Originally post on January 15, 2015 on the Rock Your Bliss blog. ___
As a perfectionist growing up, the word failure seemed banned from my vocabulary. Whether it was in my schooling, my athletic endeavors, friends or faith, I literally would press the panic button, get red splotches and start to cry should the inkling of failure be anywhere near my reality.
It was basically a curse word.
You can imagine this created quite a tumultuous environment in middle school where failure is literally part of the coming of age, growing up game. No one tells you that! Or I had very selective listening. I cried often to teachers about a grade lower than an A-, friends that were mad at me for anything as little as not talking to them at our lockers between class, cue the waterworks, in the dugout after a strike out, a sobbing shitshow – especially when my grandparents were in town watching the game.
Failure to me meant a let down, disappointment, and a disgrace.
In my ripes years of 30, turning a corner to 31 (where I hear they say you are officially in your 30’s), I have redefined failure in my life. I actually have turned 180 degrees and fallen in love with failure as an opportunity for growth, as a learning tool, as a way to know you are radically alive and in action towards something big or on the flipside, in action towards something you most likely should not be moving towards. And what I have realized is failure will happen. It will happen. And when you and I can accept this fact and be aware of what happens and what has happened in our past experiences, you can welcome the life occurrence instead of blocking, bottling or stopping short on all that you are cultivating in fear of failure.
So, let’s get real. When failure happens, you get to ask, what now?
1) Evaluate. Evaluate the situation. Get clear on what has happened now. Why did it happen? And who you were in the situation, did you show up fully or did you flail? Meet yourself where you are at now, not what the failure will mean tomorrow or in 5 years.
2) Ask for help. Human beings want to support one another, share experiences and be in the space of wisdom exploration, together. Reach out for a helping hand, outside perspective can provide beautiful clarity and direction.
3) Make a change. Perhaps, it is time to pivot, make a change or switch up your approach. Take 20 minutes to brain dump and explore all the possible and different ways to make your goal, vision or dream happen. There are probably about 22 different scenarios you have yet to explore. As Ross said in the Friends episode while moving the couch, PIVOT, PIVOT!
4) Re-commit. Underneath most complaints, as is a common trend when complaining, is a new commitment. What can you commit to or re-commit to in the failed attempt?
5) New opportunity. Let go. Create new. Okay, I believe failure can be a huge sign to that this is the wrong direction. Consider letting go and creating something completely new. I said it.
6) Fill in the Blank…. What have you experienced? What are other “I failed, so what now” learnings?
When we can get real on our options + opportunities within failure, we can allow, flow and live life bigger. It no longer is a block, stepping stone or direct path to waterworks + bruised ego. Take time to explore, to get present, rock the awareness and choose to be beautifully human. And, I say, fail even more to rock your bliss!
You know, we are all just winging it out there. Failing, flailing and leaning on one another. All the time.