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Trying Did Not Get Me What I Wanted, It Got Me More

Updated: Feb 25

A while ago I applied for a job I really, really wanted. I knew I had most of the skills and a good amount of experience. I researched deeply, networked aggressively, hustled effectively as well as doubled my personal coaching sessions to focus my approach. The interviews went very well. I knew I was the finalist. I was elated.


Then the corporate strategy changed, the budget moved, and almost overnight the position disappeared.

When I got the call, I was cool. That entire next week there were tears, glasses of wine, and deep discussions with my husband, friends, and mentor. And hikes. A lot of hikes. It all worked out well in the end (doesn’t it always?) but at the time the loss of that opportunity wasn’t easy to accept.

I wouldn’t love to go through that experience again; yet, I wouldn’t give up that experience either. Sure, I didn’t get the job. But I did learn more about myself. Instead of staying in loss, I quickly chose to shift my focus onto what I had gained: skills, experience, and a relationship.

For example, I learned that the three most common words my colleagues and former managers use to describe me are passionate, caring, and authentic. I got more precise about my values, particularly how I uniquely integrate work and life together. I also ended up nurturing my relationship with that hiring manager & now she is a trusted friend.

I didn’t get the job – I got a lot more. I’m grateful to still be learning and still be growing. As the Dalai Lama has said:

Although bringing about inner change is difficult, it is absolutely worthwhile to try. What is important is to try our best. Even if we do not achieve what we want, at least we will have made the attempt on the basis of love and less selfishness.

When have you tried your best and failed? What did you gain instead?

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