Failure Is Not An Option

What if you knew that no matter what you did, you couldn’t fail?

What if “failure” just wasn’t an option?

Would you live your life differently?

Registrants are bound by many restrictions, jobs, housing even leisure activities are viewed under the registry microscope. The list of things you can’t do, places you can’t go, people you can’t be around is exhausting. The rules don’t make any sense, the physical boundaries are arbitrary and as we all know, none of this has ever been proven to make society safer.

It’s difficult to carve out a life when you are mired in registry-rule-muck.

But, it’s not impossible!

And if your mantra becomes “failure isn’t an option”, you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish.

Employment for registrants is a challenge. A background check can slam the door shut on a job just as heavily as a prison cell door slams shut.  But that doesn’t mean you should give up.  Plenty of people who have no prior history and squeeky clean background checks get the job door slammed in their face too. That’s just Employment or Unemployment 101, sometimes you get the job, sometime you don’t.

Don’t give up if you get turned away from the 1st or 10th or 25th job you apply for. Keep at it.  If you can’t find something in your chosen field, maybe you need to broaden your horizons, attempt looking at a different line of work. Network with people, job leads can be anywhere.  Registrant or not, there are jobs out there, just keep looking. If you believe you deserve a job, you’ll eventually find one.

Telling yourself that you “can’t fail” gives you a different attitude when you are job hunting. Instead of going out into the work world feeling like you are wearing a scarlet letter, hold your head up and tell yourself you are just as worthy of getting the job as the next guy.  And most of all, believe it!    

No, it’s not easy and yes, it may be frustrating.  But remember, failure isn’t an option.

The same goes for housing.

You may be turned away from places because of your registrant status. The zones that you can’t live in may seem to take up a whole lot more map space than the zones you can live in. It’s not fair and hopefully with all of us working for change, that change will come in the not so distant future.  But until then, you still deserve a place to call home, just like everyone else, so what are you going to do.  Cry in your cornflakes?  Throw your hands in the air and throw in the towel?

Remember, failure is not an option.

No, you need to keep looking. Expand the area you’re searching in if you need to. Again, network.  You never know who knows someone who has a room or an apartment or house they want to rent or sell and maybe it’s actually in a zone you’re allowed to live in. If you’re working with a realtor, don’t be ashamed to tell them you need housing in a very specific area, a good realtor will go out of their way to help meet your needs.

And what about your personal life? A million rules, boundaries, restrictions, hoops you have to jump through.  How do you succeed in that?

The registrants that I’ve known who do well are the registrants that have the self-determination to “own” their lives in spite of the registry.

They are the ones who, registry be damned, will follow all the rules and restrictions, no matter how ridiculous they are, but still manage to live a pretty normal life.  They make the registry a minor inconvenience in their daily lives, instead of the focus of their lives. 

For them, failure isn’t an option.  This is their life.  Sure, they may have royally screwed things up a bit for themselves in the past, but what they choose to make of their lives from here on out is up to them.  And these people aren’t wasting a minute of it feeling sorry for themselves.  With effort, they have gotten jobs or found a way to become self-employed.  They put in the hard work and have found housing, maybe not their dream housing, but it’s an address and with an address you can secure a job and then maybe find better housing.   They have built friendships, reconnected with family and in some cases even found love.

For them, nothing, not their past mistakes, not the registry and it’s ever-reaching tentacles, nothing and no one is going to label them a failure.

If failure isn’t an option, then you can only succeed.

It’s worth a try.   



3 thoughts on “Failure Is Not An Option


    That just rings so hollow right now. I’m a low level offender, no priors, and not on the public registry. I lost a great job as Assistant Director of a local rehab when I separated from my wife. I had met my boss and her husband through church, socialized w/ them, etc…

    I have been looking for a job for almost a year now. I have had 40+ interviews, including more than 10 2nd and 3rd interviews. I have been offered 3 jobs. I worked one for 5 weeks. All 3 let me go for my background despite having disclosed on my applications and during my interviews.

    Unemployment just ran out, I have 50 / 50 custody of my girls, and I’m a month or two from the street. I stopped being picky about the jobs I apply for months ago. I have a degree and a good job history, references from before and after my incarceration, I’m bilingual and have deep skills in both Social Service program development as well as I.T.. Most unskilled jobs won’t give me a shot because of my job / salary history, and the professional jobs usually ghost me at some point during the hiring process.

    I don’t know how much more I can take.

  • Michele,
    Help your son to understand “failure isn’t an option”. Provide support. If it means you doing research regarding laws, becoming an advocate for registrants rights, helping to change those unconstitutional laws” until your son can get on his feet and do the work himself, then do whatever you can to help make change. This isn’t a life sentence and I’m starting to think it’s not even a scarlet letter.. Those are labels that we’ve allowed others to bestow on us.
    Time for registrants to stand up for themselves and take back their lives. Failure isn’t an option!.

  • Michele

    That was really inspiring and awesome. I was just looking for something that would give me hope for my son who it just now facing this ridiculous Scarlet Letter. I’m just now learning of these unbelievably unconstitutional laws and wondering when they will change so when he is out and after he has “paid his debt”, that he may live a new and productive life. It looks to me it will never happen and no matter his sentence he will still have a “life sentence”, and that’s not fair. I’m terrified. But until these laws are changed, your post gives me a new perspective to have faith. Thank you.


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