Failure is a setback, not a final destination!

A Note on Failure (3).jpg

Nobody likes to fail. I can guarentee that. But, when there's high stakes and competition it's bound to happen. If you haven't failed at anything, then you can't have done anything major because there's no way you can have huge successes without some bumps in the road. It's a dreaded part of the process, but it's part of the process regardless. 

For a lot of us, failure stops us in our tracks. We don't know what to do when the 'yes' we wanted and maybe expected is actually a 'no.' We lose our motivation and our self-assurance and stop striving for better. Even worse, we start to believe that we'll never get where we want to be because we start to define ourselves based on that single rejection. 

But, I'm here to tell you that failure happens to everybody. It's an inevitable part of life. We shouldn't let it get us down or get us off track. Instead, we've got to take it in stride and use it as motivation to work harder and find other opportunities.  

Here's 4 things to remember when you're faced with failure or rejection: 

  • Failure happens to everybody at some point. So stop acting like failure is something that exclusively happens to you and that it means that it's the end of the road. Anybody successful was faced multiple failures and rejections before they reached where they are today. Simply because not everybody is going to immediately recognize your talent. Not everybody is going to want to take a chance on you. Not everybody is going to assist you when given the opportunity. But it's OK, because you've got this and you will succeed anyway. Failure is a setback, not a final destination.

  • Failure is a good opportunity to reevaluate. If you need to, take some time to have a good old pity party but afterwards it's time to become strategic and start asking yourself how you can improve yourself and/ or improve how you represent yourself. That will lead to future success. Examine your weaknesses and create an action plan about how to strengthen those weaknesses. That will only make you stronger and more attractive to the people who have the opportunities you're vying for.

  • A 'no' today isn't necessarily a 'no' tomorrow. If you applied to degree programs last year and you weren't successful, it's a new year to try again and get different outcomes. If you applied for certain jobs in your field last month and didn't get them, it's time to start applying to new jobs in your field and you may get them. The key is persistence. When you're working to improve yourself and you're persistent...then you're unstoppable!

  • There's more than one way to reach your goals. You're never dependent on approval from one person or even a group of people. If the people you go to first don't help you, then it's time to look to new people. Everybody has different biases and different things they're looking for. You need to find your perfect fit instead of trying to fit yourself somewhere that doesn't suit your vision or who you are.

I hope these ways of thinking about failure help you! Failure happens but it's time to get back on your feet. If I stopped pushing after every rejection and let it define my worth, I wouldn't have reached where I am today. I expect and embrace challenges. I see them as a necessary part of being a go-getter with big goals. 

Rejection hurts but it's not the end. It may be the final answer from one person but it's not the final answer, period. You can still go after scholarship and fellowship opportunities, you can still do that next degree, you can still find The Dream Job. Just keep working and keep pushing and you'll get there! Promise! 

Danielle Procope
Founder & Lead Editor of Mertina Writing Services 

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