About This Series
The journey towards ‘balance’ seems to come up often as I work with leaders and young professionals. Early on, I always assumed balance meant that we gave parts of our lives equal attention, especially with the on-going, ambiguous, and somewhat unhelpful “work/life” balance discussion. Recently though, I’ve come to find that balance is more a state of mind, and it has to do with how you perceive and feel about the rhythm of your life, your work, and your service. Balance is an individualized pursuit and a science of one.
So to that end, I thought I would offer a second mini-series exploring the eight areas identified by the ‘Wheel of Life’ as I’ve had some new insights about the topic for leaders and individuals. I also want to bring in some new voices and experts on these topics. For this week, I invited my coaching colleague and classmate, Jessica Aikin of Surrender to Sunday, to explore the concept of how failing in the right direction can help us take the first step in Personal Growth. I love her approach to the excitement of taking risk and the energy behind making these powerful to decisions.
Failing in the Right Direction
by Jessica Aikin, Intuitive Coach, Surrender to Sunday
Charlie Day, creator of Always Sunny in Philadelphia, gave a commencement speech at his alma mater, Merrimack College. Not only was it hilarious, it had an even greater message: in order to achieve our dreams we must be willing to fail in the right direction.
Fail in the right direction. Meaning it is so much easier to fail towards someone else’s dream. Someone else’s life. Someone else’s path. But our personal success is directly related to the willingness and courage to fail at our OWN dreams. To fail in the direction of the person that you really are, the person that you really want to be, and the person that you know deep down you can become. This is huge. Mainly because we are sold a different dream so early on: go to school, get a well paying job, make money, buy stuff, make more money, buy bigger stuff, and continue on this treadmill until hopefully you can retire. I’m exhausted after even writing that sentence. And most people never stop to question this decision.
There are three layers to the masks we wear as human beings: who we pretend we are, who we are afraid we are, and who we really are. And getting through that layer of fear down into the juicy center of truth, the center of pure being, generates a lot of resistance!
The reason that so many people end up living their lives erring on mediocrity is simple. Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being an imposter. Fear of failure. But guess what? Fear. Is. Boring. That’s right! Everyone gets to feel fear. You, me, lizards. Fear is the common denominator of our limbic system, our reptilian brain. Fear is a given.
As we ascend in consciousness we are granted a choice. And that choice is to feel the fear, but to take action anyway. What would you do today, even though you’re afraid? Hell, maybe even because you’re afraid.
Working with the Wheel of Life as a coaching tool can help clarify areas that need improvement. This tool gives us a bird’s eye view on the different “compartments” of our lives. We may be excelling in personal relationships, but our finances need attention. Totally fine. Ask yourself in those areas that need improvement- how can I take one action today that I am afraid of doing?
By applying the principle of failing in the right direction we create small measurable changes that lead to monumental shifts. After all, it is the action that changes us.