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The Taste of Failure

Failing is a bitter medicine to swallow but like medicine, it is ultimately good for you. And even though I’ve accumulated my share of mistakes over the years and I am not really affected too much by it these days, there are still incidents and failed attempts  that bruise my ego and leave  me questioning my abilities.

I was recently reminded of these feelings of frustration and self doubt when I received a series of rejection letters from a few jobs and scholarships. It has been a while since I last ran into such “bad luck.” Sometimes the competition is just too fierce and  sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw.

I can still remember being denied admissions to my top choices for university programs, all seven of them. And I still remember the countless hours I spent filling out applications for scholarships I never did win or jobs that never got back to me. I vividly remember getting rejected from medical school the first time I applied; I was devastated. Or being rejected the second time the next year, it wasn’t any easier.

Failing is a part of life. It’s easy to forget that sometimes, especially when you compare yourself to people around you. As humans, we often choose to see only what we want to see. While we often praise the success of others, we rarely focus on our own strengths and tend to focus on our own shortcomings. We tend to ignore the importance of making mistakes and how our successes often arises from tough situations.

It’s good to be reminded once in a while what failure tastes like. It’s like a strong smelling ginger that awakens your sense of complacency. And although not everything will always go my way, I remain optimistic. Because looking back now, my current achievements and success was built on overcoming my own failures.   I became a more responsible student after my rejection letters. I became a more patient person as I waited to enter the medical profession. I will be a better person because of my failures.

As a wise personality from my childhood once said, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”

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  1. Joe
    Joe January 7, 2010


  2. idabi
    idabi January 25, 2010

    Sigh, miss frizzle.
    I miss the magic school bus.

  3. Julie
    Julie April 1, 2010

    Agree completely, failure can be humbling and get you back to earth. I find not doing as well on a test/exam than expected definitely motivates me a lot in my studying for my next test.
    Thanks for the post, enjoyed the read 🙂

  4. Mirannda
    Mirannda February 25, 2011

    Just got out of my 2nd round of med school rejections and stumbled across this site (it’s 2:33 AM, and I can’t sleep).

    It’s refreshing to see that you were in my shoes a few years ago but persisted…and made it in.

    I’m partly scared for trying again, but trying to stay optimistic. Thank you for this site – I’m going to read through it and take your advice seriously!

    • medaholic
      medaholic February 26, 2011

      Best of luck! Don’t be discouraged, there are many many people who had to try more than once to get to where they want.

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