I can’t imagine how boring my life would be if I never failed at anything. My biggest mistakes are so integral to my story and woven into the fabric of my being that I am confident that I wouldn’t have much of my success or be the incredible human that I am without them.
Failing is hard, and it sucks. It brings up all kinds of big feelings – shame, embarrassment, anxiety, sadness, disappointment, and anger, but Learning to cope with these feelings is necessary to move forward. Lucky for me, I’m a therapist and have no shortage of skills to help me move past my big feelings. Once we’re able to build healthy coping skills to deal with the emotions, we can sashay past them and get to the part where we learn the beautiful lessons and create a brilliant new path.
There is a way to make this failing thing graceful. You own it and appreciate it. You don’t hold on to it or get all cringey when you think about it. It doesn’t define you or make you who you are, but it is a part of your story. You need to feel all of your big, uncomfortable feelings rather than try to escape them. This will empower you to work harder to find a better, more beautiful path than the one you were on. Feelings are temporary. Embrace them – even the shitty ones. You will be okay.
Develop healthy coping skills to move past the big, bad feelings. Things like practicing self- care, going for a walk, calling a friend, working out, a yoga class – anything that is going to help you to cope with what is happening without escaping your reality. Coping skills are personal, find something that works for you. Failure is neither all of your fault or none of your fault, so take a good hard look at what happened. Playing the blame game will prevent you from growing and learning. Look for explanations rather than excuses. Focus on what you can do differently next time.
The idea of failing is scary and typically prevents us from even taking a chance. I have about a million things that I’ve avoided because I was afraid it wouldn’t be successful. At some point, I decided that I wanted to be the kind of person who didn’t want to live with any regrets or unknowns, so I’m putting myself out there just like I’m encouraging you to do.
How boring your life would be if only you were defined by your beauty! You are far more interesting because you fell on your face. Your scars tell the world that you are fierce. That you survived and thrived. You climbed your way out of a hole and made it fabulous. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed about where you’ve been. Meet them eye to eye and proudly share the tales of all of your significant fuck-ups. They have taught you the most valuable lessons that you will ever learn and have shaped you into the powerhouse you are today.