I will keep working on it
  • Now I don't have a time constraint, which will allow me to refine better the idea and the technical aspects of the implementation.
  • I discovered some interesting things in related subjects (CSS! Accessibility!)
  • I learned a lot while diving on some behind the scenes of the Gatsby API
  • Spoiler alert, it will become a blog post

I also considered that it was not only my fault (though I maybe could have better allocated my time), but sometimes life happens: I am married, have twin baby daughters (that eventually wake up in the middle of the night), and had a hectic month on my job. In the end, I was quite happy with how the general outcome of all these things ended balanced, even if I had to choose to not dedicate so much to this side project.

I expect to keep this view in mind the next time something doesn't end so well: I still learned a lot, I could achieve other things. Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh on myself. Hope you can be more forgiving with yourself too.

This post was originally published at my personal blog,

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