Earlier this year I had the privilege to attend a women’s event with nearly 1,000 other women in the NoCo area! The room was buzzing, there were smiles all around and it was really great to see so many like-minded women connecting. All of the panel speakers—featuring local female entrepreneurs—were incredibly motivating and inspirational individuals in our community. As the panel speakers started their discussions, the topic of failing came up.
Now as an entrepreneur myself, this was super relatable. I don’t think we talk about failure enough. We are conditioned to think successful people only succeed, but before we succeed there are failures—and lots of them.
One rule in life: you will fail, but you will get up and you’ll be stronger than you were before. You have to be willing to fall down in order to pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.
We all have a winning season but we can’t have it all the time.
Why Do We Fear Failure?
Why are we so afraid to fail? Why do we see failure as a negative assumption? Why do we allow society to tell us that failure is a bad thing? And especially as women, and mothers, failure is ALWAYS on our minds. It’s most likely what is holding us back from being our best selves.
We often assume we’ve failed when in truth we haven’t.
The chapters in our lives don’t always go as planned and it’s time to stop viewing failure as a negative occurrence. Are we afraid to fail because we are afraid of what others may think of us? Are we afraid to admit that we didn’t win this time around? STOP. You can’t win at everything. And guess what? That is OK.
We are fearful of failure in ourselves, our relationships, our jobs, motherhood, and well so on and so on. Instead of living our full potential we allow this fear of failure to creep in and we play it safe. Well as you know playing it safe is comfortable, but how are you really living when you aren’t taking risks?
I used to live like this. I used to think playing it safe and playing by the book was the way to go.
Then I had a baby… and wow did that shift my perspective. Talk about a risk right?!
Having a baby, and trying to navigate motherhood has been the biggest risk of my life. When I first had my son I remember stressing about parenting decisions, being so worried if I was making the right one or not; worrying tirelessly that I was going to fail, and actually feeling like I was failing because life was just different.
You know what? I didn’t always make the right decision. It was all trial and error. What I realized was this leap into motherhood actually broke down some major “failure walls” that I had created unknowingly.
After having my son I realized he was now the center of my universe and I was going to do everything possible to make sure I didn’t fail him. And that meant stepping outside of my comfort zone.
The Cycle & Space of Growth
We live in seasons, or cycles, of growth. These cycles are circular and always moving forward. Time moves forward. At the age of 36, almost 37 (oh dear I’ve finally said it out loud) I’ve failed, I’ve learned, I’ve grown and on goes the cycle when I get up and try again.
We actually most likely fail at little things all day long and don’t even realize it. For example, I didn’t get up on time to go to work out: FAIL. I didn’t stick to my diet for the day: FAIL. I yelled at my kid because I was irritated: FAIL.
But are these really fails? Or are they small occurrences of growth and learning about ourselves and how to navigate life? Once we realize failure is actually a stage of growth I think we can release the fear to take on the unknown.
Just remember living in the uncomfortable space is necessary, yet temporary. That space of uncertainty is growth. It’s when you start to learn the most about yourself and what you are capable of. And it’s all part of the cycle. See it, hold it, and then grow from it. That’s when the magic happens.
When we don’t do something exactly the way it should be done it just means we are navigating through the journey. We are learning what works and what doesn’t. Life is all about trial and error. All of our journeys are different and how that journey unfolds may be different for me than for you. Once I fail at something I just figure out another way to do it. Try, try and try again.
Believe in Yourself
If you aren’t willing to take a risk you may never know what opportunities await. It’s incredible what can happen when you push that fear aside and start believing in yourself.
Yes it’s hard, but life is hard. We win some, we lose some. Nothing is easy and once you can accept that you will be more open to receive.
So stop being fearful. Stop worrying about the unknown. Stop holding yourself back.
Start taking on challenges you never thought possible and believe you are 100% capable! Start thinking that you’re a winner because you truly are. You are special, unique and you belong here. Open those doors that you were fearful to open.
Opportunity and growth are presenting themselves all around you, so step out of your comfort zone and take on that challenge that’s been holding you back. I promise you will only come out stronger and more confident in yourself.