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Learning How To Fail Forward

Paula Marie Paula Marie
3 minute read

Don't Give Up On Your Dreams

My daughter just graduated from college with a degree in Biological Science. She will apply to medical school soon. To say that I am proud of her does not convey the joy she brings to my world when I watch her grow, learn, and excel.
While applying to medical school, she will be asked to provide letters of recommendation from professors and peers. Her professor in physics was one of the people Brooke asked for a letter of recommendation. The class challenged her in a way she had never experienced, academically and personally. This was the first time she had to retake a course.

She wondered if she could be a physician and if her dreams were too big. Haven't we all found ourselves in this place where we tried for something big, something out of our comfort zone, and failed? These moments teach us how strong we are; we are asked to step up and prove that we can and will do whatever we truly want. These are the moments that define us. Brooke decided right then that she would not give up and would retake the course, she would pass, and she would not give up on her dream to become a physician. At that moment, she claimed her future and made it her own.

A Lesson On How To "Fail Forward"

The following is a portion of Brooke's letter to her physics professor. I genuinely love this letter! My favorite line is you taught me how to fail forward. We can all take this advice and remember that failing does not mean you failed or that you can't do it. It simply means that you are moving forward.

Dear Professor

I was a student in your Physics 1 and 2 classes. These two classes were possibly the most challenging courses I took at NC State. However, these courses taught me resilience and the ability to overcome failure.

The class taught me how to assess the failure and move forward with the new lessons I learned; in a sense, you taught me how to fail forward.

I'm planning to apply to medical school this upcoming summer and would like to know if you would feel comfortable writing a strong letter of recommendation. When I look back at my time at NC State, I want letters of recommendation from professors whose lessons stuck with me after the course was over. Although I did not get an A+ in your course, the B I earned means a great deal to me.

I was learning how to be brave and keep trying for what I wanted, even after receiving a disappointing result. These lessons will be far more helpful in my future as a physician than the content I could learn in a classroom, and for that, I thank you.

Paula Marie is a published author, successful realtor, and entrepreneur. Paula's mission is to empower others to manage their time and mindsets to live an extraordinary life! With Paula's eight powerful tools and life planning strategies, you can create the life you truly desire.

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