Creativity KAL ~ Week 4
Hi everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. I turned 37 and celebrated with a small group of friends. It felt nice to see my good friends here at our new home, because last week I was starting to feel like, eek where am I, I don't know anyone etc etc etc. It was a fun night and I felt so much love from my friends. On another note, the wifi is up and running in my office and I finally feel somewhat more settled in the house. There are countless boxes left to unpack but nothing urgent left to unpack. It's really pretty and I'm excited to have space and be surrounded by a little more nature.
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. In my last interview with Andrea Mowry, she also said something to this effect - she reframes her thoughts when she feels stressed. When coming to terms with the cyber fraud I just experienced, I now try to think, how has this made me better and what has this experience taught me. I used to repeat my failures, especially a big one like this, over and over again in my mind - beating myself up and replaying it all daily. Now I choose to look at those mistakes as my best teacher and to let them go. I feel a sense now that no matter what happens, I'll always be Ok. Before I lived with much more fear and I really let it affect how I felt day to day. Truthfully nothing has changed about the fears, my business is still on tenuous ground but I have changed my mindset around my fears drastically. Now I like to to just say to myself, whatever happens and whatever comes up, it's Ok. I'll let it go and be fine. I admit, some days are easier than others here.
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 have heard echoed in many of the books I have read/listened too. It has helped me get through tough things - there's always a silver lining, even if that is just an opportunity to learn. It's comforting for me to feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be despite whatever mistakes and failures have come my way. You really never know what experience will pave the way for the next awesome thing in your life.
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. Just a funny side note, Ryan Holiday, found out I was a fan through IG and has sent me every one of his books (HOW COOL IS 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 my own path, that's just right for me. 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