Why I am Calling B.S. on Failure and Why You Should Too

Amber Lilyestrom
by Amber Lilyestrom

It's the first day of a new month...and I just did something that most of the coaches and personal development gurus I know might say is crazy.

I have a board in my office with my big goals listed out on it (you know, the one I can see every day so I can focus hard and manifest it in to being) and I decided to wipe it out.

The numbers, dates and deadlines along with it.

I took our vision box and emptied its contents in to the trash.

No - I'm not having a midlife crisis and I'm definitely not throwing in the towel.

This purging and feeling of deep release is leading me in on a straight path to opening myself up for even more.

I am letting go of the conditions and what's more, the attachments that have affixed themselves to my goals themselves.

Like the tiny Remora fish next to its sizable host, The Great White Shark, our goals can at times bring with them uninvited conditions, partners and strings.

After spending the last 15 years of my life working with big dreamers and high achievers, I have witnessed more attachment and conditions riding sidecar to the big goals more times than I can count.

I've learned that when we envision our goals as finish lines and we map out the course with the corresponding deadlines for ourselves, there can be a tendency to see any outcome other than the trophy as a big ol' fat failure.

Have you been there?

We set our sights on the prize, we put our heads down,charge ahead, refusing to stop until we get there even when all signs are pointing to a course correction.

But what if we stopped because somewhere along the way we discovered that we didn't want to run that particular race anymore?

I can remember standing in the hallway of my corporate career...the name on the door, more meeting invites than I could keep up with and big expectations.

I was walking back to my office one day and I watched the big boss down the hallway. I watched him shaking hands and laughing and welcoming donors in to his office to talk about their investments in the upcoming capital campaign.

I can remember feeling like a lightning bolt hit me between the eyes…

I didn't want to sit in that chair.

I didn't want that life or career, yet here I was plugging away, day in and day out for it.

I was literally being groomed for that seat and I didn't want it.

Have you ever been in a space and time in your life when you were living a life that no longer belonged to you?

Our greatest opportunity is to develop a greater ability to listen to what we are being called to.

But here's the thing; when our commitment is to stay in alignment with our deepest truths at all times, we have to get really real about what is and isn't congruent for us to shift our trajectory.

What I mean is; we have to get honest when the goals we're chasing are no longer the goals we want.

And we have to be okay with wiping the slate clean, even if it means doing so before we've been able to check that box.

You see, my friends, everything is feedback, every single circumstance and event of your life is data:

  • The launch that flopped, that dream client and the nightmare one, too.
  • The way your body feels and looks.
  • The way you feel when your feet hit the floor in the morning.

Every single little strand of information is a feedback loop helping us navigate our lives and live more firmly planted in our truth.

When we look at life in this way, failure simply cannot exist.

When we are tenacious in our approach to experiencing life more fully, serving in an even bigger way and pivoting when we are called to pivot…our lives transform.

We begin to seek the "data" in our lives rather than the affirmations for our achievements.

When I gave my notice at my corporate career, it came as a surprise to some my colleagues, but the ones who really knew me...the ones who saw in to my heart, they could not have been more supportive.

It's funny what happens when we give ourselves permission to change course, to reroute and drive in the direction of what feels like home to us.

If you're feeling that urge to wipe the slate clean in some aspect of your life, career or business, I urge you to remind yourself that it's never a loss to start over with new information.

Trusting yourself is always a win.

And the wide open space where your old dreams used to live makes way for a whole new world of possibility.

About the Author: Amber Lilyestrom is a transformational branding & business strategist, writer and speaker. She has been featured in Entrepreneur and Working Mother Magazine and is the host of The Amber Lilyestrom Show podcast and helps entrepreneurs turn their passions in to heart-centered brands and thriving businesses.

From idea conception to the construction of the business and its digital landscape, Amber supports visionaries, leaders and disruptivators in changing the world and their lives.

Amber spent 10 years working in collegiate athletics marketing, managing the University of New Hampshire Wildcats brand, as well as teaching sports marketing and mentoring student interns. She was recognized as one of the top sports marketing professionals in the nation.

You can learn more and connect with Amber at www.amberlilyestrom.com.

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