You did it.
You put it out there and it failed.
I mean it failed miserably. It didn’t meet your expectations or goals by a long shot. You lost money and even some cool points with certain family members and friends.
And the thing about some failures is they aren’t always private. They are public failures and the embarrassment you feel and the snickering and finger pointing and “I told you so’s ” from others take their toll.
I know. I have quite a few failures under my belt.
I know what it’s like to put it out there and fail publicly.
I know what it is to do everything you believe is right and still come up short. Those really hurt.
I know what it’s like to have people distance themselves from you and quietly sever connections because you failed.
And oh the conversations that play out in our heads after a failure! The things we tell ourselves!
- Well, I’ll never do this again.
- They were right along.
- What did I do wrong?
- Why me?
- Is God mad at me?
- Did I sin somewhere?
- Is this payback for something I did?
This is the short list. I’m pretty sure you could easily add a dozen more.
What you do after you’ve experienced a failure will determine your future and I’ve learned you have two choices.
You can either move forward or live in a place of shame and let that failure forever define you. I’m incredibly proud of Monica Lewinsky for not letting her past define her. She is reclaiming her narrative and lending her voice to the anti-cyberbullying, anti-cybershamming conversation. You rock Monica![tweet_box]The great thing is you can always choose to move forward…even after years of living in the shadows. [/tweet_box]
Coming back though is a difficult and personal journey.
After what would be considered a pretty big failure, I took some much needed time off.
I needed to take a break and exhale.[tweet_box]I needed to work through my varying degrees of pissed-off-ness. [/tweet_box]
I needed to ask questions of myself and I needed to accept responsibility.
I needed to record the lessons and list my takeaways from the experience and my takeaways are priceless. What I learned about people during that time in my life, guides me today.
I gave myself time to heal and that’s a must.
How much time that takes differs for each person and then you give yourself permission to dream again.
And you follow your heart with all this new found wisdom and put it out there again.
Yes, you will have critics and folk will look at you crazy and yes they’re waiting on you to fail again.
Put it out there anyway.
Yes, you’ll do it with your knees knocking but you do it anyway.
Because letting a mistake, a failure define the rest of your life is no way to live.
You have to put it out there so you can begin to reclaim your story and create lots of new chapters.
Your story doesn’t have to end at the point you failed.
You can start over by summoning your courage, dismissing the naysayers and accepting the truth that you are more than your past failures.
Go ahead…put it out there…again.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is an award-winning filmmaker, director, producer, and writer and is the owner of PrettyWork Creative.
Great post! I especially like this line, “Your story doesn’t have to end at the point you failed.” Carrying it with me in my heart. Thanks!
Thank you Joy! I’m glad you have something to hide in your heart! Blessings! – Lisa
Love this post! So many people let their failures define them and they give up on their dreams. I agree, you should learn from your failures and allow them to make you smarter and stronger for when you start again!
Thanks Tracie! Appreciate your stopping by and commenting! Have a fantastic 2016!