A few of you know that becoming an author has been one of my biggest dreams and goals for a long time. I have always been a writer, actually. I still have short stories I wrote as a child and loads of poems (some published) that I have written over the years. In my last joint business venture as a co founder of a non profit organization, I wrote daily inspirations to empower people to live their best life. (Shout our to those #Living4TodayInspirations subscribers- there were over 3k of you!)
In 2017, I started a journey to become a published contributor of an anthology that sadly, never saw the light of day. I had sacrificed so much to be apart of the project as it cost me several thousands of dollars and my time, the latter being a precious commodity that I prefer not to waste. #keepingitreal Although my highest self knows that absolutely nothing is wasted, I am being clear about what it meant to participate in such a task with patience AND disappointment. I felt like I had tried something and failed. This was not a good feeling at all. In fact, it continues to be a sore spot for me that softens over time. How many of you have ever put yourself out there publicly and failed to deliver?
I decided, when the opportunity came to participate in a new book project, #PurposePushers, that I would commit with my whole heart to transcend a lot of the shame I felt over past failure in my life and wrote for healing the parts of myself that was still stuck there. I met the deadlines and took direction and mostly- I believed that my effort would be fruitful, even if it was to provide healing for my own soul and imprint a sense of accomplishment.
How many of you have ever put yourself out there publicly and failed to deliver?
Finally, I became what I set out to do. I did not allow past failures to dictate how I show up in the world. You can do this, too. Let me share just a few tips of how I transformed a “failure” into opportunities.
Remember Who You Are
Do you remember in the Wakanda movie, when T’Challa had to fight to become King? (I know, I know. It’s called #BlackPanther but I know half of you call it the same thing I do. 🤣) Anyway, he was getting his behind HANDED to him. I mean, it really looked like he was going to lose the fight. And then you saw the Queen Mother Ramonda passionately say to him “show him who you are”!! It was like something snapped on the inside of him and he to remember the divine on the INSIDE of him. #comeonsomebody
This is what you do when life hands you challenges to overcome. On everything you might be struggling with or going through, there has to be a sense of knowing and remembering the substance of things you are uniquely and wonderfully made of, friend. You have to remember who you are! Remind yourself of past wins, times when the glory of enduring outweighed the pain and shame of loss. Remind your self of all the beauty you possess inside. (I totally just sang that out loud. In my #whitney voice.)
Be Accountable To Yourself
Sometimes our greatest weakness is #askingforhelp because we don’t want to appear weak.
AND find someone who will keep you accountable. When I committed to keep writing, I wrote down my goals. I examined why I wanted to accomplish this task. I visualized what it would mean to get it done. I wrote down some of the things that would potentially trip me up - like procrastination and fear- and gave myself deadlines to get small things done that I knew would add up to the big things.
And then... I told a trusted friend of what I wanted to do and asked for their help in keeping me on task and focused. Sometimes our greatest weakness is #askingforhelp because we don’t want to appear weak. Get out of your own way. No man is an island. And trust me, exposing your goals to trusted advisors helps solidify the action to get them achieved. It’s so dope to not only root for yourself but have others in your corner to do the same. This keeps you accountable to what you say you are going to do. What I know is this: Accountability + Action = Wins. And that’s not that funny, new math either. It’s tested and true.
Release the Shame
Holding on to all those times when you coulda, shoulda, but DID NOT does not serve you and the new reality waiting for YOU to create it. At the #purposepushers book launch, I was asked “How did I know what to write about or what story to tell?“ To me, it was simple, I had to write about the thing that was causing me the most pain! The very thing I wanted to hide my head in the sand because I was ashamed of it! It represented a time in my life when I wanted to DIE because I thought I messed up so bad. Telling my story helped me release all of that 🚽. It no longer had power over me. Most of all, I knew that I wasn’t the only who had gone through something like this and my story of triumph over it would bring healing to so many. I know because it did for me.
Celebrate The Wins
One of the things I had a tendency to do was overlook accomplishments and downplay success. How many of you find it hard to “toot your own horn”? 🙋🏾♀️ Welp. Now is the time to put all that behind you. I don’t care if your small goal was to finally clean out the mobile junk yard you call a car and you did it! That calls for a celebration. You know why? You #tookaction and decided to make a change. Creighton Adams said that the best way to eat an elephant is to eat it one bite at a time. The small wins add up to hugantic (yeah, I made that one up but you get the visual) accomplishments and that calls for celebrating you! When I cross things off on my list, I like to take the time to pamper myself with an act of #selfcare. I pick something that delights my soul (walking in nature, going to a museum, treating myself to a yummy meal, discovering a new park to bike ride, creating art projects or making stuff or getting a 90 minute massage (yesssss). The point is #youdeserve and it helps program your mind to the psychology of winning in life.
This was just a few ways I created opportunities for myself out of failures. I totally kept this in the forefront of my understanding when I became a co author of the Purpose Pushers: The Joy of Discovering & Walking In Your Life’s Purpose. I knew that I was made to lead others to a deeper discovery of themselves as I do the same for myself. We are uniquely made for a purpose and I hope that wherever you are in the process of discovering or walking in your purpose, that you create so many opportunities from failures. (Air quotes around that word ’cause it’s not real...but I digress. That is a whole ‘nother blog post.)
And since you are still reading this, I just want to say THANK YOU for affirming me and acknowledging me on my path to purpose. It feels so good in my soul to experience your love and support. 🥰 #allthefeels
Now, go on and be great! You got this!! - Remember Who You Are
- Be Accountable to Yourself
- Release The Shame
- Celebrate The Wins
And if you need more push towards your purpose,
just ask. :)