The Gift of Failure

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The Gift of Failure

Often too preoccupied with the negative emotions associated with career obstacles and setbacks, we lose sight of the value that accompanies failure.


Responding to rejection from your ideal grad program or not landing your “dream job” with anything other than instantaneous feelings of disappointment, self-pity, and comparison is tricky—as those default emotions can easily creep into our consciousness. Sitting in these emotions can not only be a waste of time but also cloud the true meaning of rejection.


Every perceived failure is equipped with at least one of three possibilities:

1) Insight on what does not work in order to uncover what will.
2) The opportunity to shift gears towards a more productive path initiated by reflection.
3) Protection from journeying down a path that is not in alignment with your life’s purpose.


We can name many famous individuals whose tales of triumph echo the concept of learning from failures to eventually arrive at success.


Our attachment to particular outcomes often makes it difficult to de-escalate our emotions in the midst of a setback, and without awareness, it can prevent us from extracting the purpose of the experience in propelling us forward.


Here are 3 ways to remain grounded while enduring perceived career failures to allow you to gracefully bounce back and power through:


1)  Be Self-Compassionate

Resist the urge to blame or insult yourself. Although it’s responsible to acknowledge our flaws, remember this opportunity gives you powerful insight on what to change in time for your next opportunity.


2)  Identify and Optimize Insight 

Always think, what did this experience teach me? Instead of choosing the pessimistic route of dwelling on the missed opportunity, try recategorizing the experience as communication from the universe that is somehow related to your next step. Would I be better suited for another industry? Does my resume need tweaking? Do I need to be more confident in my interview? Self-reflection can help shape your path by providing answers to questions you were unaware you had.

Trust that you may not have been prepared for your breakthrough position had you not experienced the need for refinement. The universe is grooming you through hardship.


3)  Detach from Future Outcomes

What is for you is truly for you. Learn to replace disappointment with appreciation as you remember the intentional nature of the universe.

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Sherron Pearson

Co-Founder & Chief of Technology and Business Development of Mint

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