What is it about failure that causes us to feel so debilitated? The concept of not meeting the expectations we ultimately set for ourselves based on society’s standards. The “ladder” which has been defined by the white man since our constitution and overall understanding of capitalism has been set into place.
That’s what we’re afraid of “failing” at?
Or are we afraid of failing based on the over-producing millennials generation that says if you are not creating enough garbage in the digital cloud, or some other tangible item that is validated by the number of little virtual hearts we collect with every post?
Besides, to whom is it we are afraid to say the words, “I failed”? Maybe that’s the real culprit here. The collective group of fictitious “them” we’ve conjured in our subconscious to tell us that what we’ve done is simply not enough.
I’ve been having a hard time with this as of lately. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve truly worked hard on defining what I believe success means to me. There is no monetary value associated with it. There isn’t a number in this world that could say whether or not I’ve failed or succeeded.
But I’m only human.
I’ve believed in a false narrative, multiple false narratives, that I’ve told myself for many years. It’s what has stood so tall and strong in my way of achieving the things I want to actually make and see happen in my life. But if I listened to the voices of the failure monsters, would I have ever written not one, but two books? Would I have ever taken the leap of faith to travel the world? Would I have ever adopted my sweet four-legged child, Luna?
So today, I’m taking a risk here and trying something completely off the books (again, the books that were written by a bunch of people who are now long gone and have taken none of their “successes” along with them into the next life).
Today, I’m going to live my life for the next twenty-four hours with an honest attempt at not just saying, but truly believing that I am not a failure. That I am not actually capable of failing.
Imagine the possibilities that could encompass our lives if we each redefined our own currency of success.
In order for us to be able to see that life for ourselves clearly, we need to start by redefining our measure of success. We have to give ourselves grace, compassion, and of course a hell of a lot of love. And it needs to start now, because I’m here to tell you that you deserve it. You deserve all the love in the world for yourself. You deserve to feel successful. You deserve to be proud of yourself. You deserve the world.
What does success mean for me today?
Checking off 1 major task towards my passion.
Playing with Luna in the delicious sunshine.
Doing something creative solely for me.
Moving my body for joy rather than a need to achieve some arbitrary goal.
Having a genuine conversation with at least one other human being.
Telling someone that I love them.
To me, that is one hell of a successful day. So ask yourself, what does a successful day look like to you? Ask yourself what your universe would look like for the next 24 hours if you looked at yourself square in the eye and said:
“I am not a failure. I can not fail because I truly am a success.”
Meet the Author
Hey, I’m Lauren Dow. Author, podcast host advocate, and feeler of the big feels. I’m here to provide a safe space to normalize the conversation about mental health. Thanks for joining me on this wild ride.