Some Straight Talk About Jobs and Careers

Every once in a while, I come across a post that challenges readers to take responsibility for their life and career success.  This is one of them….

This article is all about personal responsibility.  When you take personal responsibility, you eliminate blame, stop complaining, and stop being a victim. You take charge of your life. You demonstrate your commitment to taking personal responsibility for your career success by responding positively to the people and events and events in your life – especially when they are less than positive. I frequently offer this advice to my career success coach clients.

Taking personal responsibility for your life and career means that you learn to deal with failure, criticism and rejection and use them as a way to move forward.  Failure, criticism and rejection are not pleasant experiences. They lower our self-esteem and make us feel bad about ourselves, so we often avoid doing things that we think might lead to failure, criticism or rejection. However, if you want to create the life and career success you want and deserve, you have to have the courage to do things that might result in failure, criticism or rejection.

Failure, criticism and rejection provide you with the opportunity to grow and develop – to succeed. You can’t take failure, criticism and rejection personally. Failure, criticism and rejection are outcomes. They are a result of things you have done. They are not who you are. We all make mistakes and fail. We all do things that cause others to criticize or reject us. This doesn’t mean that we are failures. It means that we have made some poor choices and done some not-so-smart things.

Failure, criticism and rejection provide the opportunity to start over – hopefully a little smarter. Buckminster Fuller once said, “Whatever humans have learned had to be learned as a consequence of trial and error experience. Humans have learned only through mistakes.”

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail, or when others criticize or reject you. My best career advice is to put your energy into figuring out why you failed and then do something different. Here are four career success coach questions to ask yourself the next time you fail, or get criticized or rejected.

  1. Why did I fail? Why did I get criticized or rejected? What did I do to cause the failure, criticism or rejection?
  2. What could I have done to prevent the failure, criticism or rejection?
  3. What have I learned from this situation?
  4. What will I do differently the next time?

If you do this, you’ll be using failure, criticism and rejection to your advantage. In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says, “Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” I know it’s hard to see the benefit or opportunity in failure, criticism and rejection. But it’s there – you just have to look hard enough. But it all begins by facing your fear and acting. The less you fear failure, the more career success you’ll create.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people are self-confident. Self-confident people face their fears and act. They follow the advice in Tweet 36 in Success Tweets. “Don’t be afraid to fail. You fail only if you don’t learn something from the experience. Treat every failure as an opportunity to grow.” Our most common fears are failure, criticism, and rejection. Follow this career advice. Choose to find – and use – the learning opportunity in your failures and you will become more self-confident and successful. It’s sad but true – failure, criticism and rejection are often the price you pay for becoming a career success. Facing your fear of failure, criticism and rejection, and acting will pay big dividends when it comes to your life and career success.

Your career mentor,


PS: You can get more straight talk like this by downloading my bestseller Straight Talk for Success.  Just go to and enter your contact information.  When you do, I’ll begin sending you daily motivational quotes and give you a free basic membership in my career mentoring site.


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