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Failing Into Place
Are we "failing" or "falling" into place?
The human experience is met and measured by a plethora of standards. Some of those standards align with our individual moral values, while others don't quite seem to fit. Yet when it's pointed out to us that we did not meet the standards, we try to adjust ourselves to meet the status quo. Making such adjustments serves us no good and leaves us feeling foreign in our mind, body, and soul. Remember that the mind, body, and soul are one. Meaning we cannot operate fully in ourselves if any one of those becomes affected. Missing any part of us will cause a break in our internal guide, creating a void deep within. And sometimes, that void is filled quickly with the illusion that we've failed. Slowing down our process to discover who we are and what we are cable of doing.
By the standards of society, I have "failed" many times. From school to career, to what I should obtain by certain ages, and how I should and should not behave. For a long time, I believed I had to mold myself to attain such societal standards. I would pick myself apart, trying to figure out what I needed to change about myself — driving myself crazy in the process. I didn't want to feel the pressure of failing, so I adapted to the idea of making myself small. I felt that if I made myself appear small, no one would be able to compare me to anything or anyone; however, that was not necessarily the case. Although making yourself small for others' sake seems like the safe thing to do, it's not. It isolates you from exploring and experiencing your greatness. Not only will the outside world compare you, but you will start to compare yourself to whatever standard you decide to believe. Unfortunately, that's what happened to me.
Mentally, I felt like I was in a constant cycle of failing and couldn't measure up to what the outside world wanted me to be. Heck, I couldn't even measure up to the person I envisioned myself being. My self-esteem took a turn for the worse, and I became frustrated with how my life was going. I remember crying to my mom, asking her, "What's wrong with me? Why can't I get it right?" My mom would always answer, "Nothing is wrong with you, Racquel, and you're not doing anything wrong. You are who you are, and it's okay if your process is different." From my point of view, it seemed that my peers were surpassing me while I was left behind at step one. Although my mom would encourage me and tell me everything was okay, I still questioned what I might be doing wrong. The questioning of self would show up when I faced a situation that didn't have a positive outcome of my decision. I made my process difficult and progress slow, all because I saw my way of living life as failing.
Anytime someone came along to "correct" (more like fine-tuning) or redirected me about something I was doing, I saw it as though I had made an unfixable mistake and that I had ruined my life (I know, pretty dramatic). From teachers at school, bosses at work, strangers' opinions, and sometimes family. The unnecessary pressure I placed on myself as a young girl followed me through my adulthood and heavily influenced how I saw myself. But, as my perspective grew, I realized that no one was correcting me because I had done something irredeemable. Honestly, everyone was trying to help.
Now I will say that hearing the word "no" was my biggest hurdle in feeling like a failure. Especially early on in my career. I had placed a lot of value in my work, which became the determining factor of my self-worth. To pour my efforts into what I love and for the result to sometimes be a no brought up self-doubt. I questioned if I was supposed to be pursuing my career at all. Thinking in that way only delayed my process and stole my joy. I noticed that I did this start-and-stop cycle with everything I did in my life. One day I would feel motivated to see it through, but most other days, I wouldn't. I'd go months without paying what I truly desired any attention, all because my process didn't appear to be successful. The only way to know if you will succeed at anything is to never give up, no matter how your process looks.
Once I realized that I had complete control over self, things started to change for me. I became more consistent with myself and the work that I was doing. If I face a "no" or get redirected, I don't take it personally anymore. I'll review my steps to see what I can do differently and listen to the suggestion that someone gives me to see where I can apply them. It took me some time to realize that "failing" at something didn't mean that I was terrible at it, but rather "failing" was guiding me through my growth process. Failing isn't one thing or the other because it truly depends on an individual's journey in life. I believe we aren't failing but falling into place because each life experience provides us with a new perspective. Meaning we're growing and developing who we need to be for where we are going in life.
If you are facing what appears to be failing, pause, take a moment, and assess the situation. Allow the lesson to be revealed to you. It may be that you're being guided to make changes from within. So as you fall into place, always remember to be purposely you.
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