Kelsea Ballerini: “Failure Can Reroute Your Life”

No Squad? No Problem.

When it seems like everything is going right, it might be because at one point, something went wrong.

That’s the message I heard loud and clear from Kelsea Ballerini in the November issue of Health. She explained that when she tried out for the cheerleading squad in middle school, and didn’t make the cut, it forced her to do something else. And that something else was, well, something else.

“Failure is so important. I feel like failure can reroute your life.

“It sounds silly,” Ballerini said, “but in eighth grade I was one of two girls who didn’t make the cheerleading squad. And you know what? That was the year I picked up a guitar and wrote a song. So failure is what keeps you on your path. It also gives you a pause to breathe before something great happens.”

Other lessons that the young country star learned early on include following your heart, and finding self-worth.

On following your heart: “The best advice I could give to my younger self, or anyone, about relationships is to follow your heart, because it’s always going to lead you to the right place,” she said. “Everyone will have opinions, whether it’s on the age you should fall in love or how long you should date before you get married. Listening to anyone else’s rules about love, or life, isn’t fair to yourself.” Ballerini said yes to Morgan Evans’ marriage proposal late last year, when she was only 23.

On finding your self worth: “For so long, I tried to find self-worth by making friends with a cool person or dating the cute guy. But you’re not going to find self-worth in anyone else. You have to find it in yourself,” she said.

Legends (Official Video) by Kelsea Ballerini on VEVO.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.