I have failed.
And it’s ok.
All my life, I’ve held so much shame around failure. That failure would be the end of me. That if I failed, it meant that I was a failure, useless, an embarrassment, despicable, shameful. So I’ve spent so much of my life fearing and avoiding failure, which also meant holding myself back from really living courageously. I’ve lived in fear of failure for so long, and it’s been a continuous battle for me. I even one point thought I changed my relationship to failure, by reframing it and saying “there’s no such thing as failure, it’s just an opportunity for learning.” And I still do believe that failures are opportunities for learning. But for me, that reframe was still a way of bypassing, of not being able to face my fears head on, and of still still giving it power over me by denying its existence.
This morning, I pulled the card “Cracked Open.” At first I didn’t know how it pertained to me. But suddenly, while making breakfast, I suddenly had the realisation. The inquiry was “How can you let life crack you open” And after a while it hit me. I have failed. And I let myself sit in that statement for a moment. Letting it soak in. Waiting for a breakdown, tears, heartache, shame, fear, anything really. But I felt nothing.
Still nothing. I had wanted to have 15 clients by the end of this year, and I wanted to be making a living as a coach, and I’m nowhere near that. Yes, I do feel disappointed, but I’m also OK. I almost feel relieved, liberated, to know that I can face one of my deepest fears and walk out unscathed. All this time, I experienced more hurt, and worry, and pain, and worry, thinking about facing the fear, then actually facing the fear itself. It’s like prepping and training and fearing the battle with the big bad dragon in the cave, and experiencing all the fear walking through the deep dark cave, anticipating the worst ahead. Only to get to the end and discover that the dragon is actually just a gecko. The thought actually kind of made me laugh. Or maybe it’s because I’ve done enough training in preparation, so that when I actually came face to face with the dragon, I was fully equipped to meet the dragon and slay it with ease.
So thank you to failure for evolving from my foe to my friend.