How Failure Taught Me To Believe In Myself
In 2017, I "failed" quite a lot.
At many different. And sometimes, at the same things many times.
But every time after failing, I got up again.
At first, it took me months to get back up again. And then the timeline got shorter each time.
Now, it only takes me a few hours or days to get back up and running again, depending on the situation.
The reason why it took me months to gather myself again in the beginning was because I didn't believe in myself, so self-doubt clouded my judgment and behavior.
But after failing at so many times so many different times, I started to build resilience and become patient with myself.
I also learned that I had to be more patient and kind to myself.
On some days, you need to give yourself that tough love and keep going.
And on other days, you need to make yourself a cup of ramen and remind yourself that you're not a failure.
Failing does not make you a failure, so don't let it become your identity.
It doesn't matter how many times you failed.
What matters is if you choose to get up again and if you believe in yourself.
Because if you truly believe in yourself, you'll keep going no matter what.
No matter what anyone else says.
No matter what your own fears say.
No matter how hopeless it might all seem on some days.
Because you know that deep down in your heart, it's possible. That you can make it happen.
Failure has a way of making you feel like you're stupid and that everyone else is just better than you, but it's just a feeling and not reality.
And the only way it becomes a reality is if you let it.
So don't let it become your reality.
I know, I know.
Easier said than done.
Because there were a few times last year when I wanted to give up.
I was ready to throw in the towel. And for a while, I did.
I stopped writing blog posts.
I stopped coming up with new ideas.
I stopped talking to people.
I was done.
And I didn't want to think about it anymore.
So what brought me back here?
And more importantly, what kept me going?
While I was gone, I was working on another project with a couple of friends.
And then I went to Europe in November, and that's when everything changed.
I knew deep down (although I didn't want to admit it at the time) that I had stopped working on Wholehearted Woman was because I had "failed" so many times in 2017 that I didn't believe in myself anymore.
And I was scared.
I was terrified of failing again.
That's where having patience and being kind to yourself comes in.
Because I was showing up and doing the work, but I was expecting the moon and back of myself.
I was being the boss I didn't want, and I was living a life that I didn't want either.
And it was giving me anxiety. I was literally making myself anxious and not excited to get out of bed every morning.
In Europe, I made a decision that things were going to be different. That I was going to be different.
I knew that I couldn't give up.
I've always wanted my own blog - and as much as I say I hate writing or that I suck at writing, I actually do enjoy it. And other people seem to know it too. (P.S. Thank you for reading my blog!)
And I just knew that if I gave up on myself, if I really gave up, then it would leave a bad taste in myself.
There's nothing that says "I don't believe in you" to yourself quite like you giving up on yourself.
So I told myself that things needed to change when I came back from Europe.
I couldn't be wishy washy about things anymore.
I couldn't have one foot in and one foot out anymore.
I couldn't keep doing what I was doing and hoping for different results.
Y'know what also really helped me? Knowing that other people took time to get to where they are now.
We all want to believe and buy into the "overnight success" dream, but it's not real.
And the more we tell ourselves that it's real, the more disappointed we're going to be in the end.
The people you admire? They had to work to get there.
They had to show up on the days even when they didn't feel like it, even when no one was cheering them on, even when other people didn't believe in them.
They had to believe in themselves enough to keep going.
I've given up on a lot of things in my life - photography, nutrition school, hand-lettering.
And sometimes I think to myself, "If you hadn't given up, if you had just keep going, imagine where you would be by now?"
Because it's not that I lack the skill or knowledge or even talent (and this isn't me trying to put myself on a pedestal).
What it ultimately comes down to is:
Do you believe in yourself?
Are you willing to go in all? Put both your feet in the water?
Are you willing to be patient and play the long game?
Do you believe in yourself enough to make it happen knowing it won't happen immediately?
Failure taught me that everyone fails, and anyone who says it's easy and fast is full of themselves. (And they're probably trying to sell you something.)
You will fail along the way, but if you keep going and believing in yourself, it will pay off in the end. Because actions speak for themselves.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
I'd love to hear from you.
What has failure taught you?
Hi there! I'm Molly, the founder of Wholehearted Woman. I help women show up online in a way that looks good and feels good too.
Be the voice you needed to hear when you were younger and share your story. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable, because it could change someone's life.