Here's one of my least favorite, but sometimes necessary, phrases: "I failed." Those two words pack A LOT of power. They cut us to the core. They hurt like hell.
You had a great idea. You pursued the idea with a desired outcome. No matter how hard you tried, the desired outcome didn't happen. On a black-and-white, linear, masculine level - yes, you failed. Absolutely. There are times in my life when just saying, "I failed" has been an important and necessary admittance.
Yet, on a metaphysical/spiritual level, I believe there is no such thing as failure. Because in addition to that black-and-white, linear, masculine perspective is another one. It's the shades-of-grey, organic, feminine side of things which asks, "How can anything be considered a failure when there's always the opportunity to learn, grow and change? And, in fact, isn't it possible that learning, growth and change are MORE important than what you wanted anyway?"
The first perspective, where you admit you did actually fail, is important. It grounds us and allows us to see clearly when something didn't work. It banishes denial and forces us to feel the pain of not getting what we want. The second perspective, where you see there are opportunities within the "failure," is a necessary follow-up step if we want to stay in our power and keep moving forward.
When we get stuck in the first perspective we get inert, feel defeated and abandon our goals.
Here's the thing I've learned in my two decades as a creative person: More often than not, it isn't that your idea was faulty, it was the execution. And by execution I mean everything from the tangible, day-to-day steps needed to make something happen as well as the internal mindset, emotional set points and all the other invisible stuff that affects every aspect of your life.
So next time you feel like a failure, I recommend:
1) Admitting it.
2) Taking time to find the teachings and the opportunities found within that failure.
3) Re-thinking, re-planning, and re-jiggering your Plan of Action, especially if you're still deeply excited about your original endeavor. (Excitement is often like a compass pointing us to true north.)
4) Getting back to work, especially now that you're armed with new information and empowered with the perspective of possibility.
Take some time today to shine light on those areas - past and present - where you believe yourself to be a failure. Write down all the potential lessons, opportunities and areas of growth that could come, or did come, from that failure. Make a new plan. Try, try again.
I'm rooting for you.