I've always been an extremely ambitious person. I set high standards for myself, and am always making goal lists. Goals for this week, for the month, for the year. I want to have such and such accomplished by this time in my life. I want to be able to look back at a goal that was once just a word on a piece of paper and say "Yes, I made that a reality."
The thing about this, though, is that when I don't succeed in reaching certain goals, I become incredibly discouraged. And sometimes even tell myself that I just suck and I'm a failure and I'll never be able to accomplish anything.
But that's the wrong sort of mentality to have. Perspective is everything, right?
It's been proven in history that just because someone failed at something once doesn't mean that they should give up on it altogether. Take Thomas Edison, for example. Some historians estimate that he made over 10,000 attempts at designing a light bulb. And what did he say?
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Now that is optimism if I've ever seen it.
On the other hand, though, there is the possibility that God is closing doors for you to reach a desired destination simply because that's not His best plan for your life. In which case, you try until He says "No". And when He says no, you ask Him "Now what?" And after you ask Him this, then you set out on a new road, a new adventure. Try out other opportunities. Pursue other dreams. See where He takes you with each of them.
In my own personal experiences, I have tried many things that ended up at a dead end. I tried to pursue acting. I modeled for a while here and there. I tried to start a band. I planned to go to a school that I was accepted at (that was like a dream come true for me) but God closed the door to it when I least expected Him to.
I'm not saying these were all easy roads. I was so frustrated with God that He would let me get even just a little ways in pursuit of something I wanted, only to have a roadblock halfway into achieving it.
But I learned something through that...
I learned to accept the fact that everyone is trying to accomplish something. Everyone is striving for something.
Not succeeding doesn't mean you're a failure. You need to mess up every once in a while to figure out just what to do and how to go about doing it. And by doing this, you'll find out what God is saying "No" to, and you'll have to get up, turn around, pick another dream and pursue it as far as you can. There's nothing to be ashamed of. Don't start pursuing something but not tell anyone about it because you're embarrassed that you won't succeed. You need encouragement. You need cheerleaders. Brag about what God is doing in your life and the doors of opportunity He is leading you through.
Remember that you're not a failure.
The only people who are failures are the ones who never even try.