Failures and Mistakes Pave the Road to Success

By Heather Ritchie

I know. You’ve heard it before. You always learn from your failures and mistakes. Your eyes are already glazing over.

BUT…….. It’s TRUE to a certain extent.

Failure is painful. When you make a mistake, you cringe. Your skin gets red, hot, flushed with embarrassment when you mess up. These are perfectly normal feelings, and you’re not alone.

I don’t know many, well any people who shout with glee, “Yay I made a mistake today!”

I’ve been there too many times to count, and then I’m hard on myself and absolutely sure that I should give up because I’m such a failure. The bigger the flop, the more profound the shame. But who taught us that mistakes are failures and shameful? Society? Family pressure?

In my quest to find a job to work from home because of my health issues and to regain control of my life, I tried for any non-phone job that I could find. Work as a police officer doesn’t necessarily translate into the work from home world easily. Someone suggested transcriptionist, but I only typed an average typing speed.

The Perfect Work from Home Job! Or So I Thought.

I heard about working for Leapforce as an Internet Analyst and thought that it sounded like something I could do. After all, I had a Master’s degree and even started my Ph.D. I was smart, right?

Once I applied and received the email notifying that I’d made it to the testing process, I was psyched! SWEET! I’d researched the whole process and knew for the most part what to expect.

Needless to say, the guide was around 157 pages, and I believe there were three sections to the test. You have seven days to study the guide and take the test. The key is that it tests you on the concepts and if you struggle with the test, you likely won’t do well as an internet evaluator.

I studied and studied and took my time with the test. AND………….I got the dreaded, “You failed” email. Geez, seriously? You do get a second chance, however, and I managed to pass the second time, but my struggle was far from over.

The job was really hard. I spent hours doing training just to stay off of probation. Hours of no pay. Now I don’t mind working hard, but man it was horrible. I needed the job so badly though. I needed to work from home, and I needed the money.

Well, the writing was on the wall, and I continued looking for jobs while I worked with Leapforce. I managed to snag a job as an academic ghostwriter with Ultius, and that was a good thing because since I couldn’t maintain the quality of work, Leapforce let me go.


ME after Leapforce Let Me Go (Fired is Such a Harsh Word.)

I knew it wasn’t the job for me, but it still was a punch in the gut. I failed. I’d never been fired from anything. I cried at the fact that I obviously wasn’t as smart as I thought I was. I obviously was the biggest failure ever.

After I had my pity party, I remembered what a Sergeant with Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office told me when I was just 21 and didn’t get hired for a road position. He said, “Heather, you need life experience.” Wow. Then I realized that my failure was life experience.

We are All Works in Progress

Failures and mistakes are lessons in life. Lessons that broaden our horizons and help us learn and grow as people. We learn what we are good at and also what we aren’t so good at. If we didn’t have failures and mistakes, then we would grow as people. We would stay stagnant and stuck.

If I hadn’t had that experience than I wouldn’t be who I am today doing what I do. More importantly, I learned not to give up. As a result, it made me that much more determined to find the job for me and to grow as a writer, destined to help other people realize their dreams.

So, thank you for listening to my soul-crushing failure story that had a happy ending after all! It’s all how you look at things that matter. Remember failure is such a harsh word. Experience, not failure. Keep fighting for your dream and know that there are other people out there that are going through the same thing you are.


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