Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Hello I'm Ori, Nigerian American lifestyle blogger and career consultant encouraging you to live boldly. Be original. 

Turn your Failures into Success Stories

Turn your Failures into Success Stories

Failure is sometimes a blessing in disguise. When things do not go your way, or your plans fall through, don’t waste your energy being angry about it. This is the biggest lesson I'm learning this year. When I look back at times that I cried and complained about things not going my way, I laugh because everything turned out way better than I imagined.

In May of 2016, I graduated from undergrad and went straight into a graduate program in the summer. I was pursuing a career as an elementary school teacher in the inner city and I was so excited because I love being around children. The program consisted of working part time in an elementary school during the day, then taking graduate classes till the evening. There were also other requirements like group meetings, volunteering, and extensive assignments. To say the least, it was exhausting (You’ll need to respect teachers because they work very hard).

I had previous experience working with children in a leadership capacity and I killed my interviews, so I expected this program to be a breeze. Girl, was I wrong! I failed to meet the objectives of my lesson plans, my classroom management skills were poor and my grades were slipping. By the end of the summer I was burned out and so I dropped out. I never felt so defeated in my life because I put all my hopes in becoming a teacher and when that dream fell through I felt lost. I thought my life was over when I dropped out of grad school and moved back to my parent’s house, but I’m glad things didn’t go my way because taking time off to work full-time benefited me more than going to grad school right out of college.

Here are 3 ways that I turned my failure to a success story

I owned up to my failure

When I failed, I had to ask myself why things didn’t end the way I expected. It’s a natural tendency to point fingers and place blame on others.  Even if that was the case, I had to take responsibility for my faults and accept my part in how things went. Failing at something is an eye-opener and it will hurt, but it's necessary for growth. 

I worked harder

I was not prepared to go to grad school right after college. I didn’t have the discipline, organization skills of work ethic to handle it. I needed to take a year off to work full-time so that I can build those skills. I learned more practical skills while on the job than I did sitting in the classroom. Sometimes you have to fail so that you learn how to do things more effectively. Once you have tried something multiple times and it doesn’t work, it’s time to come up with a new plan. For me, I learned my lesson on time management, paying attention to detail and prioritizing after I failed.

I stopped doing things that were not working

There are two things you can do when you fail. You can quit, or you can try again until you succeed. Most people will tell you to never give up and keep trying until you make it. I'm here to say that there is nothing wrong with quitting. If you have tried something and do not like it or are not good at it, there's nothing wrong with choosing to take a different path. I was convinced that I could be the best teacher because I had years of experience working with children in non-profit organizations. I’m glad I got the first-hand experience in the classroom and learned that it wasn’t the right job for me before I spent thousands of dollars getting a degree in that field. Sometimes we need to fail at something to accept the painful truth that we are just not cut out for it or that it's not a good fit. In cases like this, failing can redirect you to do something that’s better for you. 

I never gave up my dream

Though I gave up on teaching, I never gave up on my dreams to attend my dream school. So I did some soul searching to figure out what career I actually wanted to pursue. I applied to my dream school, along with a few backup schools and after months of waiting, and interviews, I got accepted! Now I'm going back to grad school to pursue a dual degree program in a field that I'm passionate about but also good at. I turned my failure, into a success story and I give all glory to God. 

I hope this encourages you, comment below and let me know how you turned your failures into success stories. 

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