They say social media is a highlight reel of people’s lives, and that couldn’t be more true. But even though I know that, it’s hard to remember this when scrolling through my Instagram feed. People are constantly posting about their wins, which means we rarely get a glimpse of the losses. I’m here to tell you that taking a loss is okay, and frankly, unavoidable. Not only that, but losses are normal.
Recently, I applied for an open position in my organization that would have been a huge step up from my current role. In the workplace, I’ve always been known to be an extremely hard and reliable worker. It was kind of the talk around the office that I was a shoo-in to fill the role. I’ve learned to never expect anything, so I wasn’t necessarily convinced. But, I did feel confident the odds were in my favor.
Turns out, I didn’t get the job. If I’m being completely real, I didn’t even make it to the interview phase… big yikes. I went through a roller coaster of emotions: surprised, angry, sad, confused, hurt, the list goes on and on. Even though I am confident in my abilities and skills in this job, this kind of fail made me question everything. “Am I not doing a good job?” “Do they hate me?” “They really must not care about me at all to not even give me an interview!” This is so embarrassing, I should probablyquit”
I felt like a big giant failure. I then proceed to scroll through my Instagram feed full of women who are wildly successful. It’s so easy to think “why isn’t that me?” But the truth is, those women went through many losses before they got to the big win in their career. Nobody is successful without failing first.
It also made me realize that job was not my purpose and it was not meant for me. To be honest, the first thought I had when applying for the job was “That’ll look great on my resume!” and “It’ll be cool to say I’m in this position at 25 years old!” I realized I didn’t even like most of the tasks in the job description and that my current role was more enjoyable and fitting for me. Since experiencing this, I watched a Ted Talk that said there are 3 questions you should ask yourself before doing anything: What do I want? Why do I want it? And how do I get it? I realized that being in that position was not what I wanted, and the only reason I could think of why I wanted it was to post about it on social media.
These three questions made me realize what I really do want and has helped me start taking giant steps to get there (big news coming soon!). It also made me realize we must stop comparing ourselves to people on social media. Someone else’s journey is not your journey. Do things because you want them for you, not for your followers. And lastly, don’t be afraid to fail. Pick yourself back up and keep moving. You got this.