It’s easy to feel good when our businesses are booming, our health is in tip top shape, our friendships are feeling rewarding and connected, and our emotional well-being is intact. Anyone can believe in themselves and feel confident and happy under those circumstances.
The real test, the real challenge, the real measure of centeredness and success comes when we experience failure. When things don’t work out. When stuff doesn’t go according to plan. When we get knocked down.
And many of us often believe that the people who are out there and killing it in life and in business are people who have been lucky, or had everything handed to them on a silver platter, or know some secret magic formula for success, or have managed to find that ever illusive easy button.
And sure, maybe there are a few who do fall in to any of those categories, but let me tell you, they are few. So, so, so, few.
So few, that from the hundreds of men and women I have both worked with and met in my life thus far, not one has ever said getting to where they have in life was by any way, shape or form, easy. Or without a LOT of blood, sweat and tears.
So then why do so many of us go through times of feeling near ready to give up and throw in the towel when things don’t turn out how we wanted them to? Why do we think that if we have a failure, that we ARE a failure? So much so that we will never be successful, or get to where we want in life, or be happy, or reach our goals in anything, ever.
Life is hard. And I don’t ever remember being promised that it wouldn’t be. So why then do we get so pissed off when it is?
Fact: Life is hard.
But what you may not know is that it’s hard for everyone. Everywhere. No matter what (at times more than others).
And if we buy in to the lie that things need to come easy in order for us to feel like we can keep going, we won’t get, well… anywhere.
Failure is normal. Getting knocked down is going to happen if we put ourselves out there and take any kind of risk in any arena.
I’ve talked openly about some of my epic failures, most particularly here. And a short while ago after having had another moderate failure I said to my most encouraging, enduring, and supportive husband “Oh no! I can’t believe I failed. What am I going to do? This is so terrible! What does this say about me?” To which he so aptly replied “Yup, this stuff is hard. And it sucks to fail. But everybody does. So now what?”
Huh. That’s it. That’s all that really needs to be said.
What are our choices? We can stay down, stay stuck, or stay small. But failure’s job is not to make you give up.
Failure’s job is to ask you: How badly do you want it?
So have your pity party (which, by the way, is often a necessary part of the process). And I mean, have a real pity party: Crawl around on the floor, bawl your eyes out and say out loud this suuuuuucks!! And then, once you get that out of your system, dig deep, pull up your socks, and keep going.
Yeah, failure sucks. Failure feels terrible. But it happens. And the more we use our courage to put ourselves out there or try new things the more exposed to failure we will be.
So that’s that. It’s a part of life. It’s a fact of life. Feel it. Accept it. And then decide, in the words of my ever-so-wise husband, now what?
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I’m Julia Kristina MA, RCC, an I’m a CBT, Mindfulness, and Positive Psychology registered (aka licensed) therapist and life coach out of Vancouver BC.
If you’d like to work with me 1:1 I do in-person sessions from my office in downtown Vancouver, or virtually to any where in the world via SKYPE.