You took a chance. You ignored everyone who told you not to. You tightened your belt, clenched your fists, and believed with all your heart that you were going to make your dreams a reality. Each day demanded your blood, sweat, and tears.
And then, finally, after having invested so much into your dream, you encounter your first major failure. Your book is fundamentally flawed, the writing barely a step above novice. Your business model is unsustainable. You didn’t pass the exam.
The thought of your failure is overwhelming. Your breathing is constricted, your chest throbs with dull pain, your knees wobble. You remember all the people who you told of your inevitable success. You’re going to collapse. What will they think? Your failure is a big, lighted sign announcing to the world that they were right all along not to believe in you. You think about how you aren’t special. You think about how you should’ve fallen in line with the rest of them, just as you were meant to.
Your legs buckle and you hit the floor. The pain distracts you for a moment, and for that you are thankful, but the emotions catch up quickly. Your face rests in a puddle of fresh tears. You tried, and you failed. It’s over. It’s all over.
I’m here to tell you it’s not over.
Get up from the floor and stand up straight. Wipe your face dry with your sleeve. Breathe in as deep as you can. Cold air rushes into your lungs like an avalanche.
Embrace your failure. Learn to respect failure. Your failure is a badge of honor — wear it with pride. You attempted something great.
You seem calmer now. Good. Think about your project. What did you do wrong? How can you improve? What have you learned? If the answers don’t come easy, keep thinking — they will come. Study. Research. Question.
You still want this.
Spent too much time already, too much energy already.
Don’t let laziness rule your future. Few succeed overnight. Remember what motivated you in the first place. Remember the life that awaits you if you stop now. Don’t let yourself post-rationalize. Visualize everything. Don’t hold back. You still want this dream, dammit.
Can’t handle another failure.
Every failure makes you better if you make an effort to learn from your mistakes. Failures are not dead ends. Failures are steps forward. With each failure, you inch closer and closer to your goal. If you have not succeeded, then you are moving closer. Always remember that.
It’s not over until you decide that it is.