Although I have “succeeded” at many things, I have also felt so many times in this life I have felt I failed. I’ve failed to exercise. I’ve failed to eat what my body needs. I’ve failed to be loving in traffic, or to be people I care about. I’ve failed to be on time, at times. The list goes on, with a number of things great and small, that at the time, I felt were “failures.” I thank God for angels and the greater awareness. Failure is now, typically an “F word in my book! I have grown.
So it was a surprise to me last month, that when someone dear to me acted out, even though I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything nasty; even though I sent them love; even though I knew I was in this situation for my own growth, etc… I felt that I had failed to be loving because internally I was upset that I was around such behavior.
The angels quickly intervened before my mind went down the sad path of judging myself a “failure” in that moment. “Look how far you’ve come!” they told me! You didn’t try to “educate” anyone. You didn’t retort or argue. You didn’t get self-righteous. You simply acknowledged internally that you didn’t like the behavior and yet you allowed the other person their own experience and education! You’ve come so far! We’re celebrating your “success!” Talk about looking at the proverbial glass more-than-half full! The angels excel at this.
They were right. I’ve grown, changed, and expanded my awareness of the greater Self that we all are. I knew I was in this situation to practice learning to live and let live at deeper levels. I knew my old “fix it” pattern was being triggered and yet I didn’t allow it to run me. I simply chose to live and let live… and that included having my own feelings. It was loving after all. I was loving myself without making the person wrong. It wasn’t a failure to love after all.
At the time, it seemed such a small step for “Ann-kind” but in truth, it was a major victory to see what I formerly perceived to be a “failure” as a “success” and to nip self-criticism in the bud before it spiraled me into a lower vibration.
Ever since, the God heat is flowing more strongly through me. People have felt it. I am in bliss and flow, and in an even greater awareness of the Divine dance of all souls since “flipping the failure!” What a success! Growth feels good!
Here are a few pointers to help you let go of any feelings of failure and instead celebrate your growth:
1. Think of “failure” as a foul word and self-criticism as a “crime” against Love
Kids simply experience, decide if something felt good or not, and adjust. At some point we learn to judge and label, rather than simply experience and adjust. What if, instead, you learned that “failure” was a foul word. What if you weren’t allowed to say it? What if you were rewarded for being kind to yourself and gently corrected without shame when you weren’t?
Can you imagine treating yourself this way now? Try it.
Be kind to yourself. You deserve your own gentleness. It may feel odd or new at first, but you can slowly change the way you speak to yourself.
Try looking in the mirror in the morning and saying, “Good morning Gorgeous! You’re amazing! We’re going to have a beautiful day!” Try, when you think you’ve failed at something to say, “It’s OK, dear Divine Self, we’re just growing.”
2. Flip the Failure – Challenge yourself to see it as a “soulful success” or Divine Redirect
When you feel you’ve failed, whether it is failing a test, failing to wake up on time, failing to get a job, or failing to be loving, stop the judgment. and criticism immediately, and ask yourself:
What did I learn? How can I do better next time? Is there a kinder, more authentic path for me?
This is productive self-inquiry. Self-criticism is a waste of time.
Sara Blakely, the 48 year old founder of the company that invented the highly successful shape-wear Spanx, shares that her dad came home and asked the kids, “What did you fail at this week?” She’d tell him and he’d give her a high five. If you weren’t failing in her family, you weren’t learning, growing, or trying anything new. She says that question defined her future and is a huge contributing factor to her billion dollar success and enormous charitable contributions.
3. Realize “failure” may be a step on the path to a greater success
Never give up on yourself and your heart’s desires. Even if you fail at something you truly want, keep going. Do what you know to do right now. Walk through open doors, or if you feel all doors are closed wait for new ones to open.
Failure, is often a step on the path to success, as these stories demonstrate:
- Einstein was expelled from one school and refused entrance in another. He is quoted as saying, “Success is failure in progress.”
- Lincoln persisted in spite of a failed business, a nervous breakdown, and a presidential defeat. He said once, “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”
- J.K. Rowlings, wildly successful author of the Harry Potter series was a single parent without a job at one point.
- Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, which fueled his creative passion, and ultimately led him back to be CEO. He said, “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”
- Bill gates dropped out of Harvard and bombed at his first company! He says, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
- Perhaps one of the most famous quotes on failure comes from Thomas Edison, inventor of the first commercially viable light bulb. He said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
If you feel you’ve failed a relationship that may be the very growth you need to succeed at the right one.
If you’ve failed a test or a job interview, that may be the very learning experience you need to do well next time.
If you’ve failed at a business, you’re in good company! Many multi-million dollar entrepreneurs have too – many times!
If you’ve failed at your diet, maybe that isn’t the kindest diet for you. Do research. Find one you like!
Whatever you perceive as a failure is only a stepping stone to success. Success, according to the angels, is remembering you are Love… and in so doing, learning also, that you cannot fail 🙂
Love you all!