“What doesn’t kill you makes you Stronger” — Kelly Clarkson (and an old adage)
“N-now t-that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger” — Kanye West, Obsessive Tweeter
As a 20some, we’re often told, “the world is our oyster;” that people “wish they could go back to that carefree age.” Except for some of us, this age isn’t always so carefree. Life has a tendency to grab you by the strings and throw everything out of whack. When you feel like everything is going right, that you’ve finally got a future to look forward to, events that you may have never fathomed can spin your world out of control.
When I graduated college, I didn’t exactly land on my feet and straight into the career of my choice. Many of us don’t. Graduation is supposed to be a time of joy, of solely thinking about the future that awaits you. Yet, here I was failing at multiple job interviews, seemingly going nowhere fast. It can be even worse if you have attained a job you love, and suddenly, without warning, you are laid off or fired. The immediate impact can eat at your self-esteem, your self worth, and your self-reliance. This setback can significantly impact your overall health and wellness, but the truth is, you can rise above. And you will. Your inner strength is more profound than you know, and in the end, it will only make you stronger (Kelly Clarkson says so).
Accept your Feelings
No significant, transformative change has ever come about from someone that is not in touch with his or her emotions. Feeling sad? You have that right. Feeling like your world is crashing down? Cry about it; let it all out. Feeling angry? Scream at the top of your lungs. Although it may seem easier to go to the local saloon and get wasted to forget about what happened, guess what? The next day, it’s all still there, waiting for you to face it. When you don’t accept what has happened or let yourself feel the pain, you may never learn how to move beyond the grief to better horizons. If you don’t allow yourself to feel, you may never get to the depth of full self-awareness that will allow you to continue moving forward. Instead, it will creep back up on you like an ex you never wanted to run into again. And I’m pretty sure you don’t want to risk that occurring…
Embrace Social Support
Whoever you choose to form meaningful, fulfilling relationships with can be your rocks in a time of despair. There is great comfort that comes from feeling connected and involved with those that you love and trust. When you continue to do “normal,” everyday activities with people that you enjoy spending time with, rather than holing yourself up like a hermit, you may start to see that this failure is only a small mishap in the grand scheme that is your life.
Oprah didn’t become the powerful, well-respected woman she is today by gliding through life without a failure. Steve Jobs dropped out of college and chose to backpack around India to do some psychedelic drugs before becoming the mastermind behind Apple. Whatever you do, do NOT give up hope just because something may not turn out the way you had dreamed. The old mantra of “if you don’t succeed, try and try again” reigns true. Just because you have a couple of setbacks on the road that is your life doesn’t mean you won’t reach what you wish for. If you are able to learn and grow from your mistakes while truly setting your mind to it, you can attain it.
We are young and have our entire lives ahead of us, and as such, failings that we have can only make us stronger in the end. Floating through life doesn’t allow you to gain a different perspective in order to re-envision what the future may hold. Who knows, maybe you’ll become the success story that is Kanye West, life-changing tweets and all. The world is truly your oyster, so embrace the change that will inevitably make for a transformative, more positive self.