When Your Best Shot Doesn’t Feel Good Enough

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You hear it all the time, and usually in a joking sense, but somehow the saying “shoot your shot” prompts you to take five steps out of your comfort zone because the reality is known that if you shoot your shot, the worst thing that can happen is…….. you miss. In most situations, you can only enhance what you already have or gain in some sorts.

“You have nothing to lose,” they said.

But what happens when you keep shooting again and again, and every shot is an airball, like continuous epic fails?

It’s easy to fall into a slump, especially in college when you are enduring so much pressure to do more, to be more, to beef up that resume while still trying to make new friends, keep old ones, and find Mr. Right. My head spins thinking about all I have to accomplish within a 24 hour span while trying to plan for the foreseeable future and the long-run.

Well, I’m here to say: failure is all part of the process that I’m desperately trying to trust.

After another failed attempt at something I wanted so badly, I felt slightly broken and far from good enough, but a comforting voice of reason in my life reminded me, some of the most successful people in the world have heard the word NO more than anyone else. In my economic’s class, Moral Foundation and Capitalism, we discussed that a NO/ rejection is a way of saying you and your time would be more valuable elsewhere and that with due time, you will find your place in this rocky world.

It’s all about risk and reward, especially in our society. Stepping out of your comfort zone and exposing yourself in a vulnerable way with everything you’ve got is risk in and of itself, but the reward that could potentially follow is monumental. Although the rejection (or like I said airball) may sting, don’t let it force you into questioning your worth and ability because that’s not the case at all; every no is one step closer to the right yes, where you will be valuable and blossom to new heights. You just have to keep trying, and never give up because if I stopped after every rejection or let down I’ve endured, I wouldn’t have used those lessons to achieve more and be where I am in this moment.

You Might As Well Learn Your Lesson The Hard Way

You Might As Well Learn Your Lesson The Hard Way

That’s when you learn the most.

Looking back on all the pivotal moments in my life can sometimes make me cringe or laugh or even want to burying my head in a pillow from embarrassment, but besides the different emotions I associate with my ups and downs, each failure, let down, and eye-opening experience was completely necessary. There were many cases where I didn’t handle things “properly” or display myself in the best light and then there were moments I felt pathetic, stupid, and worthless. There were experiences that stomped a little on my heart and pushed me to my limits, but as I grow and look back onto those experiences, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Everything happened exactly the way it needed to in that moment, no matter how I reacted, portrayed myself, or felt.

At 20, I still don’t have all the answers, and I’m wise enough to know I never, ever will. I have walked through a lot on my journey so far and still have plenty to go, but the knowledge and thoughtfulness I’ve accumulated over the years has brought me to these realizations.

You can’t change the past, that’s definite. Thinking about how you handled a break-up over and over again or the conversation you had, will not change it. You can take responsibility for what you’ve done and how you’ve handled things, but at the end of the day, we are all human— we’re learning, growing, and handling things our own way. Here’s a friendly reminder: there’s no wrong or right way of doing life. Your perception of the past is what it is, but now you have the present and eventually the future, so it’s important to take what you’ve learned and apply it to what’s to come. As cliche as it sounds, you are not your past and it doesn’t define you, but let it shape you into someone you’re proud of.

Now with your hard-learned lessons, recognize and acknowledge that you act out or let your emotions run rampage or that you need to watch your tongue or any of your so called “flawed” characteristics, so in future cases, you don’t allow yourself to make the same decisions that leave you feeling beneath yourself.

Growth is continuous and never-ending, so baby steps are okay too. It’s vital to remember how you felt in certain moments and why, so your heart and mindset can be in line with your actions and the way you communicate.

Most lessons suck, let’s be honest. Whether it’s locking your keys in the car, fighting with your best friend, getting that hard-core reality check, transferring colleges, the list could go on forever, but let’s be thankful we aren’t the same person we were five years ago or even six months ago. As I’ve said before, I have countless lessons to go before I’m wise, but shifting my mindset to valuing hard times as a learning experience has changed the game for me.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Count Your Blessings

When Life Gives You Lemons, Count Your Blessings

As humans, we crave a sense of control, and with that in mind, we create these plans, goals, and ideas that will help us create the life we want with the people we love, doing what we want and how we want to do it. We get caught up in our expectations, and lose sight of our realities and the guidance from a higher power, but oh how I am grateful certain things didn’t turn out the way I desperately wanted them to at some point.

Everything in life has an opportunity cost. When choosing to attend a certain University, the greatest alternative given up is attending another at that point in time or when deciding to date someone, your most valued alternative given up is staying single or have a trade-off of dating someone else or meeting someone new. So you make rational decisions that you believe will add value to your life, but although we have great intentions, it doesn’t always mean we will have great outcomes. Good intentions does not always mean good results.

That’s when life hands you metaphorical lemons, and those lemons don’t make life very peachy.

Those disappointments or abrupt changes in “our plans” can at often times deter us from pursuing certain avenues or trying again after failed attempts, but we shouldn’t look at our revised plan as a setback. It’s a new direction for us to explore, and indulge in, even if we can’t see it clearly at the time.

You have to trust the process and trust in yourself to be enough and deserving of greatness, love, experience, beauty, and all that goodness.

So for me, when things don’t go the way I intended, I have to remind myself, “I can’t control the universe. That’s not my job!”

This is the part where I count my blessings, not once, but twice, while I adapt to the new path on my journey. It’s a beautiful process, bumps and bruises included. Each experience— good, bad, ugly, and everywhere in between— really is a gift that we get to grow and learn from while getting one step closer to where we are meant to be.

So when life hands you lemons, you should count your blessings while making your new reality work for you.