What you believe to be your greatest setback, is actually your greatest asset.
Let me explain.
Say you're an aspiring animator, but you just can't seem to break through and land your dream job. You've been working in retail for the past 10 years selling clothing. You think that the reason why companies aren't hiring you is because of your lack of animation experience. But the reason why they're not hiring you, is because you're not selling your greatest asset. The fact that you worked in retail for 10 years.
Think about it. You've worked close to 20,000 hours around people. You probably know the ins and outs of every single personality known to man. You've dealt with every conceivable situation in which you were having to make someone else happy. You probably have more stories to tell than your great uncle Joe. You have experience. You have perspective. You have wisdom.
Your ability to draw on those experiences is what sets you apart from the rest. It's not your greatest weakness, it's your greatest ally. So use it. Embrace it. Cherish it. And honor it.
I wanted to get a job as a hostess at my favorite mexican restaurant in Las Vegas. I had absolutely NO restaurant experience, and the lady interviewing me made a point of bringing that to my attention. "Yes", I told her. "You're right, but I can assure (and promise) you that the experience I've had working with people in my other retail jobs has provided me with everything I need to succeed."
I got the job.
I ended up hating the job, and left shortly after, but I did it well. I was right. My experiences did prepare me for something completely new. I could have let go of that dream, agreeing with her that I wasn't capable because I had no prior 'experience'. But I believed in myself so strongly that even she was convinced.
You must do the same with any job or career you choose to work towards. Your experiences, your knowledge, your wisdom, and your perspective are all the preparation you need. Now, of course, you may need to go to medical school or rocket science school if you want to become a doctor or an astrophysicist. I get that. But don't hold yourself back from chasing those dreams simply because you never studied math or science in the past. If that's what you truly want, use your experiences as the foundation - the fuel - to propel you toward your goal.
You are uniquely you. Don't be ashamed of the choices you made in the past. They shaped into who you are today. Pardon me for the cliché message, but it's true. You know it. So let it guide you. Let it be a part of you. And don't be afraid to share it with the world. You are your greatest asset.