Have you ever had a deep desire to start something that felt so important to you and then got jolted only a moment later by the words “What if I fail?”
It is in these words that can take us from the highest highs and into our lowest lows, putting on the breaks to our most sincere dreams, stopping us dead in our tracks.
Why is this?
Because we have been taught to be afraid of failure, and this is tragic, indeed. Fearing failure, we never discover what grit we are made of and who we are at our most vulnerable core—our most brilliant self.
Instead, when we fail, we feed the seeds of self-doubt as they plant themselves deeper into our being, creating more separation from our spirited essence.
Fearing failure, we never discover what grit we are made of and who we are at our most vulnerable core – our most brilliant self.
Rather than “What if I fail?”, I say “Allow yourself to fail, Deanne.”
I have said this to myself whenever a new inspiration makes its way into my heart.
One particular time, I had a big tug to teach meditation. I loved the idea of bringing women together, holding space for one another as I gently guided them into their inner being. The only thing was, I hadn’t ever facilitated this before and didn’t know much at all about meditation in the traditional sense, but I knew it was something magnetic that was calling me from deep within my soul. My own creation desiring to be expressed. As much as I was excited, I was afraid; terrified, in fact.
Whenever something comes up that calls me into a new arena of an unfamiliar landscape, I intensely feel the fear.
And I speak to the fear: I validate her, and I acknowledge her presence. I tell her she is welcome to travel with me.
The idea of failure is scary, there is no doubt about it. However, if we can embrace this space with tenderness, an open heart and new meaning, what becomes available to us is mind-blowing.
We create a beautiful way to engage with something that once had the power to paralyse us.
I invite you to allow yourself to gracefully fail too.
Feel into that spark in your heart that draws you toward something you would love to do with your life.
Let yourself feel wildly excited, passionate with a full belly of fire for what is showing up to be born.
Rather than buying into the fear, which has the ability of hijacking you deeper down the rabbit hole of all the things that could go wrong—how you could fail, how it won’t work, how you will be perceived by others, how you wouldn’t be good enough to pull it off—encourage yourself to acknowledge the fear that arises within.
Rather than shutting down and letting your big breath of desire become a forgotten memory, simply acknowledge how it takes your breath away and let it be there.
Stay in neutral with fear; she’s simply a feeling that’s wanting you to sit quietly and dance the dance with her until she moves you into a more tender and inspired conversation.
Ultimately, I will ask you to re-define the word failure so that you see it as a reflection of your growth.
In the words of your spirited self, she will say something like this:
“Prepare to fail. Give yourself the most generous space to fail, because I will be right here. It’s likely you will stumble as you haven’t been here before. I will ask you to do it all again until you become strong in this endeavour. I will ask for your perseverance and your faith with each step as I guide you in turning your failure into confidence.
Ultimately, I will ask you to re-define the word ‘failure’ so that you see it as a reflection of your growth. Come walk with me, and let’s embrace risk and develop it in your character so that you may realise all that is unrealised within you. Little by little we go.”
This kind conversation takes all the shame out of failure, and it helps us carry this word with a new energy.
This energy is light and free because we have an understanding that if we truly embrace failure, we provide ourselves with the opportunity to shape our life in the most empowering ways.
Failure shapes us
Learning Not to Take Life Too Seriously
We learn not to take life too seriously and allow ourselves to have more fun in the risk-taking of trying new things on. We learn not to translate failure into shame, allowing us to feel more free and alive rather than scared and small. We see life through the eyes of our spirted self.
We learn how to pick ourselves up again and dust ourselves off without it becoming too big of a deal, and we know how to support and guide ourselves through when it does feel big. We develop the strength of a warrioress who is prone to follow her heart knowing she will be ok regardless of what happens. She has faith in herself.
The only way to own confidence is in the practice of showing up and doing the things that scare us most, which means there is a risk of failure. The more confidence we take in, the more we welcome the risk, and the more we trust in our abilities.
We become competent in something that we were incompetent in before. What a gift! Our inner space expands to hold more capacity and capability, moving us more fully towards our desires. We appreciate and experience success in a way that feels real and authentic.
We come to look at ourselves in the mirror with a sense of pride, with a knowing of staying true to our impulses that we solely own. We become our own renegade, and our value is based on what we see in ourselves, not in another’s opinion.
So my first meditation class didn’t go particularly well but as I continued to show up, my failure eventually became my success. It was uncomfortable at first, but now this is something that feels second nature to me. And I’ve met a part of myself that I wouldn’t have otherwise if I hadn’t given myself permission to fail.
In this world that judges imperfection, gracefully allow yourself to fail…mmm, I mean grow.