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Surviving Setbacks

Wow, I have not written in a while. The holidays are always a busy time, and this year, more than usual, at least mentally. A combination of work with my consulting assignment, some family and personal items to work through, and also finishing up the year of my big transition, kept me quite busy.

And, to be honest, I was rather down for a while. I spent quite a bit of effort in the fall preparing for a grant submission with the Swedish funding organization to fund a pilot project for my company. The proposal would have been a trial run of a process that I had developed to more quickly bring immigrants and refugees into the Swedish automotive industry.

I put a lot of myself, my time, my passion, and my ideas, into the submission and was fairly confident that it would at least be partially accepted. My numerous friends and family who helped me to develop the submission, fine tune it, and translate it were all very positive about the idea and its impact.

As it went, I was overly optimistic. I received my first form denial letter. "Thank you for your submission and interesting idea, BUT..."

I remember visiting friends during university who considered it a joke to receive "Ding" letters from companies, hanging them on their dorm room doors and laughing about it. I couldn't see admitting, much less being proud, of failing. I have a very strong fear of failing.

Failing to get this grant, and try my experiment with a significant target group, hit me hard. I began to question what I was doing. I felt that I had let down the potential candidates for the project. I was sad. I began to question my work and ideasa.

However, I still believe in what I am doing, in somehow trying to find a way to help amazing, strong, talented people break into the workforce, to help make the Swedish automotive industry world class (so that we keep the industry here), and to each day make the world a slightly better place than it was yesterday.

Definitely humbled, and definitely set back, but definitely not stopping either.

As Gloria Gaynor sang, and I remember dancing and singing with my amazing AGD sisters, "I Will Survive".

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