How does that word make you feel? Does it trigger you, make your eye twitch, are you starting to sweat a little? For most people failure = negative. For me though, failure is positive. Failure means I am trying, and with trying comes learning and growing.
Now don't get me wrong, I have had failures knock me on my ass. The most painful failures I have experienced are related to motherhood and rooted deep in shame. They impacted me so greatly, because my entire identity was attached to being a mother. I had bought into the false pretenses that as a mother you must give up everything, including your own identity to be a good mom. Being the over-achiever that I am, I took this to a whole new level lol. I was so caught up in what I was supposed to be and upholding the image of "perfect mom" (which is total BS by the way) that I had some extremely low moments that involved ugly crying, curled up in the fetal position in bed. I also missed out on numerous opportunities, because I was playing it safe, staying small and comfortable.
Looking back, I could have avoided those moments if I had viewed failures in motherhood the same way I view failures in my career. In my career, I welcomed failure. Why? Because failure = opportunity, progress, growth. I was constantly trying new things, reflecting on the outcome and making the necessary tweaks to improve the next iteration. My identity was not attached to my career, which removed shame from the equation.
On the contrary though, I know people who have built their identity on their career, which makes it difficult for them to be willing to take risks that may have unfavorable results. Failure to them is essentially the same as putting their job on the line. Therefore, they play it safe and follow the rules so as not to stand out.
Take a moment to reflect on where shame and fear of failure is holding you back. Where are you staying small & comfortable to avoid those uncomfortable feelings? Where are you living according to image and expectations instead of boldly and unapologetically being you? Where could you step forward into your authentic self and release fear from the equation?
Here's to another week of living your life by design, not by default!