Reading Length: 6 minutes
I got rejected and failed a lot. I really hate reliving these events but anything for you guys. I’ll start with four stories and provide some lessons I learned from it. Let’s get right into it!
1. Humiliating Public Speaking
In high school, I was part of a debate club and attended a debate competition. We all had to select a topic to talk about and I picked a pretty controversial topic. My teacher said that the chances of us getting selected to speak were pretty slim so that’s why I didn’t take the competition seriously. I prepared zero notes and effort for it. But my luck laughed at my face because I ended up getting chosen to represent my team.
I pretty much “bs-ed” the whole debate, rambling whatever I could think of in my tiny brain. When it was the opposing side’s turn to speak, he completely crushed me with his awesome arguments and prepared notes. He got fancy, having a whole PowerPoint, laptop and index cards ready. Me? I had one piece of paper ripped from an elementary school notebook. You can imagine the massacre of this debate.
After the debate, it was time for both sides to vote for the winning speaker. As expected, the guy against me won. But the most humiliating part was that even my entire team voted for the other guy. I just stared at my teammates, friends, teacher and felt betrayal. I think I was experiencing everyone’s worst fears. A failed public speaking event. But I have to say that this was my fault because I didn’t prepare anything. My speech really was awful.
- Always prepare. Some preparation beats non preparation. Prepare for anything regardless of how much you don’t care. Just do your best.
- Practice, practice, practice. Always practice as though it’s the real thing.
- Reflect on yourself. Every single humiliating moment is a moment of reflection and opportunity to learn.
2. Friend Zoned
I don’t usually talk about relationship stuff so this is kind of weird. I’ll make an exception this one time for you guys. Feel free to skip to the next story because who wants to know about your love life right? Ew! Remember, I warned you!
There was this one guy that I was really good friends with. I only saw him as a friend at first but eventually started to like him. Even all of our friends were rooting for us or “shipped” us. They all convinced me that the guy liked me for sure but that he was just too shy to ask me out. But he was going to move away soon so I wanted to tell him before it was too late. (Sounds like a cliché movie plot, I know).
So I decided that I would take the initiative to ask him out myself. I was so certain and confident. That’s why I asked him out on Facebook Messenger. Such confidence right? But he told me that he only saw me as a friend and that there was a girl he liked already. At that moment, I felt so humiliated and stupid for being so certain that he liked me.
- Don’t be afraid be bold. The guy doesn’t always have to ask the girl out. I don’t regret asking him because it gave me closure. I would rather have known rather than wasted more time and energy emotionally.
- Don’t listen to rumors. Everyone’s perception is different. In my case, just because all my friends had said he liked me, doesn’t mean it was automatically true.
3. Nightmare at the Job
At my first job as a physical therapy aide, our main duty was to assist physical therapists in treating patients that had injuries. When I was training, I didn’t really understand the instructions that were given to me. So when the people training me asked if I had any questions or wanted re-training, I didn’t want to look stupid so I said I understood everything.
Side note: one of our main tasks was to use a machine called a STIM machine. This was used to treat those injuries within the body by giving off a small stinging feeling. But I did not really know how to adjust it properly because stupid me said I understood everything when I did not.
So I accidentally turned up the machine to maximum power on one of the patients. Yes, you can wince. I ended up shocking the patient. Kind of like an electrifying feeling. The patient screamed and jumped from pain. And she ended up not coming back to the clinic. I guess I had scarred her for life, I’m so sorry! You can imagine the anger I got from my boss. Honestly, I’m surprised I wasn’t fired.
- Learn from the basics first. If you’re lost, then go back to the basics. Don’t just jump to the advanced stuff when you’re feeling unsure.
- Take notes while you’re learning. I made the mistake of thinking I could just mentally remember everything explained to me. I would’ve understood everything much faster if I had taken notes.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is an important one. Ask lots of questions especially if you’re not sure before you jump to a decision on something. You won’t look stupid especially since you’re new. Even if you do look stupid, who cares? You’re just trying to get better at your job. Everyone appreciates effort and hard work more.
4. Failed E-Commerce Business
I faced shiny object syndrome when I heard from a bunch of finance YouTubers that starting an e-commerce business would be profitable. So I decided to give it a try. I did some research and decided I would try out “drop-shipping.” I won’t go into detail on that but I used eBay as my primary platform.
The first few months of my business went really well. I made almost $1K off of it. But then I began to realize that I was spending way too much time and energy on it. I had to deal with shipping, processing orders, customer service and product research. The return on investment (ROI) just wasn’t worth it. Not to mention, I did not enjoy it. I felt overwhelmed, burnt out and stressed from all the customers that kept messaging me. It just wasn’t for me. To make matters worse, a lot of orders didn’t process well either and then there were also taxes so I ended up losing lots of money too.
- Measure your ROI. How much time and energy are you putting into it? Does the return make it worth it?
- What’s your WHY? Find the reason you want to do this. Do you really enjoy this or you just feel you have to do it?
- It’s okay to change paths. I don’t really have regrets for giving this a try because now I know what I don’t want. But I do wish I hadn’t wasted so much time and energy on this and had instead focused on building my YouTube channel and this blog first. But I’m glad I make the switch because I find what I’m doing now to be so much more fulfilling!
The main takeaway I would get from these are to also not allow these rejections, failures and mistakes stop you from anything. Let me know if you guys want me talk more about any of these stories. or more stories for other videos. Also let me know what were some of your experiences with rejections, failures, mistakes or all in one?
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