I Need to Talk to You About Failure

Monday, January 18, 2016

I need to talk to you about failure. 

I need to talk to you about the places that don’t feel happy, the places that hurt, and the things that don’t bring me joy. 

I’ve talked to you about it before.

I no longer write about those who have hurt me. I figure it isn’t my job to point out their lessons…

When I wrote about my failures in other places, I wonder…Maybe it was too hard to read? 

Maybe you felt as though I’m being hard on myself? 

Maybe you didn’t want to read those things because it brought up too much of your own difficult feelings? 

Maybe you just felt cheated seeing me write about failure because self-help authors are supposed to be beacons of hope, a shining light or positive example for all?

I still need to talk about it. Yep. 

It’s a process to let it go, and I’m not really sure I ever will let it go 100%…and I’m okay with that. 

There’s some things about failure that are easy to understand or reframe on an intellectual level. Here’s some of them:

*There’s no such thing as failure. It’s just learning.
*Those who are a success just didn’t give up.
*When you don’t learn the lessons, they just repeat.
*When you’re about to give up, you’re very close to succeeding. 
*It takes 15 years to become a success.

You see, I’ve read all that stuff too. I get it. 

I’m very self-aware. I know I’m a perfectionist. I’ve been to therapy. I’ve worked with life coaches. I’ve gone to healers. I’m certified as a coach and in other modalities. 

Also, I’ve done the homework assignments diligently from hundreds, if not thousands of self-help books since I was 10 years old. 

I’ve done affirmations, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), hypnotherapy, visualization, and prayed…and everything in between.

Guess what? I still feel like a total failure. 

The only way I feel like I’m a success is that I’m a messy human. I’m an imperfect human being having a human experience. 

I’ve decided to love myself anyway, even with all my faults and mistakes.

I feel like a failure when or because…
*I didn't sleep well.
*I needed coffee to wake up in the morning. 
*I went over my calories by 100 the other day.
*I don’t workout every day.
*I currently have a sinus infection. Clearly, my immune system sucks! 
*I have only been able to do 5-10 minutes of yoga due to being sick.
*I closed my online business end of 2015.
*I have a negative review on Amazon of my book. 
*I haven’t been grocery shopping in a few weeks, due to stress and illness. 
*When my mom and others died last year, I prayed and well, they still died.
*I’m not supposed to eat gluten. I ate a bite of an English muffin that was supposed to be and it wasn’t during a recent meal at a restaurant. 
*I have a lemon in the refrigerator that I need to toss out. 
*There’s dust on my shelves.
*My laundry is overflowing. 
*I have books that I’ve not read as of yet.
*I’ve lost a ton of my hair and it’s slowly growing out, not quickly like the photos I’ve seen of folks taking the same supplement I’m taking. 
*My photos in this blog aren’t sized perfectly. 
*I have a scab on my face. I also have a mole that I’m not sure if I should remove it. I think it’s ugly. 
*I still have about five pounds to lose, even though I’ve lost close to 30. 
*My husband and I still have spats from time to time. Even though we work it out, I still feel like a failure.
*I bought cute clothes the past 7-10 years and now, they’re too big. Instead of rejoicing, I feel guilty because it feels like a waste of money.
*I don’t earn a lot of money.
*I feel guilty that part of me wants to relocate to Ann Arbor, Michigan, my college town, just because I like it there and it makes me feel more alive. 
*The pores on my nose are big, even though I use a professional grade exfoliant. 
*I wear my pajamas a lot. I don’t put on makeup daily. Some days, I don’t brush my hair. 
*I sometimes need to take a nap.
*I’m not 100% healed of my post-publishing disappointment. I have one or two percent left to fix.
*I bought business online courses and didn't finish them.
*Some of my family members don’t or won’t talk to me.
*My mom passed in June 2015 and I still cry about it every now and then.
*I’m never going to have children. I don’t feel badly, but in some people’s eyes, I’m a failure as a woman. 
*I don’t cook dinner every night. Sometimes, we go out to eat.
*My two indoor plants died recently. 
*I had to give up athletic careers due to chronic fatigue and injuries.
*I had to give up my massage and bodywork career due to injuries.
*I had to give up the raw vegan diet after two years in 2007, due to inflammation from eating too many seeds and nuts.
*I take medications for my thyroid and menstrual cramps.
*I take tons of vitamins. Clearly, I don’t get all my nutrients in my diet alone.
*I was severely anemic in 2015 and so, I’m working to heal that. (I almost ended up in the hospital). 
*I’ve lost several friends and acquaintances over the years. 
*I’ve had anxiety and depression in the past. I’m working through grief right now. 
*I’ve not mastered guitar as of yet. I’m a work in progress, but by now, shouldn’t I be really, really good?
*I’m not a soprano singer. Yeah, I’m mezzo. Even so, I’m bummed I don’t sing raspy like Janis Joplin. 
*I made a few mistakes on guitar during my first open mic last fall.
*I had to have two root canals, two new crowns, and two fillings in 2015. My one filling failed, hence one of my root canals. New crowns were needed on the teeth that had root canals. Ugh. I had five months of pain, sinus infections, migraines, insomnia, watery eyes, fatigue, and emotional processing. Yeah, the teeth will make you emotional!
*I have anger that I’ve not processed.
*In the past, I’ve allowed some people, especially men, to really hurt me and in some cases, even abuse me. 
*I’ve only seen some of my distant relatives at weddings and funerals. 
*I have some wrinkles after losing so much weight. It’s nice to be skinny, but wrinkles suck.
*I’ve deleted some of stuff online, including social media profiles or made some things private.
*I have tons of clutter to sort through, mostly of the sentimental or memory clutter variety.
*I have racing bicycles and I rarely touch them. I walk and do yoga these days. 
*I have tons of books, class notes, and supplies from past careers that I never refer to and it’s hard for me to get rid of them.
*I’m not always patient or loving.
*I don’t meditate daily.
*I don’t write in my journals daily.
*I haven’t done art in while.
*I have rubber stamps and inks that I don’t use much, along with supplies from past hobbies that aren’t being used. 
*I’ve never sold my art or any prints of it even.
*I’ve not seen all 50 states in the United States.
*I’ve not visited many countries. 
*I gave up my career as a coach, speaker, and author. 
*I have a juicer and don’t use it as much as I’d like to use it. 
*I’m not able to speak my truth to everyone.
*I hold back and don’t always share my true self with others.
*I’ve been watching lots of television during the winter on DVD (binge watching). 
*My skin is dry in the winter, including my cuticles.
*I’m not always positive. 

I could go on and on about why I’m a failure or feel that way.

I don’t write about this to make anyone feel sorry for me. It’s just how it is. It’s how I am and I’m okay with it. 

I’m no longer trying to live a Pinterest life, one that is perfect, pretty, tidy, and always inspiring. 

My heart isn’t perfect, but it still, it loves as much as it can. 

My body is small, but it can give big bear hugs.

My spirit feels tired, but it still tries.

My mind feels weak, but it carries me forward. 

My house is a bit dusty and cluttered, but it still has beauty.

My wings are a bit broken, but they’re on the mend.

Life is just this way…

You just keep doing your best. 

“Failure” is an option,


(copyrighted 2016 by Lisa Selow)

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