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Dealing with Failure: How to Make the Most of It

The story of how I was able to get back on my feet.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Life is not always as it seems. You have a vision of what you’re going to accomplish and sometimes, your perception gets crushed.

You have a dream, you set goals and you hope to reach them. You’re going forward and you’re full of ambition. Until you fail.

The weight on your shoulders and the stress you’ve been putting on yourself hit you all at once.

And that’s a harder hit than being slammed by a college football linebacker.

I did fail recently. I wanted to get a professional job and I’ve been working toward that goal for 3 whole months.

You might think that’s not a lot. But for me, waiting during those three months felt like an eternity.

I truly believe that I was made for this new position. But unfortunately, I was not.

This article won’t be based on why I didn’t get the job or about other challenges I faced on my professional path.

It will be about how I’m able to live with the fact that I failed, and how I was able to get up after this test.

The hit

I felt…broken. I didn’t really know how to feel. I just felt like shit, to be honest.

It was like 20 voices in my head were telling me that I sucked and that I didn’t have meaning in my field of work.

When I heared on the phone that our work relationship wouldn’t work, for a while, I just heared a white noise in my ears.

My heart was beating super fast, I’m pretty sure my face turned red and I started sweating.

I didn’t want to accept the news.

So for fifteen minutes, I listened, and listened, and listened.

To be real, it felt like an hour.

I wasn’t ready to hear the truth and the reasons why I would not be hired.

But after a while, I started to understand the situation. And I think I we had a pretty diplomatic conversation afterward.

When I hung up, I just stood there. Stoic. Still processing the ending.

I got back to my desk with an empty look in my eyes.

At the end of the day, I had three hours of driving to do. For the entire trip, I listened to EDM music and drove 120 km/h (Roughly 75 miles per hour).

And believe it or not, it was pretty good therapy.

I took the weekend to see some friends, to visit my family and just to get my mind off things.

You need to realize the hit, but changing your mind is crucial in those situations.

The aftermath

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

When you realize something ain’t possible, you have two choices: you keep being sad about it, or you get over it.

I used to be so devastated after each failure

But not this time.

I thought it was enough.

I decided to go on full throttle mode to get more experience and find a work position that would satisfy my ambitions.

I took a moment to analyze my situation and asked myself If I was happy.

I realized that I was not.

So, what exactly makes me happy? What elements made me thrive during those three months that I was waiting for an ideal conclusion?

I identified those components and created a calendar of things I had to do to reach those goals.

I think the thing that helped me the most was, I’m not sure but, proving them wrong?

I don’t want to get into the details but, I’m a junior so, I don’t have a lot of experience and it shows.

I also had opportunities that I didn’t take, and on a situation like this one, it shows uncertainty.

Then, my mindset changed. I had to take action.

I decided to become the best person I could possibly be, and by any way possible.

I chose to take all of those hard feelings and to convert them into motivation.

That’s how I will thrive.

The recovery

It’s been over a month since my failure.

I would be lying If I was saying that I’m completely back from this experience.

I’m still getting pieces of my confidence back every day.

And it might take a while to completely recover.

But I need to transform this failure to ignite my success.

Every day when I wake up, I remember that I won’t be part of this job.

But there is something that I’m keeping asking myself.

What if…everything I’m going through is preparing me for what I asked for?

What if this failure is a test on my roadmap to success?

And I know this won’t be the only rock on my way.

But I think being able to realize that you’re reaching your goal by failing is a nice step.

Recovery is not a race. Success is more of a marathon.

Remember how much you’re hurt, and let that pain lit the flame of your ambitions.

Because in our deepening fears, lives the truest hopes.

The realization

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

But then, I realize something.

Failure is not fatal. You need to fail a lot to grow.

If I even take the time to analyze my situation, maybe that the term failure is obsolete.

Maybe that everything that has happened in this situation wasn’t even a failure.

Maybe it’s just a way to test myself before I fail for real.

In any case, I need to learn from this situation, and you should do too.

It’s easy to cry over something or to stay sad.

But the real deal is to always find a way to get up after being knocked down.

This is the hard part.

Standing up and getting ready to feel pain again for a greater cause ain’t easy.

But that’s called courage.

And I believe that’s the stuff leaders should be made of.



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Gabriel Bujold

Gabriel Bujold

Product Marketing & Retail Investor. Read my newsletter at