Failure. The word itself is a negative representation of an event that we all must face at one time or another. For many of us, multiple times. Ironically, it’s a blessing and a tool, if used correctly.
I failed. I failed my family and most importantly, myself. Did I have this huge breakdown, throwing away everything I’ve worked so hard for in the past year? Not exactly. It was more of a slow and painful death-like existence.
How did I fail: I set out, fully determined, to develop a well-functioning coaching business over a year ago. As goes with all successful entrepreneurs, I was in white hot action! Super excited, giddy and jumping out of bed every morning. What a feeling! Bet you most people forgot what that even feels like in relation to their job. But I found it!
I was quite good as a coach, with some natural abilities already in my arsenal and started learning more and more, applying it at the same time. Sure, I didn’t have the professional structure yet, but I was loving every minute of it, and seeing my clients’ life-changing, tangible results.
Then, about 7 months in, I started hesitating. Yes, I had great results from over a 100 single sessions and had a few paying clients, but that wasn’t enough.
Here’s the thing that happens to 99% of new entrepreneurs. They seek support from their loved ones, just in the form of optimism and emotional encouragement. Do they get it? Heck no! Rarely! And I was no different.
Now, I am in no way blaming the well-meaning peers and family members. Intellectually, I completely understand that they want us to be whole and don’t want to see us get hurt. But emotionally, it’s still a hard pill to swallow.
It’s also so sneaky. I didn’t realize what was happening till recently. Oh and to add to this, the lovely exercise of cold calling and facing multiple “rejections” didn’t help the situation.
Now, I won’t reveal who this person is that I apparently had such an attachment to, hint: we live together and it’s a male between 10 and 36 yrs old.
This attachment to my wish for support was so strong and yet invisible to me, I started preoccupying myself with anything that wouldn’t make any headway in my business and simultaneously sabotaging the things that were actually working for me. I stopped writing, I stopped calling, I stopped networking. My only saving grace were those handful of clients. They were the ones keeping me in the game, who I would run through a brick wall for no matter what.
But ultimately, I failed. Why? Because of that little voice, the one we always have, that kept saying, “you better stay low, no need to upset the peaceful household again with the changes.”
Where does that voice come from? Where do they all come from? Our beliefs. Those deep-seeded, long-time-ago-created beliefs. Those that were instilled in us, by us, from our perception of the world, the media, our parents, and our interpretation of it all.
Limiting Beliefs, more accurately, are those that prevent us from moving forward in life. Those are the ones that speak to us when we have an opportunity for growth. “I am not enough, why would I even try that”, “if I leave my job I will lose myself and my identity”, “if I don’t cook or clean all day, my family won’t love me”, and so on.
Seems kind of simple and ridiculous, right?
Well…the human brain can be pretty simple and ridiculous.
I say that with love and encouragement. Because once we realize how simply our brains operate, we can as simply change ourselves for the better. Although, a 2nd perspective is most helpful.
Now, back to my point; I failed!! Yes!!! I have reached that low point that every entrepreneur dreads but should be excited about! Tiffany, now you sound ridiculous, you may think. Yes, I read minds, too.
Imagine hearing the following daily:
… “If I go full force in business, he won’t love me and I will cause my family to fall apart.”
That was my little voice, that I subconsciously listened to for the past 7 months. It was painful to know this on a semi-conscious level but feel helpless in getting past it and finding a solution. It was even more painful to look at and admit those words to myself and out loud to my peers, the kind of pain that most people would avoid for decades and keep going in circles in their comfort zone, stagnant and half-dead inside.
If I would allow this belief to live in me, I would end up serving its evil master, the LIE of it. I would be in a self-made prison.
Like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, where there are prisoners chained in a cave, and they see shadows , those cast from the sun by the passers-by outside. But the prisoners don’t know where the shadows come from, so they give shadows names and consider them to be reality. Miraculously, some prisoners break free and see the sun and the people outside, but they are too afraid to move out because of fear of the uncertainty of the outcome.
It’s like a gravitational pull of the old, comfortable cave was sucking them back in.
That’s where I was. Caught, or rather self-placed, in that spot, between truth and fulfillment and held back by that fear, that belief I mentioned above.
As I wrote the above, I’m happy to say I feel nothing. Which means it has loosened its hold on me once it was discovered (and I have the help of multiple coaches working with me). Once these beliefs are discovered, and I’m sure I will discover more as I do the hard work of it, they cease to have power over us. As I now experience.
A secret is only powerful and crippling as long as it’s kept a secret.
So I failed. So what. This is awesome! Maybe renaming the event would be more appropriate, discovering the sun’s existence and having the courage to step out of that cave, that once-comfortable and no longer fulfilling cave of a home. Ok, I can’t come up with a different name for it, but maybe you could. Make it your own. Embrace it. Learn from it. And most importantly, SHARE it.
I am power. I am enough. I can.