Tried hard lately and failed? You're in good (& plentiful) company. Of course, failure is subjective, and what one of us does that feels like a failure might just be a "growth opportunity" to another one of us.
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of Brene Brown. Her books (especially The Gifts of Imperfection) have inspired me to live an authentic, curious, interested life, and to show up for other people as well as take care of myself. I was beyond excited when a friend gifted me a copy of Dr. Brown's latest book, Rising Strong. As I devour it, inspired by stories of her journey and those of others, I am embracing the fact that, true to the quote that inspired her book title, Daring Greatly (the Theodore Roosevelt quote known as The Man in the Arena speech, see below), we do fall down. We do make mistakes. And what we do next matters a great deal (wallow, pout, learn). The format of her new book is the telling of the process, the rising from experiences - nothing oversimplified or glossed over.
While we are actually in the arena, trying hard, showing up, putting ourselves out there, on display for the world to see and judge, of course our failings can be well-documented (by others and ourselves). Our shortcomings are there for all to witness. I paraphrase Dr. Brown here, but she's said that if those giving feedback are themselves just sitting in the stands, who needs them and their input? Her comment is that if a person offering a critique is not themselves in the arena, she is simply not interested in their feedback.
Here's my deal: I am doing my best to live my life in the arena. I try new things, I take/push myself out of my comfort zone, I show up for other people... I still sometimes drop the ball and don't do my best, but for the most part, I continue to try. My issue is this: If I am in the arena and I fail at something, thereby creating a learning opportunity, can I really judge myself? trick question? My approach has become this: change the definitions of failure and success and how they relate to me and my life.
Recently I've been part of a few things that didn't work out as planned. Nothing earth-shattering, more simply inconvenient and disappointing. I suppose I could blame myself (and at some points in my life, I most certainly would have) but where would be the growth in that?
What about you? are you trying really hard but things don't necessarily work out as you'd hoped or planned?
I'm interested. Tell me here, in the comments, or reach out through the contact page and let's talk.
The real failure, to me, is in not taking the time to reflect on the situation and learn from it.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." T. Roosevelt, 1910
I am honoured to link to www.brenebrown.com
Life Coach, Yogi & lover of Meditation, mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cookie baker, seeker of truth & laughter, volunteer. Passionate about women's stories and the women who share them.