Today, like thousands, I received my rejection email from Google. I, like all by 50 who applied, was not accepted into Google’s Teacher Academy in NYC.
I applied to GTANY on a whim, thinking I was a good candidate but not the perfect candidate. I am an above average ed tech user, and I teach in a very progressive, dare I say “cutting edge” school. When you compete against every interested teacher in the world and only 50 teachers get accepted, the odds are certainly against you. This doesn’t quell the disappointment.
I went through the “I can’t believe they didn’t pick me” angst and quickly into the “They don’t know what they are missing” phase. Then I realized I was silly. I only applied on a whim, and I knew I wasn’t a great fit.
Then the life lesson kicked in.
You cannot define yourself by the rejections you receive. You cannot let a failed attempt keep you from your success. Whether it’s a GTANY application, a job interview, or a college application, your success should not be defined by another person or organization’s evaluation of your talent, often from a very brief application. Take the knock to your pride and move on. As leaders, you need to move beyond small setbacks to achieve even greater success.
What defines your success? Professionally, I define my success by how many teachers I help understand and implement new educational technologies. Personally, if my family is safe, secure, and happy, I’ve been successful. Google, nor any other organization, will not define my success in either arena.