When I see someone fall down, get back up, and say, “Damn. That really hurt, but this is important to me and I’m going in again”—my gut reaction is, “What a badass” ~ Brené Brown

A couple of years ago I interviewed for a job I really wanted. It was only a casual job but I knew it was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door and work with some great people. The only problem was I blew it because I was so nervous. I was blindsided because I expected to ace that interview. And I should have totally aced that interview. Instead when the time came, I could not make my brain connect with my mouth.

I left feeling mortified and every time I did a mental replay I felt more ashamed. By the end of the day I had convinced myself that I could never apply to work there again.

When I reflected on this later I realised that my perfectionism was driving the ‘asshole’ story in my head. So I came to my senses and reached out to one of the interviewers. They offered to give me feedback, we kept in touch and recently I contacted him to see if we could have coffee or a phone call. Of course he said yes (this happens way more often than you think by the way). I called him and we had a great conversation. If he remembered the interview he never let on.

Looking for a new job can leave you feeling raw and vulnerable. You’re putting yourself out there and some people are going to flat out say no. Like me, your confidence might take a hit. But it’s all fine as long as you learn from it. If you can worry less about what people think (a perfectionist tendency) and instead focus on what you can improve next time around then you’re on the right track.

In the words of Brené Brown: When perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun. And as I discovered, shame can lead to unhelpful stories in your head that get stuck on repeat, blocking you from getting ahead.

When this happens my advice is to throw those guys out of the car and get back out there any way you can.

Even if, like me, all you do is pick up the phone.

Because that phone call led to a job offer.

Mistakes won’t define your future unless you let them.

Keep on rising like a badass.