Journey to the Unknown

images-1Please allow me the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Shayla and I am a failure. OMG, did I just say that out loud? Yup, I sure did! You see, today is no ordinary day for me. Today is the day that I was supposed to find out that I passed the bar exam.  Today was going to be the day that I would celebrate my hard work and the start of a new career as an attorney.  Today my dream was supposed to come true. But there will be no celebration today because I failed the bar exam…AGAIN!

If you are unfamiliar with this horrible exam let me cue you in. The bar exam is two and half days long and tests all things legal. Preparation includes two months of studying for 12-15 hours a day. This means that your life is on hold because every waking moment you are thinking about the exam, making note cards and editing outlines. You can ask anyone who has ever taken this stupid thing – it is absolutely horrible!

The first failure caught me by surprise. I knew I didn’t ace the exam but I definitely thought I would be in the group of people who passed. The pain and embarrassment of failing was almost unbearable. I felt betrayed, alone and dead on the inside. Eventually, I was able to come to grips with my situation and I decided to re-take the exam in February.

Fast forward to 7:00 a.m. this morning when failure decided to come knocking on my door again. Are you serious? I worked hard, studied hard, prayed, and believed that this would be my time to pass. But my name wasn’t on the list. I failed…AGAIN. This should be horrible right? I should be crying and throwing things. I should be yelling and cussing. But instead, I am writing the first entry of my blog. I am here to tell the world that I failed and that failing is ok.

I know what your thinking – she’s one of those people who thinks that everything happens for a reason. You are absolutely right! I do believe that everything (good and bad) happens for a reason, but I didn’t get to this place over night. I have fallen on my face more times than I can remember and have failed at more things than I can count. I won’t lie, to fail is to experience pain. Let’s not kid ourselves, no one wants to experience pain. However, if you want to live a life that is filled with purpose you must understand the importance of pain. Pain is not just another emotion, it’s your best friend, your teacher, your motivator, and your compass. Listen to the pains of your life because they are shaping who you are becoming and directing your next steps. The key to success is to get up when you fall. Let me school you real quick…I may have failed the bar exam today but I PASSED the life test! The life test is the test that matters.


Great people fail! Successful people fail! To be great and successful is to risk failing every now and then!

If you are down right now, let me encourage you to get up and do something. It doesn’t have to be profound or monumental. Just dust yourself off and stand. Stand up and face your fear head on. Take the class you have been thinking about or make that video on YouTube you dreamed about last night. But Shayla, people are going to talk about me and judge me. Your absolutely right again! The thing is, people will talk about you if you fail and judge you when you succeed. It’s time to throw caution to the wind and live your life for YOU and no one else.  People will talk about you and probably judge you. Who cares – get to the place where you no longer care what other people think! Know that when people are talking about you its because you are doing something that is worthy of being talked about. BOOM!

What I know for sure is (cues Oprah music in the background) that life is all about the journey-not the destination. Today is just another pit stop. We need pit stops in life to make sure our engine (our mind, body and spirit) is moving in the right direction. I choose not to be afraid and frustrated by the unknown. I choose to embrace this pit stop and soak up this renewed energy, focus and sense of purpose that I am feeling right now. Failure is apart of success and I am destined for success.

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. ” ~ Denis Waitley

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost over 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over in my life. That is why I succeed.” ~ Michael Jordan

Thoughts? Reactions? What have you failed at lately? Have you let fear stand in your way? If not, how did you overcome your struggle?


14 thoughts on “Journey to the Unknown

  1. Angela Posey says:

    Let me be the first to say how absolutely PROUD I am of you. As I told you this morning, a setback is a setup for a comeback! Failure keeps us in a holding pattern. I alway ask myself, what would I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail…. The reality is I will. We all will. So let’s stop wondering what we would do if we knew we couldn’t fail and instead ask ourselves what we will do wen we fail. We’re conditioned to believe failure is a dirty word…a forbidden word. As you pointed out…it’s not failing, it’s picking ourselves up when we fail. It’s having faith, surrounding yourself with encouraging people. I’ve failed at so many things and I always make it so much worse than I really is. Anyhow, I love you so dearly and thank you for always being a motivating force! Here’s to failing forward!!!!


    • Angie,
      You are right on point – a setback is just a setup for a comeback. It’s time for all of us to throw those chains off and go claim what is rightfully ours. Cheers to failing forward!!!!!!


  2. Aureyl says:

    This is beautiful. This week, a professor shared with me “if you haven’t failed at something, then you aren’t trying nearly enough things”. When trying things, where failure weighs in the balance, I try not to dwell only on those benefits that await at the end of the accomplishment, but to find the value that can be extracted in the process. I echo what was alluded to, that failure is not the final destination. It is inevitable. What matters is whether you let the failure break and discourage you into a boundless fear or propel you forward into new opportunities and dreams. I am excited that you have chosen the latter. There is so much to be done and accomplished when we remove the boundaries of “what ifs” and fear. Best wishes to you in the journey!! -snaps-*dor-ben-dov*


    • Aureyl,
      Thank you and I think your professor hit the nail right on the head. Sometimes we get so comfortable in life that we only want to do what we are “good” at and refuse to seek out the challenges in life. I say embrace the challenge! Embrace the struggle! Embrace the failures! It’s within the challenges, struggles, and failures that greatness is developed! I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of the great ones!


  3. Ashley says:

    Love this…great first post. Can’t wait to see what’s ahead on here and most importantly, in your life. I’m definitely dealing with failure myself now but I vow to get up, dust myself and keep going! Thank you for your inspiring words, as always…you were created for greatness 🙂


  4. This is a very profound message. It takes a lot of courage to be so open and honest. I also believe everything happens the way God planned it and everything has reason. I was fired from my job of 13 years. A job that I hate hated deep in my soul but didn’t have the courage to just walk away. I had dreams of starting my own business but the job stood in the way. I was fired and I should have been down and upset but I felt relieved. God removed that obstacle. But then I got scared. Can I really start my own business? I took another job almost exactly like the job I was fired from. The week I started I suddenly became very ill and was forced to leave that job too. Now if God isn’t talking to me I don’t know what else it could mean. So now everyday I wake up I thank God for clearing a path for me and I work hard to stay on that path. I know God is clearing a path for you too.


    • Kenton,
      Wow, that was clearly the hand of God all over your situation. You are absolutely right, he has cleared a path for you and he doesn’t want anything else getting in the way of the plans that he has for you. Stay focused and committed to his plan and I guarantee that you won’t regret that decision!


  5. Sophia says:

    Hey Shay! I’m very proud of you for posting this. Stuff happens in life and so often we hide behind closed doors, nursing our own wounds, hoping they heal before anyone notices we were hurt to begin with… I commend you for sharing your experience and allowing yourself to be vulnerable about its pain. We all go through it. Thanks for letting us know and creating an opportunity for someone else who might be in the same situation to not feel alone.

    You aren’t finished. 🙂 Keep pressing forward! Love ya! ~Sophia


    • Thanks Sophia!

      There is absolutely no shame in trying and failing. The shame only resides in those who fail to try!

      I can hold my head up high because I worked hard and gave 100% to the process. Somethings are out of our control – but I trust the process and the timing in the God we serve!


  6. Ashli says:

    You may have failed at something, but my best friend is certainly NOT a failure! You are a child of God and he doesn’t create failures. It’s hard to admit when we fail, but major cheers to you for stepping out and acknowledging the challenges that have come along with your experience with the Bar. Sweeping it under the rug does nothing, but suppress the feelings and agonize us! I’ve told you this already, but this situation is bigger than the Bar exam and it’s bigger than you! Wait and see what God has for you. It’s going to be sweet and I’m excited to see what it is!


  7. Pingback: A Year Later… |

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