I’m sick of getting C’s.

inspirational quote i am more than the setbacks in front of me

You know what starts with C? College. You know what happens sometimes in college (hopefully not just to me at Wharton)?  C’s. C’s when you were a straight-A, Type A Valedictorian is not an easily swallowed pill. But in lieu of this post becoming a full-on vent sesh, I’m feeling inspired this week and I’m turning it around.

My mom is one of my best friends, and so is my Love. They’re my go-to cheerleaders to pick me up through everything in life, whether I’m doing less than stellar on an accounting exam or spilling coffee down the front of me. Speaking of accounting exams, this week I was particularly upset about a grade. It was unexpected and not the news I needed to get to start a Monday morning. My mom’s response:

“C stands for charming and charismatic.”

This is why moms are the best, right?

And then the fiancé:

“C is for connections.”

Needless to say, they both boosted my mood quite a bit. Their point was to quickly re-focus me on something that wouldn’t destroy my self-esteem and something that could actually be an indicator of future success. My mom’s route helped remind me that a poor grade or a momentary shortcoming isn’t indicative of you as a person. Me getting a C on an accounting exam just proves the point that I already knew: I’m never going to be an accountant. Which works out, since I have absolutely zero interest whatsoever in becoming an accountant. But objectively speaking, filling out T-charts, differentiating between periodic and perpetual inventory systems, and calculating out bond retirements are just not my forte. Not my cup of tea, not my thing. It’s a course requirement, so I’m doing it diligently and will be done with the semester’s end. That’s that. The charm and charisma that my mom tells me I have – in an unbiased a way as moms can, right? – will hopefully help build invaluable relationships in business and beyond, speaking to character, willingness to work, collaboration, and overall #girlboss status.

My fiancé’s route reinforces something that I cannot stress enough for college: connections are what matter most (so long as you still have above a 3.0).

Grant it, there are caveats and exceptions to every rule. But I would argue that in more situations than not, who you know is what’s going to get you into that interview – not the GPA at the itty bitty top of your resume. You need people who can – and will – vouch for you and speak to your talents and potential to the people they know that matter in getting you the job. Connections count. So that’s a positive C, too.

This whole thing got me thinking: what if every time we experience a shortcoming in life, when it feels like we’re being punched in the face with bad news or disappointment, we turn it around instantaneously by simply mixing around a few letters? Maybe it’s childish, but quite frankly, when I’m in tears and feeling like a failure, I don’t care if it’s childish.

I’m sure some would say “Just study harder! Work harder! Put more into it!” I’m past that. Not in a cocky I’m better than that´kinda way, but in a I don’t have time to stress about things that really probably most likely won’t traumatize my future kinda way.

The next time you experience a setback of any kind, before hammering yourself down with negativity and more self-doubt, I encourage you to take the actual word of what you’re feeling or what you’re putting on yourself and spin it into positive talk. We already have enough things bringing us down – it’s time to bring yourself up.

Take this vow with me if you agree to focus on spinning your setbacks into a positive word of self-empowerment this week.

What do you do to get yourself back on the fast track without losing confidence when setbacks or disappointments strike?

Things that might help bringing you up right now: this, this, and winning $200 to Anthropologie.

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