So many folks come for coaching feeling like an abject failure – explaining how they’ve utterly botched something essential to them (a job, new business endeavor, a relationship, project, or performance, etc.). The only emotions they can experience around their “failure” are shame, embarrassment, and regret.
I’ve lived this too – experiencing myself as a complete “failure” – having followed my intuition (or so I thought!), living from true hopes and intentions, only to watch them wither and fade, not coming to fruition at all as planned.
As a keen observer of human behavior and human outcomes, I’ve witnessed (first with neutrality, then with great joy) my clients, colleagues, friends and family move from “failure” to growth. They’ve learned, as I have, that these “failures” we think we experienced are nothing of the kind.
If not failure, what are these experiences?
Experiences we see as “failure” are just potent flashes of insight and wisdom revealing themselves, showing you that your ego is in the driver’s seat. These moments are showing that what you’ve attached so strongly to through your ego is not necessarily what will bring you great joy and fulfillment. These “failures” are beautiful, light-filled moments that carry with them true insights into your life purpose, and reveal what you really want to be doing on this planet at this time, and how you want to be doing it. But the only way to gain the insight necessary is to let go of what your ego has told you is essential in this endeavor – you must get out of the box you’ve caged yourself in, and move beyond it.
Here’s an example – a very personal one. When I wrote my book Breakdown Breakthrough, the entire experience came from the heart and soul. I wanted nothing more than to be a beacon of light for women struggling to live and work joyfully. While it was challenging to conduct the national research and spend the year writing the book, it was always heart-felt.
Unfortunately, something shifted in me once the book was released. I became very ego-driven, and attached my ego very strongly to it, suddenly striving for attention, validation, and for financial reward for my labors. The whole thing shifted into an ego place. I could tell something very off and wrong had happened, but I didn’t know what.
Now I do know – I lost my way in those months right after the book came out – I fell off my purpose – which is to be a catalyst for transformation. Wanting my ego stroked and validated at every turn is in opposition to being a beacon of hope and light for people. In fact, how can I be a true catalyst for change if I’m stuck wanting validation, am afraid to climb out of my own box?
The truth is our dreams don’t always come true as we’ve articulated them. Why? Because our narrow vision at the time only sees a limited picture of who we are. Our birds-eye view, on the other hand – the view from our soul’s perspective – is much more expansive and potential-filled.
Task for the week: Think about where you are feeling like a “failure” today. Is it a past job, a business endeavor, or a relationship that went terribly wrong? Explore the situation and experience fully. Can you find the nugget of insight, wisdom, of relief in the experience? Will you try to reframe it to a more positive interpretation, one that fits the facts equally well but allows you to forgive yourself, and see yourself full of potential and grace?
Life is all in the way you view it, so shift yourself away from “failure” toward growth and possibility – you will see things change in front of your eyes when you do,