I am a Chartered Accountant by profession. The Indian Chartered Accountancy course has three levels -- even though I cleared the first two levels in my first attempt, I took a few years to clear the final one, due to a number of problems I went through at the time.
During that difficult time I remember listening to a Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on success and failure, and crying like crazy because I could relate to everything she spoke about.
She said this in her speech, which I absolutely love, and which motivated me to never give up:
This post is a compilation of two posts which I have recently shared on LinkedIn.
The one question which people take pride in asking CAs is "How many attempts did you take?"
Forget about HRs asking that question, it's become routine for everyone to. And I've finally begun giving the correct reply "Quite a number."
I then go on to explain why -- I went through a number of problems in those few years leading up to my success in CA Final -- the most difficult one being my dad's deteriorating health and eventual demise in 2018.
The sad thing is that we were never taught in school about how failure is absolutely necessary for one's overall success in life. If we were, maybe this question would never be asked, and maybe I'd never have to explain myself.
The number of times a person has failed, lifted themselves back up and ultimately succeeded should be reason enough to admire them and not criticize them, to hire them and not demean them. Alas, we can only hope.
P.S. I'm extremely lucky to have had a hiring manager who believed that the number of attempts a person has taken makes them an asset, not a liability. Let's learn to be more like him!
Failure can teach you more lessons than success ever can.
When I became a CA, the joy of finally achieving my childhood dream was short-lived.
Frankly, I felt embarrassed because I had cleared the exam much later than my peers. My inner critic kept telling me that the many struggles I had faced in those few years did not matter - I was a failure.
This negative tuning, which most of us possess, is mainly due to our education system and social media, which celebrate success and only success.
From the hiring manager who told me that clearing CA was no big feat, to the numerous HRs who indirectly told me that my worth was defined by the number of attempts I had taken, all of them made me believe that my inner critic was right.
But they were absolutely wrong!!
Years of introspection and healing have helped me realize that:
People will try to bring you down no matter how successful you are, keep miles away from them. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.
Failure can make you stronger than you ever thought you could be. Use that strength to push forward and make a difference.
Stop sabotaging your progress by allowing haters to define who or what you should be.
Celebrate the small wins and be your biggest cheerleader, because that alone will make the big wins really count.
Always be humble and kind - you never know who is looking up to you.
I have never spoken about failure on LinkedIn in the past because of it being looked down upon, but I tried to change that by opening up and being vulnerable in the above posts.
I know for a fact that most people relate to whatever I have written, but not many will openly agree with me. I hope that this will change -- that people will learn to be proud of their failures and how far they have come despite it all.
Do check out another post I had written when I had cleared the CA Final exam, titled 'Lessons From My Journey To Becoming A Chartered Accountant.'
Thank you for reading! Stay blessed!