In the last six months, I’ve applied to jobs everywhere remotely related to engineering, and then some others. Some never got back to me, some replied, and others invited me for tests. As expected, many of my former classmates are experiencing the same thing, and have written some of the same tests.
Every week, one of us rants (on our Whatsapp group, because that is what you do post-degree) about how the tests are rigged in favour of some people or how he/she wasted time travelling down for the tests. It’s how they cope with failure.
It’s commonplace to hear people say ‘it’s not my portion’ or ‘I’m not a failure’ or some other psychological chant, but many times we shy away from planning for failure. It’s not counter-productive to think about what happens if you fail at something. On the other hand, it should not aid bad performance if you consider the alternative to success in a particular endeavour.
At some point in life, you have to get used to failure and channel the resulting emotion to something positive. Something enduring.
J.K. Rowling puts it beautifully here:
Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it.
Failure only hurts when we (or other people) have expectations. You can not really fail if you never expected to get something, it may still hurt however. And some failure is good, it’s good to remember that you’re not invincible, that the universe does not exist only to give you what you want at the first time of asking.
It’s about taking stock, about (re)assessing yourself. It’s easy to forget your goals and keep living to society’s expectations if you don’t fail. Just don’t make it a habit.