Today’s post is a sponsored guest post produced by exaMENTOR.
In the words of Winston Churchill, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” And he knew what he was talking about. Churchill had failed the sixth grade, and went on to lose the election in every public office role he ran for. Despite these many setbacks, he was eventually elected British prime minister at the age of 62.
So the UFE results came out and you did not see your name on the list. You did not pass the UFE. At this point, you start to doubt many things – whether you’ll pass it next year, whether you’ll make a good professional accountant and whether the stars will ever align for you to finally receive your designation. You are feeling lost, confused and uncertain. What went wrong? What do I do now? How do I start again?
While it might seem of little consolation at the time, your failure to pass the UFE places you, ironically enough, in an exclusive club. Here are some of its members:
- Henry Ford’s first three companies were flops: the first one went out of business, he abandoned the second and the third went downhill because of declining sales.
- After an early performance, Elvis Presley was told by the manager of the legendary Grand Ole Opry, “You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”
- Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.”
- Soichiro Honda was left unemployed after he was rejected for an engineering job at Toyota.
- JK Rowling was fired from her secretarial jobs because she was caught writing creative stories on her computer.
- Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked creativity.”
The list goes on. Admittedly, it can be difficult to associate your own struggles with those on this list of famous celebrities. The point is that we all experience failure. Don’t be surprised during a frank conversation with some of the folks in corner offices when you hear stories about how they too encountered failure, including not passing the UFE on the first attempt.
So is it simply a coincidence that all of these successful people encountered failure at some point in their lives? Or could it be that failure is a necessary stumbling block on the path to success? Perhaps we need to experience failure to become more motivated to achieve our goals, to build “thicker” skin, to learn to never to give up, and to prevail despite temporary setbacks? Although it can seem counterintuitive, failure is not merely a coincidence in these and countless other success stories. It is not a stretch to say that the failures experienced by successful people actually lay the foundation for their future successes. Each person takes away particular lessons from their personal failures, but what they share in common is their commitment to their long-term goal and the courage to struggle towards it. They did not give up, sit back and simply accept what they were told by their bosses, peers or potential employers. With their personal goal at the center of their focus, they kept at it and proved all of those doubting people wrong.
You are probably thinking that this is not the whole story. Even if failure is a necessary and inevitable part of eventual success, doesn’t failure also result in a lot of personal misery, disappointment and under-achievement? This is also true. Not everyone who fails at something will later succeed in it. However, every one who has failed and who embraces their failure will. It’s about caring enough about yourself and what you’re doing to take on the challenge again, to work hard and have patience.
Dealing with failure is an opportunity for inner growth. Embrace it. This is the time to get stronger by understanding and addressing your weaknesses. This is your opportunity to become an unstoppable machine that slowly and steady approaches your destination—success.
So what’s the moral of the story? While you need to give yourself some time to mope around and deal with your feelings, please understand that you are not alone. Seek out and talk to people who have had similar experiences. After sometime, start thinking about what you need to do next. Revisit your preparation process to figure out what went wrong and what you should change to do better next year. Most importantly, get help. You do not need to struggle through this process alone. So get up, dust yourself off and have the courage and to work harder and work smarter. Your name will be on that list next year.
As Maya Angelou said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Historical examples used in this posted are based on We got fired! by Harvey Mackay and www.businessinsider.com.
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