Reflecting on 2019…Looking Ahead to 2020

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I just wanted to wish all my readers a happy holiday season and an exciting year as we enter a new decade!

For some of you 2019 may have been a tough year (I know it was for me!). I think it’s important to reflect on both the successes and failures. A review of the successes allows us to see what we did right, how much we have grown and reinforces where our strengths lie. A review of the failures (as painful as this can be) allows us to see where things may have gone wrong and what can be improved.

img_9398I love this simple lesson that I learned from one of my young daughter’s story books entitled “I’m Not Afraid to Fail”. The main character is a little girl who has experienced multiple failures. Her grandfather encourages her by saying, “but failure is fantastic….because each failure takes you one step closer to success!”

Success and failure means different things to different people but if there’s one thing that this year has taught me is that in those moments where I felt I had failed…those moments always taught me something important to hold on to for the future. There is always room for improvement. And the better we become at our craft, be it in medicine, business, education, art, music, parenting, homemaking or other pursuits, the more we provide better service to those we serve. And to me, that’s a success!

Whatever 2019 may have meant for you, whether good or bad, a new year is upon us with plenty of new opportunities! Seize them! Dust yourself off if you fall down…and keep going! Be the best you can be!

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Wishing you a happy and fulfilled 2020…from my family to yours!

Looking Past Failure…with Joyful Expectations for the Future

I have started off this year feeling very positive and excited about the future. I listened to a talk recently where the speaker described hope as having joyful expectations about the future. And with that hope, comes the attitude of seeing the good in what we currently have now.

When I didn’t get into medical school when I applied in 2013, I was deeply disappointed. I just couldn’t stomach the thought of going through subsequent setbacks. So why not just settle? Admit failure and go back to what I was doing before?

What I am learning from my experiences is that the future goal keeps us hopeful, and in the mean time, we are being shaped and equipped in preparation for our purpose. Both the successes and failures refine us and make us better. It may seem like it is taking an eternity to get to our goal, but provided that we are regularly taking a small step towards that goal, progress is being made. Provided that we are keeping our heads above the waves, and keeping our eyes on the lighthouse that is guiding us to shore, we are making progress.

I am no longer afraid of failure. It may still hurt but I am not afraid of it. I am not afraid of trying again. Each attempt teaches me something and helps me to grow in some way. The journey is just as important as the destination and each day we have is valuable.

So, as I wait to hear back from medical schools this application cycle, I am excited! I am not afraid of the outcome. Whatever happens, I have so much to be grateful for. I have my support-team behind me and I have people who believe in me and love me no matter what.

Whatever your dreams and goals are, don’t give up. Failing is not the end. It means you were courageous enough to try…and that’s something to be proud of.

 

Rising from a Stumbling Block

I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise” Abraham Lincoln

When working towards a goal, there will be moments when you may hit a stumbling block. I had a moment like this last Friday when I learned that one of the medical schools I had applied to sent out their interview invites…but I did not receive an invitation. There were only 5 spots available at this medical school for an out-of-province applicant like me. Still, I was really hoping to get a positive response from this school.

I haven’t officially received a rejection and there is still hope that an invitation could come if someone else declines their interview. But somehow the news hit me harder than I expected. In fact, it felt like I hit a brick wall and my confidence in my abilities plummeted.  I decided that I had to tackle my state of mind and not let myself get into a downward spiral of negativity. Obstacles will come our way to test us and when they do, we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep going.

My brother encouraged me with these words, “Tomorrow is a new day and you are blessed…Let’s keep going until we find out where we’re sending you to become a doctor!” and my husband said, “This is not the end…you will get where you are meant to be.” 

I will now have to wait until January for news from the other medical schools I applied to. The wait feels painstakingly slow sometimes but I know that I just have to be patient. My prayer has always been that we will end up at the right place for my family and I to flourish.

It’s not always easy to talk about our obstacles and challenges, but it can really help to tap into our support network to give us encouragement when we feel that we are running out of steam. Rejection or failure can be such a discouraging feeling, but it is not the end. It is only the beginning of another chance to find the path to success.

So don’t give up, don’t give in to the voices in your head telling you that you cannot do it. You can! Don’t be afraid to talk about your struggles. We need others to help us get back on track and get our eyes fixed on the prize. Whatever your goals may be, don’t let the amount of time it is taking discourage you from continuing. You will get there eventually and it will be worth every effort you put in!

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated” Maya Angelou

Image courtesy of powerlisting.wikia.com

Image courtesy of powerlisting.wikia.com