Please 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.
***LIFE LESSON ALERT***
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?