I’d like to say that I don’t like the word failure. When it comes to my lack of successes in life, I don’t consider them to be failures, and I’ll tell you why. It can often feel devastating when you experience a setback in your life, whether in your work or personal life- it’s tough. You feel like you’ve failed. You just weren’t good enough, so things didn’t work out.

At the time, when things came to a crashing halt for me, I looked at my setbacks as failures. Over 3 years ago, I moved across the country to British Columbia to start a new life, and within a year I was back home, right where I had started feeling more devastated than ever.

Today, I’m starting my career as an Occasional Teacher and am on the road towards one day having a classroom of my own. So, how did I go from rock bottom to working my dream job?

I Let Myself Feel the Disappointment

After returning home and experiencing failure in my personal and work life, I let myself feel the heartache of a lost dream. It was a dream that wasn’t meant for me, but at the time I felt that I hadn’t done enough to keep the dream alive. I felt the heavy burden of failure on my shoulders and carried it with me for a while. Feeling the loss and the disappointment is part of the process- you don’t have to pick yourself back up again right away.

I Realized My Dream Wasn’t Meant For Me

After returning home, I realized I wasn’t genuinely happy while living my dream. I missed my home, my family, and my friends constantly. But, because I was stubborn (so, so stubborn), I couldn’t accept the idea of being wrong about my dream. Sometimes you have to pursue something in order to realize it’s not meant for you. At the time it seems like a failure because it’s the end of a dream you once had, but it’s this very end that brought me to find my dream job.

An Ending Meant New Beginnings

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us” – Alexander Graham Bell

This is one of my favourite quotes and it couldn’t ring more true. When I was finally able to let go of the dream that no longer was, I was able to start seeing the opportunities that were in front of me. I began to pick myself up and started to live my life again. While working at a private school as a receptionist, I realized my love of working in a school environment. I got accepted to a Teacher’s College program and started my journey towards my dream job.

When one thing ends, allow yourself to feel the disappointment you need to feel. Don’t spend too much time looking back at that closed door because more often than not, there’s an opportunity awaiting you on the other side of hard work and personal growth.

It’s Only a Failure if You Don’t Learn From It

For me, none of what I experienced felt like a failure. I learned so much from that journey and in the end, it’s what brought me to where I am today. Experiencing setbacks in life creates a space and opportunity for growth. Set goals for yourself and make them a priority in your life. The biggest failure is accepting the lie that you’re not good enough and believing it.

Have you ever experienced a failure or setback in your life that changed your path in life? Do you think it’s necessary to experience these failures in order to grow? I’d love to hear from you!