It doesn’t matter how talented you are or how much effort you put into something. Things aren’t always going to turn out the way you expected. And that is okay.

You shouldn’t spend forever beating yourself up over the fact that you didn’t land where you were hoping to go. You’re allowed to be disappointed. You’re allowed to feel sorry for yourself. You’re allowed to wish things turned out differently. But you shouldn’t give up on yourself, simply because you’ve experienced a single setback.

If something is meaningful enough to you, you aren’t going to quit that easily. You’re going to keep trying and keep failing until you ultimately succeed.

When you fail, it’s easy to throw up your hands and say that you’re finished. It’s easy to act like the outcome didn’t make a difference to you anyway, like you don’t care about what happened, like you’re completely fine with giving up your goals. It’s easy to stuff your dreams deep down in your chest and focus on the reality of what’s in front of you instead.

But the easiest path, the most tempting path, is usually the wrong one. Most of the time, the hardest option is the most fulfilling option. The hardest option is going to lead you toward your goals. It’s going to bring you closer to true happiness.

Remember, success isn’t the first step in reaching your wildest dreams. It’s the last step. Failure is the first step.

When you fail, it’s not easy to put yourself out there again. It’s not easy to brush off what happened to you and start back at square one. But you have to remind yourself, you’re not really starting back at the beginning. Your failure was a learning experience. It gave you tools you’ll need moving forward. You’re better off now than you were then. You know more. You’ve grown more.

If you want to make it to your intended destination, you need to stop taking your failures so personally. They don’t mean you’re an embarrassment. They don’t mean you’re a lost cause. And they certainly don’t mean you’re never going to achieve your goals.

The only way you know for sure you aren’t going to reach your dreams is if you stop trying, stop putting in effort, stop risking failure.

You have to remember failure doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve made a mistake. It doesn’t mean that you are on the wrong path and are better off giving up. Sometimes, you’ll fail because of bad timing. Sometimes, you’ll fail because luck wasn’t on your side. And sometimes you’ll fail because you weren’t ready to succeed yet.

Everyone is going to fail at some point — and you aren’t the exception. You’re going to fail, too. But you can either use your failure to learn more about yourself, to figure out how to do better next time, to grow as a person. Or you can give up and refuse to see your own potential. It’s your choice. It’s entirely up to you. TC mark

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