What to Do When You FAIL

What if I told you I took my Registered Dietitian (RD) exam not once, not twice, but THREE times. That I also failed my Personal Training exam the first time. I didn’t get matched for my Dietetic Internship, and didn’t make it past second round of interviews for a Masters Program. I’ve had to cancel more than one instructor training certification because I couldn’t get anyone to come. I had to retake a class in college, and I definitely did a victory lap 5th year.

Rejection SUCKS, failure SUCKS, and to be honest, makes you feel like a giant LOSER *cue L to the forehead*.

If you know me and you are reading this, you might be surprised. So often we compare ourselves to everyone else’s highlight reel, which only adds to our loser-ish lame feelings. I’m here to tell you that if you have experienced this (more times than you’d like to admit), you are not alone. And even your insta-girl crush or role model has failed more than once…you just don’t see it!

(To your perception) there is always going to be someone who is smarter, richer, skinnier, and 5 steps ahead of you. What separates YOU from THEM is your attitude, and how you handle ‘failure’.

My road to RD has been the farthest thing from the straight and narrow path, it’s been full of pot holes, flat tires, and well, you get the point. When I decided to combine my passions for both fitness and health back in 2010, it was just that, a decision. I knew that in order to best use my talents and help people, I needed to be strong in both areas. Throughout my 5 years of school, year long internship, and much more in between, my own family even questioned “is this really worth it?”

Like I said, I made the decision, and when I decide something, I am going to do everything in my power to make it happen. No matter how long it takes me, it is going to get checked off my list!

Maybe you failed an exam you’ve been preparing for your whole life, maybe you got dumped by the love of your life, maybe you have a crappy support system, or maybe it’s an overwhelming feeling from lots of mini mess ups. Whatever it is, I know the feeling, but I also know how to bounce back. Here’s what worked for me, and hopefully it will help you too:

1) Cry. Pout. Scream. Breathe. You are allowed about 30 minutes to be upset, but THAT IS IT. For me, when I failed my exam, I sat in my car and cried like a 5-year-old in frustration and sadness. I turned off my phone and crawled into bed to avoid the world. Then, I googled ‘what to do when you fail your RD exam’ (because when you don’t know, you GTS), and found nothing which is why I am writing this blog. Get it out of your system and get on with it.

2) Fix your face, go to Starbucks, and make a new game plan. Clearly, my study habits, test anxieties, or whatever was not working. I had to sit down with pen to paper, figure out what was working, and what wasn’t. For me, I fooled myself into thinking I was studying, but I knew I could have been more focused, more consistent, and more diligent. If you don’t take an HONEST look at your mistakes, how are you going to improve? You won’t.

3) Adjust your mindset, find your mantra. Cheesy? Sure. Motivating? Yes. I legit would look on pinterest and instagram motivational quotes. You got this. Make it happen. Why not you? Fail forward. Every no gets me closer to a YES. I wear 3 pieces of jewelry at all times: a scapular to remind me to keep faith and follow my heart, and 2 bracelets, 1 by Momentum Jewlery that says Make it Happen (because this is my go-to phrase, just suck it up, and make it happen), and a bracelet from my mom that says ‘she believed she could so she did’. Anytime that negative voice comes in my head, I just look at my wrist and take action!

4) Constantly review your WHY. It was SO hard to motivate myself to continue studying the same material over and over again. On days I didn’t want to, I forced myself to write (yes pen to paper) my goals and my WHY for becoming a RD. Why did I want to do this in the first place? Who am I going to help serve by accomplishing this? WHY does it matter? This always fires me up to push past any excuse. I also reached out to close friends and family to hold me accountable to studying and staying focused.

5) Share your story, the MESS in your message, to help someone else. Everything happens for a reason, and for me, I know I am meant to learn from my experiences to help motivate and inspire someone else. Because if I can help just 1 other RD2BE or young badass human reach their goal, then is it really a failure? I consider that a success!

There’s no shame in repeating a test or having to re-do something. If it’s important to you, stick with it. You are smart, beautiful, persistent, and you must be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. You KNOW you can make it happen!!


if this helped you, please share with a friend, or comment below with what works for you! <3

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One Reply to “What to Do When You FAIL”

  1. LOVELOVELOVE this. Exactly how I felt after taking nursing boards that same 3 times! It sucks. But the only one who can fix things is you! If you want it, you have to dig deep and find whatever it is to get you to that end goal! Congrats again girl!!! Way to push through 🙂 make your struggles a strength!

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