My Year of Failure & Rejection: 3 Important Lessons I’ve Learned.
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing”- Pele.
With only 8 weeks left to the end of the year, 2018 is quickly coming to a close. The end of each year is naturally a time of reflection for many of us, although I have learned more life lessons in 2018 than any other year of my life. 2018 has been a year full of challenges, obstacles, many highs and many, many lows. Amongst these experiences I have learnt some invaluable lessons which I would like to share with you:
“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans”- John Lennon.
How you approach life says a lot about who you are and what you value. There are some who passively coast through life, wishfully hoping they will land where they are supposed to be. And then there are others, who make conscious decisions to understand who they are and what they value.
Well, I happen to fall into the latter category. I approach life as someone who is clear about what they want and takes every step to make it happen. But one thing I have learned is that no matter how carefully considered and strategic you may be, the journey to your own personal success may be completely different to what you envision.
I had a very clear and specific plan for where I would be and what I would be doing 2018, and it couldn’t be further from how it panned out. Circumstances beyond my control made my plans to relocate overseas come to a screeching holt. A series of failure and rejection made me question everything I was doing and doubt my own abilities. As someone who is generally able to win people over, I was told “no!” more times than I’ve every heard in my life.
I pride myself on being someone who is polished and poised, and maintains composure at all times. But the build up of failure, rejection and self-doubt got all too much for me. Walking in my Louboutins in one of Sydney’s busiest streets and holding my Chanel purse, I literally began to cry and had a mini-meltdown for all of the CEOs, men in suits and power-women to see. Just fabulous.
After the waterworks display was over and I managed to take a deep breath in, something shifted inside of me. Rather than continuing to feel sorry for myself and asking “why is this happening to me?” I switched my thinking to “why is this happening FOR me?” This shift in mindset has been an absolute game-changer, and made me realise that the universe was sending me signals that those things I thought I wanted were actually not meant for me. There were hidden opportunities that lied within each of those rejections, and as I wiped away my tears and my burry vision began to restore itself, I slowly begun to see the light.
Once I shifted my mindset and learned to accept that life was taking me on a different path, various opportunities began to present themselves. I was invited to speak at a conference, write blog posts for a publication and decided to execute on what originally started as a back of a napkin idea (more to come on this… stay tuned). These opportunities are things which I typically would have been too consumed to notice, even if they were staring me in the face.
I began to invest more time into myself and my on personal development, and focus on becoming the best version I would possibly be. I spent hours and hours reading, listening to podcasts, going to seminars and working with my own personal speaking/ presenting coach. I’ve had opportunities to travel to different parts of the world and visit less developed countries, which had a profound impact on me and helped me to gain new perspective.
I learned that regardless of your circumstances, an investment in yourself is the best investment you’ll ever make.
My year of failure and rejection has taught me that comfort zones are there to be broken. If we stay within our little bubble, we will never learn, grow or realise our full potential.
The human mind is an incredible tool, yet it is often the most under-utilised. In fact, many talented people have gone unnoticed because they have not taken the time to invest, motivate or make the relevant changes necessary to bring their talent into the universe. It takes a level of willingness, planning and effort to break through comfort zones and ultimately achieve self-mastery.
When was the last time you did something that scared you? Whatever it is, learn to feel the fear and do it anyway.
How you deal with failure and rejection is entirely up to you. You can either become bitter, or learn to become better.
What are some failures, or apparent failures, that have set you up for later success? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, please leave your comments below!