Every motivational speaker says that we should live fearlessly. Put ourselves out there. Do what is hard. And I have lived by this way of thinking. I have spent the past couple of years building my company. Winning mostly. I “fearlessly” put myself out there for the world to see. I had some hiccups but overall, it has been mostly good. #winning
Then it happened. I failed. Very publicly, very obviously, I failed to meet one of my most talked about goals. As I stood on the sideline, helplessly watching others meet my goal, I silently fell apart. One by one, their smiling faces showed up on my social media feed, walking away with what I had spent years working toward. My heart shattered into a million pieces. And everyone around me watched it happen, too scared to ask me why.
My first inclination was to hide. To pull myself into the smallest place I could fit and just stay there until it stopped hurting. All the while hoping nobody noticed what had just happened. Hoping that maybe no one would check Facebook or Insta. After all, no one will remember what I had said, right? Surely, no one paid attention to one thing that I screamed out at every chance I got, right? The problem was that even if they didn’t, I did. I knew. And I was fucking embarrassed. I was broken hearted. I was humiliated and didn’t know how to deal with it.
Eric Thomas constantly talks about the hard. The impossible. The dark places that you have to find your way out of. I am there. I found that place. I guess this is where I have to ask if I want to be someone who just survives this, or someone who becomes successful despite this.
Now, the easy answer is of course I am gonna stand up, brush myself off and keep going. But the reality is that I stayed in that indecision for longer than I want to admit. Parts of me are still there. It is hard to fully put yourself out there again after feeling such loss of self. To come back from questioning if you are on the right path in your life. The bottom line is that I did my best and still failed. I gave it my everything and based on past experience, expected to be rewarded. And it just didn’t happen. I just didn’t get what I worked for.
I have for sure been made aware of what it feels like to be publicly humiliated. And I, for sure have pause for doing this to myself again. But I am not that person. Truly at the basis of who I am, I believe that there is always another chance to be remarkable. To do something extraordinary. And slowly I realized that it is okay to be embarrassed. Even for all to see. We have all been there. Just some more than others (wink). And I am loud about what I want because that is how I roll. That is who I am. That is how I stay accountable. I guess what I am saying is that the fear of failure is fresh in me, but I am still going to put myself out there. As should you. Don’t let fear of failure be a reason that you don’t try.
So, now what? Well, I lick my wounds and realize that my american dream has changed a bit. I try to find a way to learn from this and then I just move the heck on. True failure is part of the journey and it has given me humility. I will take it as a gift and try to remember to be humble in my next experience. I am finding new goals that set me on fire. New ways to be remarkable, to be successful. I know what my ultimate goal is and it is okay to change the path to that goal. Good goals can go bad. It happens. It’s what you take away from the failure that helps form your new path.