From a young age, I assumed that if I worked hard enough for something, it would result in a favorable outcome.
I was wrong.
I identify as a creative person. Both for my advertising major and my extracurriculars, I dedicate myself to my crafts. So, when I decided to enter my creative project in a competition, I was sure that it would lead to my desired result.
Over the span of a few months, I wrote multiple drafts and perfected my piece. I even went so far as to have multiple editing sessions with my English professor dad. My confidence about my work was through the roof and in my mind, there was no way it wouldn’t work out.
And….it didn’t work out. When I first received the news, I started thinking of all the things I did wrong. For some reason, my first instinct was to punish myself rather than show myself love.
After a tear-filled call with my dad, he reminded me that sometimes life is just not fair. You can create the most perfect product and it is not what someone needs.
The night before I received the news, I randomly decided to watch Brené Brown: The Call to Courage on Netflix. The message of this piece could not have come at a more perfect time.
In her documentary, Brown discusses the idea of vulnerability and courage. According to her, these two values go hand in hand. She brings up one quote which really resonated with me:
“Vulnerability Is Not About Winning, It’s Not About Losing. It’s Having The Courage To Show Up When You Can’t Control The Outcome.”
The older I get, the more I realize most outcomes aren’t in my control. Adulthood for me is all about learning how to cope with unexpected realities.
Brown also brings up another quote which holds a new meaning to me.
It is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt which states, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”
Rather than be embarrassed over shortcomings out of my control, I am teaching myself to get comfortable with vulnerability. As long as I continue to get my hands dirty, I will never fall short. All rejection is redirection.
With that being said, I am excited to redirect my creative piece into something new. Something which I will proudly share on this blog when it is complete.
In the meantime, I am learning to not beat myself up so much when things don’t go my way. I am not backing out of the arena anytime soon.