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Herzing University

Timothy Lunsford

Student Story: Everyone said I would fail…but I’m not

Rather than letting the naysayers get to me, I was able to use their words to fuel my passion. Here are my tips for succeeding when others doubt you.

“You’re going to fail.”

“You’re not smart enough to finish school.”

 I’m sure that some of us have heard these phrases in our lives. I most recently heard them when I applied to nursing school. I also heard this dreaded question:

“What? Are you not smart enough to be a doctor?”

Hearing these phrases made me question my ability to succeed in school and if pursuing a career in nursing was the right step for me. Rather than letting the naysayers get to me, I was able to use their words to fuel my passion for what I do and find the drive and commitment to prove them all wrong.

Here are my tips for succeeding when others think you will fail:

1. Turn a negative into a positive

When someone says something negative to you, it’s usually because they are not very confident themselves. The first tip that I have for you is to take whatever they say and turn it into something positive. A simple word change can make all the difference in how you internalize a negative message. Instead of thinking about how you could fail, focus on how you will succeed.

2. Practice confidence

If you are in school like I am, then you need to hold your head high and keep your mind set on achieving your goals. Have confidence going into your classes and know that you are going to perform exceptionally on your exams because of the hard work and dedication you put into your studies. (Don’t get overly confident, however, because there is always room for improvement). You have to believe in yourself and your abilities before you can showcase them to the world.

3. Follow your heart

Although it’s easy to say that you accomplished a goal because others said that you didn’t have the skills or ability to do it, you have to meet your goal because it’s something that you want for yourself.

I tried the college route three times before I finally found a program that I was happy in. My previous attempts at college were because I thought that it would make everyone else happy if I graduated. I also wanted to show up the negative people in my life. I wasn’t doing it for myself, so I was not fulfilled.

I am now a full-time nursing student at Herzing University – Akron, and I could not be happier. I took all the negative things people said to me and I turned them into something positive. I gained confidence by setting high standards for myself and then achieving them. I believed in myself and now I am doing what makes me happy. Follow these few tips, and I am sure just like me, you also can overcome those dreaded words: “You’re going to fail.”

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* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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