Failure Stories

Let's turn our failures into successes by learning from one another's stories

Featured Story

Hana Brannigan

How Admitting Defeat was Pivotal for my Mental Health Recovery

Upon transferring to Davis, even though I had all the mental tools from the therapy, I was still heavily struggling with my eating disorder and anxiety. My body image was also getting worse. With so many thoughts to deal with, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for many other things including my studies.

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Quote of the Month

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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The Path to Success is Not Always Linear

My team and I wrote a paper about cryptocurrency vulnerabilities that arose from people blindly copying Bitcoin’s code. That paper was rejected 3 times at conferences. That took a whole year. Nothing feels more tiring than receiving an e-mail only to see 3 reviewers rejecting your work and detailing why exactly it was not good enough.

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How Getting Rejected From Disney Led to the Happiest Decision of My Life

I went through the interview process and made it to the final round. It was between me and another student, and they ended up selecting the student that had completed the Disney College program. So here I was as a qualified candidate, enough to get to the final round, yet not be selected because I simply didn’t have the Disney background.

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The Golden Principle

That same night, they invited me and my sister to dinner and asked to elevate our client relationship to a partnership. He asked how much investment I am seeking. I threw out an arbitrary number of $150,000. By the end of the dinner the deal was done. But a few months later reality hit and I realized that they never intended to help us grow…

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Look at Rejection as Redirection

With this change of mindset, I started networking a ton. I didn’t care if people didn’t get back to me. I reached out to 100 people per week. I went into it believing that at least 1 person out of 100 will respond, and that 1 person is what matters. You only need one yes; you only need 1 person believing in you that can help you get into your career.

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Entity Versus Incremental Theory of Intelligence

I remember getting back the evaluations and seeing students writing about how they didn’t learn anything in class. They were basically ripping me apart! The comments were getting down to the core of my teaching ability, the very core of who I was. It felt like the thing that I was put on this Earth to do, I couldn’t even do it…

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How Failure Guided Me Towards My Passions

Right after that class I went to my counselor and asked to be taken out of the computer science major and instead start my new life as a marketer… When I left school for work my GPA was around 1.8. When I eventually graduated from San Bernardino Valley College, I had around a 3.7 GPA. This was 100% a result of finding out my passions and what I wanted to do with my life.

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How Failure Built Up My Confidence to Succeed

I worked on this venture for 2 years. It didn’t work because I didn’t have any capital and the idea wasn’t scaling. Every time I went into a pitch meeting, it would be with white men, and they never had any questions to ask me or potential resources to help my idea succeed. It was a topic that was tough to pitch and for them to ask. It felt like a huge failure…

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Failure Taught Me the Value of Persistence and Patience

If I hadn’t pushed to re-apply to the internship, who knows where I would be in my career and life right now? I likely wouldn’t have discovered my passion for UX and Free Logic wouldn’t exist today. Mindset is important when it comes to failure. Let failure break you down one day and make you a stronger person the next.

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From Startup Failure to Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed

When I connected with Techstars where mentors want to help without expecting anything in return, I realized this is exactly what I wish my startup would’ve had all along. I believe this experience led me to a career path that is extremely rewarding, and it wouldn’t be so rewarding had I not gone through that negative experience of losing my own company, and learning from those mistakes.

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How Failing to Get an Internship Got Me to Where I Am Today

After experiencing failure all summer, I had a moment of clarity. I started to ask myself “why do I care about what others think about me, this is my life.” Working a job that I did not enjoy showed me that nothing in life is permanent if you are willing to do something about it. Each life experience is a choice to either complain or to treat it as an opportunity to reflect and grow.

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Failing to Care for Myself Was The Best, Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Me

Every so often I struggle with my mental health, but not too long ago, I hit my rock bottom. I would sleep all day because I felt like I had no reason to wake up. The day I realized I failed myself, I asked myself “Is this how you want to feel the rest of your life?” and the obvious answer to that question simply was; no, I didn’t.

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How Failure Taught Me To Be A Captain

Before starting my position as Captain of the Dance Team, I thought my utmost responsibility was to bring in 1st place. But my mentality toward leadership has shifted ever since. Performing on stage no longer meant winning. It meant cherishing the countless hours rehearsing my journey with the girls.

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How Poor Time Management And Academic Probation Led To My Success

I always thought that setting myself up for success means having a diverse portfolio that will offer me as many options as possible after graduation. It was only through therapy and self-introspection that I learned I needed to slim down my workload and focus on what I really wanted to do with my career.

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