Failure: The Detour to Victory
During the time immediately following my dismissal, I spent countless hours thinking that I failed myself and it was my own fault. I mentally revisited moments where I could have made a different decision in the workplace. Maybe if I didn’t speak up as much I could have secured my job? Maybe if I would have smiled and nodded agreeable to whatever the task warden said I would still have the faux security of my corporate gig? How could I fail? I’m a born winner and failure is not a taste my victory accustom palate could accept.
The Fish Bowl of Shame
Weeks into this transition when attempting to accept my new reality the virus of shame consumed me. I was totally embarrassed and ashamed. I thought everyone that looked at me knew my giant secret and commenced to judge me. Someone would ask, “How are things going?” and I would hear “You lost your job you failure!” A simple ask of “What are you up to these days?” translated to me as “Wow, you haven’t found a job yet!” I was sick of it. Sick of my mind playing terrible tricks on me. Sick of the make believe judge and jury convicting me of failure to maintain my lane of success. I needed to do something drastic to fix this situation before my subconscious landed me in a straight jacket and on 500mg of some experimental psychiatric drug.
Operation Ego Rehab
The first step of ego rehab was acknowledging that I was not being judged and the only eyes piercing my character where that of my own. During this time, I unplugged socially to work on me. I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram profiles simply because I needed to focus on me. I needed time away from the assumed picture perfect of others’ lives and took time to nurse my wounded ego with bandages of self- love. My next step was to redefine what success meant to me before and what it was going to mean to me moving forward. I always associated success with the ability to get things and go places. My definition of success had nothing to do with being genuinely happy with myself, but everything to do with the acquisition of stuff that I required to be happy. Outside of the stuff, was I really happy before? Did I wake up with joy in my heart? Was I excited about the challenges of the day? The final step of rehab was looking forward to the next and the new. I was in mourning because I thought I failed, but I should have been celebrating my new lease on self-victory. I didn’t need Google Maps or GPS to get me there because the road to failure led me to finding ME! Victorious because in my 30 summers of life, I looked in the mirror and knew who I was. I knew that my value was not equal to job title, pay grade or corporate perks. I was fine with introducing myself simply by my name absent a title or elevator pitch of accomplishments. I am a winner and I didn’t need gold medals or wall plaques to tell me so. Who knew the road to failure detoured into the highway of victory?
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Jai Ferrell is a former corporate entertainment marketing executive turned self appointed social scientist commencing an experiment via Corporate & Unemployed. CorporateandUnemployed.com a social blog chronicling the journey to entrepreneurship or something like it in life after living a career.
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