You know this whole “lean in” thing, right?
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and general #bosslady, wrote a book of that title inspiring women everywhere to re-think how we think career, motherhood, feminism – the whole nine yards of being a chica in this day and age, and it inspired a movement of thought. But I think there’s something that’s really, really important to include in the whole picture of who we are as dynamic, powerhouse women with drive, dreams, and chutzpah to make it all happen.
Because even the most powerhouse of women fail sometimes.
Now that the #girlboss and #bosslady movements are rampant, and social media connects everyone to everything, it’s so easy to see others’ successes and immediately reflect on our own personal triumphs – or lack thereof – and feel upset, unmotivated, and discouraged.
If we’re talking about real women with real lives and real realities…sometimes we fail.
It’s not even like a “oh shucks, that was a bit of a blunder” kindof thing.
It’s a blatant failure.
You had a goal, an instruction, a task, an assignment, and you completely missed the mark, falling short and not achieving what you were supposed to or what you thought you could. It stinks. It stinks, it stings, and it could be embarrassing and hurt your self-esteem, possibly stifling your ambition in the moment, too, and cause you to question your whole purpose in life.
But here’s the thing:
Even when we fail, we need to fail forward.
Maybe I convinced myself this was the key in life after tripping one too many times on the sidewalk over my own two feet and falling on my face. “Hey, at least I’m a step farther than before!” Total klutz excuse, I know. But really, what good is there in constantly letting our shortcomings and “failures” get the best of us and keep us down on the ground?
(Answer: No good at all).
No matter how hard you want to try and go back and make things different or “better,” you get no re-do option. We know a few things here:
1.) Worrying is useless. You can’t change the past and you can’t know the future, so stressing out about either is literally a lost cause.
2.) Meditating on mistakes is the fastest way to make them happen again. Remember when you were a kid in a sports game or dance recital or some other performance? Even a tough test in school or speech – your coach or teacher most likely told you to envision how you wanted the exhibition to turn out. Research has proven that the surest way to set yourself up for great results is to literally sit and think and imagine yourself going through all of the motions exactly as you want them to ideally occur. Since meditating on the good things you want to happen is the surest way to make them happen, meditating on the bumps in the road will likely have a similar effect – and you probably don’t want that to happen.
3.) Sometimes, failures end up being blessings in disguise. OK, I *know* I’m not alone here. How many times has something happened to you that you thought you’d never recover from, and then lo and behold, you do. And not only do you recover from it, but you come back stronger, smarter, more equipped to handle the next adventure or test in life, and it turns out that the “failure” was just a speedbump along your own road to awesome?
We’re all going to fail. Easier said than sunken in, but it’s true – you’re going to miss a deadline, the guy next to you isn’t going to get the job, the teenager a few doors down is going to fail the driver’s test (twice), and your best friend isn’t going to meet a personal goal, and they’re going to feel like a failure for the good part of a month.
But staying back in that woe-is-me mode, wallowing in self-pity and meditating on the failures?
That’s not OK.
When we stumble and fall – what some might call “fail” – we can’t just get back up. We’ve gotta get back up and take a step forward.
Failing forward is the easiest way to stumble upon progress and greatness.
Now tweet that:
And go live it.
Have you failed forward before?
I’d love to hear how you fail forward. What helps you recover quickly, stand up and go forth towards your dreams and goals and potential? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!
AND just because it’s summer and I’m feeling the love for my amazing Coming Up Roses family, I want to give one of you a little goodie bag of makeup. HUZZAH.