Creativity KAL Thoughts ~ Week 4
Hi everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. I just touched down in India and of course woke up at 3am with serious jet lag but it's all good. I used it as an opportunity to catch up on my emails...there were hundreds! Once I make it through the holidays, I think I'll be looking back on this time as some of the craziest work weeks I've ever had. Been a good lesson to myself to slow down a little and say no to more. On to this week's topic - getting through failure and hardship. Each week on the podcast, I ask my guest how they cope and get through these times. It's so interesting to hear people open up about tough times and how they managed. I think about this a lot, as a parent - how do I teach my boys to cope with this well and also as a business owner - I'm constantly dealing with failures or putting out fires - I think that just comes with the territory. So here is what I've learned on my own and through my guests.
For about a year or so, I've shifted the way I think about hardships and failures from 'this is happening TO me' to 'this is happening FOR me'. I'm not sure where I picked this one up but it's had an effect. When coming to terms with the business debt I have and thinking about those years where I accumulated it, I now try to think, how has this made me better and what has this experience taught me. I used to just repeat my failures in this area over and over again in my mind - beating myself up and replaying it all daily. I would say to myself, how could I be so dumb and naive. I can't change the past though, it happened, I messed up big time. Now I choose to look at those mistakes as my best teacher. They taught me to be crazy careful about my finances and to focus and not to try too many things at once. I'm positive that that experience makes me a better parent too. I recently listened to an interesting podcast (but warning, a little out there!). The podcast was the Lively Show, episode 242 with Jacob Lieberman. In that episode he said something along the lines of, "Life provides us with what we need in our to experience to live our maximum potential – this is not always obvious to us." I think that's something I believe deep down and it has helped me get through tough things - there's always a silver lining, even if that is just an opportunity to learn. A little woo woo, I know!
There is one book that I talk about a lot on the podcast called The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. It's had a profound effect on how I think about hardships as well. This quote is my favorite: “Everything that happens is a chance to move forward, even if it is on a bearing that you did not anticipate. We must try to be objective, to control your emotions and keep an even keel, to choose to see the good in a situation, to steady your nerves, to place things in perspective, to revert to the present moment, to focus on what you can control. This is how you see the opportunity within the obstacle” I don't think I could say it any more eloquently than that. The idea of keeping things in perspective and controlling your emotions is so good. Can we keep the broader perspective and realize that even within a week, definitely within a year, this pain will fade. Sometimes in my own life when something particularly bad happens, I let myself have a 'mourning' period. I allow myself to be upset, cry etc but the next morning (or whenever all the bad emotions have passed) I pick myself back up and try to follow this, seeing the best in the situation and focusing on what I can control to make it better.
Alright lastly there's a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert that I want to add to. She says, "Failure has a function. It asks you if you want to go on making things." It's so good! If you're anything like me, making things is just part of who I am. I would still do it if I failed forever at it because I can't not do it. I love creating kooky yarns, knitting, and running a small business. Most of all I love feeling like I am creating the life I want, exactly as I want it to be. Sure, I have a seriously long way to go but I love feeling that I'm on the right path. Does that idea resonate with you? Does this post help you cope at all? How do you normally think about and cope with failure? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Big Hugs ~ Amy