3 steps to getting grounded & aligned in the midst of failure

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I used to see failure as a sign of weakness.

That it was a sign of not being good enough, or worthy of success.

 ...Or a sign I was on the wrong path and therefore obviously not meant to be taking this direction.

I used to see failure as being somehow final; that there was no other opportunity to learn or grow from the things that didn’t go as planned or turn out as I hoped.

How wrong I was.

On the path to living in alignment with our purpose and the ultimate expression of our truth, it’s easy to get caught up in the notion that things will be flowing and effortless all of the time.

This is a myth I’m calling complete B.S on.

Having the courage to take the road less traveled and carve out our own path in the world is an act of bravery.

Which often means….

  • Going against our rational thought processes which want to tell us we should be making ‘safer’ choices that give us a degree of certainty about the direction of our life.

  • Ignoring well-meaning advice from family and friends who tell us to quit or suggest maybe we’re not cut out for that life.
  • Finding a completely new tribe of people who get you and are there to encourage you and cheer you on as you venture down this new, exhilarating and completely out-of-your-depth path.
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There is no greater feeling than waking up each morning and being so excited about your day ahead, filled to the brim with things that light you up; energize you and being so aligned and connected with your purpose in the world.

This is your authentic truth and when we get closer to that truth, there is no turning back. There is no possibility about going back to our old life and being ok with accepting how things used to be.

Here’s the thing: what isn’t often talked about is that sometimes on this path, things may not be as easy or effortless as we had counted on.

We may face setbacks; challenges and roadblocks that we have no idea if we can even get past.

Then the self-doubt creeps in.

  • What if I’m not good enough?
  • Am I kidding myself that I can actually do this?
  • Who am I to be even doing this in the first place?
  • Maybe I should just give up now and cut my losses…

Sound familiar?

Ready for a truth bomb?

Failure is a sign of growth.

Failure is a sign we’re getting closer to the truth.

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And above all else - failure offers us the incredible opportunity to peel back the layers of ourselves and understand what we want, what lights us up and most importantly - what we don’t want.

The only “failure” is when we give up completely and don’t bother at all.

And where is the fun in that?!

Upon some digging I thought I’d share some stories of iconic women who faced rejection countless times on their path to success.

J.K Rowling.

J.K. Rowling went from being a jobless single mother living off unemployment benefits to one of the best selling authors of all time. But it didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t all smooth sailing. She faced rejection and had to master her craft for years before anyone noticed her. Her first publisher even told her to keep her day job as she wasn’t going to earn a living writing children's books.

Today, the Harry Potter series has earned over over $400 million in book sales, and the last movie alone earned $476 million dollars in ticket sales... on opening weekend. She was the first female to become a billionaire author, not that many authors make it that far in the first place.

Julia Childs.

Julia Childs was a late bloomer. She married her husband Paul when she was 34 and developed an interest in cooking when she realized her husband had been raised by a mother who knew how to cook.

By 36, she had developed a full blown passion for cooking, but the path to her success was not all rosy. She failed her first cooking exam at Le Cordon Bleu and her famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was rejected by several publishers before Alfred A. Knopf finally published the book in 1961 and it sold more copies than anyone had anticipated.

According to the New Yorker, critic Michael Field said it "surpasses every other American book on French cooking in print today."

Oprah.

The Queen herself, Oprah, who grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi, was fired in the early days of television broadcasting career back when she was an anchor, facing sexism and harassment.

To say she’s rebounded would be a complete understatement - she’s since gone on to be the undisputed queen of television talk shows and her OWN media empire now spans a magazine, television shows and podcasts.

Today, Forbes have estimated her net worth to be $3 billion.

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Failure is simply the universe asking us the question “how badly do you want it?”

If following our dreams and creating this vibrant and expansive life for ourselves was so easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

While this is true, it is also completely ok - and in fact mandatory - for you to take some time out; be compassionate towards yourself and make a decision on your best way forward.

When you find yourself at a crossroads, see this as an opportunity to pause and reflect on where you are at right now so you can get grounded with yourself and back into alignment with your biggest desires.

1. Re-connect with your desires.

Take some time to reconnect with yourself and your big dreams. When we find ourselves stuck in the doing and action all the time, it can feel completely overwhelming and chaotic.

In this space, we find ourselves having lost sight of the bigger picture with no space to breathe and it can feel extremely suffocating.

Take a step back, give yourself some space and get back to the core of your why.

Ask -

  • Why is this dream so important to me?

  • Am I creating the impact I set out to?

  • Am I still committed to this vision?

2. Reflect.

Pausing to reflect is the biggest gift we can give ourselves. When we’re caught in a state of overwhelm and confusion, the easy solution is to numb our feelings - and in doing so, we just end up avoiding how we truly feel about the situation.

While that bottle of wine {or insert your numbing weapon of choice} may seem like a good idea, it’s honestly not going to be where you find the answers you’re looking for.

Give yourself the time and space to now reflect on how you’re feeling right now and ask:

  • If I gave up now and walked away would I regret this in 5 / 10 / 20 years down the track?

  • Am I still wholeheartedly connected to this mission in the world?

  • What possibilities haven’t I considered before?

3. Re-align.

Once you’ve re-connected with what is most important to you and reflected on the possibilities that lie ahead; now is the time to begin cultivating a new vision that supports you showing up and expressing your most authentic self.

  • What needs to change for me to get back into alignment?

  • What do I need to let go of?

  • What do I need to start doing more of?

  • Where do I need to create boundaries to support myself on this path?

I hope this framework offers you the opportunity to take a step back and figure out what is most important to you.

Please know it is completely ok for you to change your mind; change direction or stop pursuing something that is no longer bringing you joy.

But also know that pursuing our path of purpose doesn’t always look as pretty as Instagram makes it out to be.

Trust yourself and have faith that you will be able to figure it out - you’ve got this!

Rachel x