Failure can seem like a roadblock. Being an empowered and poised, hard-working woman, I pour my soul into absolutely everything that I do, and it is a crushing realization when you are smacked in the face with what feels like inadequacy. To fail can unfortunately foster a false self-image of low worth, despite having worked so hard for the dreams you chase.
I am a medical student currently and recently took a standardized exam that partially determines where I will do my professional training in the hospital after graduation. For six grueling weeks, I followed a strict study schedule jam-packed with various tasks such as practice questions, organ system-based review, and countless summary videos. It seemed to be an insurmountable task to learn all of the information I needed to know, but I thought if I told myself I could do it that I would be fine. However, I failed the exam by a mere one point and I was absolutely devastated. Due to failure to pass the exam, I am mandated to take a year off of school to retake the exam, which was never a part of my “plan”. I also had some personal and emotional complications occurring at the time of this dedicated study period, in which I ended a 7-year long relationship with my then-fiancé. In addition to the disappointment I felt in myself, I felt as if the control I once thought I had over my life was slipping through my fingers.
However, over the past couple weeks I have had a revelation: the adversities I face at this point in my life are only shaping me into a more empowered and poised woman for the future. No matter how unsure I may be about what tomorrow will bring, I have learned that I can depend on myself and my commitment to happiness and success. Love for yourself and love for the life you are living are immeasurably important. Once I came to terms with my situation and started to string together a game-plan, I realized the opportunities that this seemingly-terrible situation had created for me. I now have the chance to re-approach the exam in a better state of mind and prove how capable I am. I have to time to myself to decompress and further myself professionally and personally in my time off.
Today I am studying and re-evaluating my methods in preparation for re-taking the exam this fall. I have learned so much about myself, what I want in my life and what ways I can best succeed: things that I would have never had insight into without this unexpected turbulence. As much as many of us wish that we had full control over our timeline, it is not the way of the world. However, personal growth is dependent on the challenges that we face. No matter how tough things may appear, there is always a way to use adversity to improve yourself and learn. Becoming empowered and poised is a lifelong journey! It is something that everyone is learning each and every day, through the good and the bad. I encourage everyone to be grateful for the blessings in your life, no matter how simple they may seem compared to your hardships. Always seek opportunities to grow and never, ever stop believing in yourself and what you are capable of. Failure may be a roadblock, but construction is temporary; afterwards, you will be even stronger for it.