There are moments in our life where it feels like everything is flowing perfectly. You’re putting in 110%, you’re reaping the rewards, there’s a little luck lingering about, opportunities are arising, and it just seems like every step you take is flawless.. until it’s not. Maybe you took your first D or F of the semester, or maybe you got a little fender bender on the way home. Perhaps you got rejected for an opportunity that you tried to pursue, or perhaps you put your all into something and you just know it lacked perfection. It wasn’t what you hoped for, or what others were looking for.
“My art piece that I spent weeks or more on was rejected for that super cool exhibition downtown.”
“I didn’t get the internship of my dreams at this well renowned company in DC.”
“I was really aiming for a 4.0 this semester but a couple of bad grades ruined that.”
I love reading those little anecdotes about people who are the best of the best in their field. Did you know Lady Gaga was dropped from her first record label deal before she blew up? Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first television anchor job in Baltimore. Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime. Dr. Suess’ first book was rejected by 27 different publishers. Walt Disney was fired by the Kansas City Star because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
What does this mean? Simply, no one is born a master of anything, and that failure is inevitable, no matter how small or large it may seem in someone’s life. The people who get to the top acknowledge their mistakes and failures, and instead of letting those things define them, they work through them no matter how frustrating they can be, or how hopeless the situation seems. It’s not an easy feat, and we all have been there where we have just thrown in the towel, but the next time frustration consumes you, take a deep breath and try some of these steps out.
KEEP TABS OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
When the mind is stuck on the negatives things going on, it’s hard to pick yourself up from it. Think about how far you’ve come to get that spot. Maybe you didn’t get your work into an exhibit, but you look at it and feel good about yourself because that piece is so much better than something you created a couple years ago, and you stayed dedicated to that craft and made something that was even worth trying to get out there in the public. Maybe you didn’t get that internship but at least you applied for it because you felt like you were qualified for it and you thought that you were that perfect match. Can you confidently say you felt like you were qualified for that internship last year?
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE
Even if someone tells you can’t, you can. Don’t ever give up pursuing for dreams for an easy out in something you don’t care for. You only have one life to live and it’s just not fulfilling if you don’t shoot as hard for it as you possibly can. If your parents see you being a doctor but you know that photography is your life, don’t give it up (not that being a doctor is by any means easy.. but you know what I’m saying). You want to be a programmer at IBM but people tell you that’s too elite of a job. Tell them to take a hike and write down how you’re going to realistically achieve it, and do it.
The most important thing is to stay focused, reduce the “noise”, and stay positive. It WILL get tough. you WILL get through it. Stay positive, friends.