Failure is just a stepping stone for success

My fear of failure has clouded my mind for years. When you spend a fourth of your waking hours everyday on social media, watching the highlight reel of all your friends’ success, you begin to doubt your abilities as your perception of reality becomes warped. My whole life I have been terrified of rejection, terrified of peoples’ opinion of me, terrified of not fitting in and being judged by others.

But you must fail in order to succeed. My job hunt these last few months has been a great example of that.  

In a recent interview I was required to role play a cold call with my interviewer. And I bombed it. Before the day of my interview I thought I was well prepared, but I found out that I was completely unsure of myself and had no idea what I was doing the moment the role play began. I had watched videos of cold calls leading up to the interview on YouTube, amazed how people made it look so easy, and imagined myself being able to do the same. But similarly to my marathon training mentioned in my previous post, I had not taken any action to actually improve at cold calling before the interview. I felt embarrassed after the Zoom call but looking back I am grateful that it happened.

Because the experience highlighted a weakness and I was given an opportunity for improvement. After the conclusion of our interview, I was given valuable feedback on what I could improve on in my cold calling attempts. Needs identification, setting the agenda, asking open ended questions and overcoming objectives, all tactics I can bring with me to my next call and skills that I can sharpen every call after that. I recently received an email that I was not selected for the role, but that’s okay. Because I have gained valuable experience and knowledge that I can use as I continue to seek employment. Not every cold call I will make in sales will lead to a deal, and not every interview will lead to a job offer. What matters the most to me is that I failed, I got back up, and learned from the experience.

My whole life I have been a gamer and one of the first options you get when you start a new video game campaign is the difficulty level. Beginner, Recruit, Hardened, or Veteran, and for so long I have lived my life on recruit difficulty, always seeking the path of least resistance, finding ways to get by with a work ethic that I had labelled the “minimal effective effort level.” But what searching for a job during a global pandemic has taught me is that in life, you don’t get to choose that difficulty level, and it’s entirely your decision whether or not to keep playing. I can blame the world all day for the position that I am, continue to live off unemployment, and resent the others around me that keep winning. Or I can accept the challenge that life has thrown at me, get back up and keep grinding everyday to get that job no matter how much rejection I face.

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