Be Tenacious; The Sun Will Eventually Shine Through

Life is an uneven path. People will have successes, and they will have disappointments. Some would instead refer to the latter as failures. I do not. Why might you ask? My view offers hope even though, as the great Winston Churchill said, ”Failure is not fatal.” Unfortunately, many individuals allow failures to be catastrophic. The result often stymies them and not temporarily. Frequently, you hear these same people say at a much later point, ”If only?” My response to that is,” What is the point of reminiscing?” Once the letdown occurs, it is over. You may have been pushed or fell, but the only real blunder is if you do not recover and stay down.

Adolescent Disappointments

I remember long, long ago, when I performed in tryouts for the Junior Varsity Cheerleader Team. I managed to get past the first round. The second trial, however, did not go so well. Although I was quite animated and could do splits, I could not manage the necessary cartwheel. Consequently, I did not make the team. I remember being very disappointed, so what did I do? I became determined and practiced flips, cartwheels, and round-offs. You think my preparation would have prompted me to try out again, but no. My insecure self declined even during my Junior year when I was invited by the Captain of the Varsity team to try out for an opening. I could not bring myself to do it. Although I did not forget this experience of adolescent angst, instead of saying, “what if,” I think about, “How come?” Over the years, I realized that I was not ready for the possibility of another rejection. As I write this, I smile about how weighty this felt at the time. Although it was a trivial matter and not meant to be, the only thing I would now say to my younger self is, “Try, try again. What do you have to lose?” Ah, wisdom often does come with age.

Unfairness Should Not Keep You Down

Ms. M’s confusion pushed me to work aggressively in a way I might not have. I believe her mistake is what helped me superbly craft my paper.

A few years later, I took a very different approach when faced with significant adversity around my desired career. During graduate school, I had a very intimidating and aloof field supervisor. On two occasions, she pushed me down along the bumpy road of life. First, this woman, who I will refer to as Ms. M, read an essay of mine before the onset of the first semester. She informed me that my writing was subpar for graduate-school education. I was devastated. I entered my first class a few days later and was immediately assigned a paper on the theme of boundaries. What did I do with anxiety on steroids around this assignment? I went to the library and began meticulously writing and editing. At that point, I met a peer, Barbara, who, forty years later, is like family. Being someone who excelled at writing, she perused my paper and thought it was fine. My wise friend was correct. When the teacher returned our graded assignments, I nervously peeked and could not contain my surprise and joy. The professor wrote that it was one of the best-written papers she had come across. Because of my triumph, I visited Ms. M to thank her for her feedback, and she shared with me that she had confused me with another student. I still shake my head about this several years later. Ms. M’s confusion pushed me to work aggressively in a way I might not have. I believe her mistake is what helped me superbly craft my paper.

Do Not Allow Defeat To Keep You Down

My regular supervisor told me that she thought I would not return. I just looked at her as if she had two heads.

A few months later, Ms. M rechallenged me. She claimed I was not progressing as a social worker in training. My grades were excellent, but my understanding of the ”process” was not. For those unfamiliar with the world of therapy, the process is like learning a musical instrument, the unfolding of the therapeutic relationship. I was beyond crushed. The head social worker of the program was furious with the field supervisor and thought she was far too harsh with me. This compassionate social worker tried to ease my distress. She could not, and neither could anyone else. I went home on semester break and contracted a severe flu, which lasted a couple of weeks. When I returned to school, I was still a bit weak but ready to go. My regular supervisor told me that she thought I would not return. I just looked at her as if she had two heads. The thought never crossed my mind. Yes, I fell, but as soon as possible, I bounced back. I continued for the next year, working vigorously and rigorously. Eventually, I comprehended the process, graduated, and, although initially insecure as many therapists are, went to work. My passion and desire to serve others superseded all. In 1989, I became self-employed, and as they say, the rest is history.

Tenacity Is The Key

Did I need to be challenged so profoundly? Who knows? What I learned later is that Ms. M used her unkind tactics on many students, some much older than me. I also learned that others struggled with the phenomenon of the process. In retrospect, this adversity forced me to toil in a way I had not expected. I refused to succumb, and eventually, the storm subsided, and the sun did shine through. My calling to be a therapist never abated, and when Sound Wisdom published my book, those difficult episodes of long ago came to the forefront.

I am now sixty-three years old. The greatest lesson for me throughout my life is that if we believe in something, tenacity is the key to success. You must not retreat. Perhaps, you might have to change directions. Well, if that is the case, find another course and keep going. Even if a mighty storm comes into your path, continue onward. Nothing stays the same. At some point, the sun will come out. If you remain on course, you may capture a fleeting opportunity to experience a majestic rainbow. How much better can that be?

What About You?

What are your thoughts? Do you believe in the potency of tenacity? Do you agree that if we keep going, we may receive more lavish gifts than imagined?

I invite you to share your thoughts.


Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbett views herself as a life-long learner, a pursuer of excellence, a work-in-progress, and a seeker-of-the-truth. She is also referred to as the "Unstuck Expert" in her many roles. Why? Because for over thirty years, she has been assisting people to get unstuck. Darlene's primary roles are now Therapist, Hypnotherapist, and Author/Writer. Although she loves speaking, it is now secondary and done mainly through her podcast, "Get Unstuck Now. Because of her wealth of experience, Darlene began putting her thoughts on paper.  Many of her blogs can also be found on Medium, Sixty and Me, and Penning these articles set the stage for her first book, "Stop Depriving The World of You," traditionally published by Sound Wisdom. Being a believer in pushing oneself as long as one has life, Darlene has tried her hand at fiction, hoping to have something completed in the no-so-distant future. Over the years, Darlene has been described as animated or effervescent which contradicts the perception of a psychotherapist. She firmly believes in the importance of being authentic and discusses platinum-style authenticity in her book.

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  1. Oh, I really appreciated learning parts of your story-some of the obstacles and how you chose to navigate “set-backs” Darlene. Tenacity is definitely important in life-or some would call it perseverance. What I now know for certain is that some dreams just simply are not aligned with our deepest purpose or passions. The rejections, the “no thank yous” can be a sign that that situation was not a path meant for you or it can become “grist for the mill”-a chance to engage your tenacity. One situation comes immediately to mind as an example of “I dodged a bullet or many bullets” A very fear-based organization had hired me to be their point person to navigate a bill through the Ohio Legislature to make their practices legal-to take them out of a “grey” area-non-existent in the “laws.” My then infant son got really, really sick and I backed away. I resigned as I realized my deepest commitment remained with full-time parenting. The cruel messages that then landed on my answering machine from members of this organization in the wake of my resignation solidly affirmed my healthy choice to walk away from what would likely have been a very toxic experience in my life. While I had been flattered to be “chosen” I also recognized it was not a good fit opportunity for me. On the other hand, when I have felt a deep passion for an experience, I will most definitely engage that tenacity no matter what life throws at me. When things got tough as I parented my children, I did not “send them away.” or walk away from mothering. I kept doing “my work” to learn, heal, grow, get support, and become as healthy a mother as I could possibly be-no regrets whatsoever. When we are truly inspired by an opportunity, we will happily get out of bed every morning to face whatever life brings because we are living aligned with activities, growth, learning that bring so much joy-that we remain curious, awake, aware, wondering, engaged, excited…At that point tenacious doesn’t seem to be in the mix-just happily learning, growing, shifting, reframing, adapting, problem-solving, rising strong in love and service. Thanks, again, for another wonderful topic and essay!!

    • Thank you for this beautiful share. I appreciate it. You are an amazing, giving woman whose maternal instincts rightfully prevailed. Good for you for walking away from a toxic situation. As always, Laura, you offer gifts that go beyond words. Thank you again!💖

  2. Thank you, Darlene! I really needed this reminder today. I’ve always known this basic truth, that persistence is the one quality that underpins all the rest — AND that we are constructed of what we overcome. Getting back up now!

  3. I absolutely agree. There is no doubt that the suggestions are worth considering
    Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.
    Whatever we do in life, there will always be times when things don’t go as planned, when everything seems to be rowing against or is wrong. It is at times like these that one feels the urge to give up and stop fighting for success. But as Benjamin Franklin said, “energy and persistence conquer all things”. Perseverance, therefore, is an important trait to develop in one’s life. Indeed, it is intimately linked to personal development and growth. It improves by making a mistake; when one is able to learn from experiences and to advance with the perseverance and determination necessary to not give up.
    However, I believe that it is important to investigate why it has failed and also to have the humility to change direction because you can discover new interests and collect unexpected satisfactions.

    • Thank you dear Aldo! What a thoughtful comment, and I did not know about the quote by Benjamin Franklin. I appreciate you reading and offering your remarkable insights as always.

    • Thank you so much dear Frank! I agree. We must get back up. I remember reading one of my favorite quotes which is by Napoleon Hill: “Strength and growth only come through continuous effort and struggle.” I am sure this resonates with you also. I appreciate you reading and commenting.