I’m still coming out of holiday mode and all of what was 2020 because let’s be real – it was A YEAR! A year I was quite happy to say goodbye to. A new year tends to bring a whirlwind of excitement for the success and possibilities that lie ahead, which inevitably brings failures.

I don’t say that from the lens of the glass half empty. Quite the opposite. I was inspired by a post I saw the other day that showed success and failures as building blocks that go together which made me think of this new year.

This year in particular which, follows one of the most devasting years the world experienced in modern history, seems so much more significant as we await a new world following a pandemic. With that comes the idea of what success looks like in a re-imagined world. 

The pressure that’s upon us thanks to an unrealistic work culture and society’s bombarding message to continue to move forward like a freight train coupled with our own pressure because 2020 was a shit show is hard to ignore.

Can we make peace with this idea:

Pressure is unnecessary and does nothing to support you in achieving your own success. With the success that we personally experience, and what we hope to see globally, failure is part of the game.

Only this time we understand that the vision of success we hold for ourselves, for the year ahead, is much more sustainable without the pressure. And any failures we may face along the way are opportunities to learn on our way to success.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a CEO or a stay-at-home mom, we’ve heard ten times over that failures are learning opportunities. Yet we don’t honour them often enough. We don’t talk about it enough. 

And we’re seeing failure on a global scale in a big way from institutions and systems that are collapsing for new to be rebuilt. Why? Because they’re not sustainable and they’ve been failing us for years.

All this to say, what we define as success (or what we’ve been taught about what it looks like), failure is often a part of the journey on the way to achieving it.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue on that counts.”

Winston Churchill

Ok, so you might be asking, “Lisa, that’s great, but how does this apply to me and my own success?”

Here’s how. I invite you to think about how failures can shape your next steps, your next choice, your next decision and even your next thought. For this year and beyond. 

A few questions to ask yourself as you work your way towards success:

  1. What can I learn from this experience? The most obvious question must always be asked. What insights can you gather? What nuggets of wisdom can you take from this experience?

2. What did I learn about myself? There’s learning from a failure as a whole experience and then there’s dissecting it to pull specific insights. What stands out as a lesson or opportunity that you learned about yourself from this experience?

3. Where did you ignore a yellow or even red flag and should have trusted yourself instead? Oooff! This one always hits home for me. When you look back at a failure, where do you think, “Shit, I knew I shouldn’t have done X or should have done Y.”

4. Where did you go at it alone and not ask for support? Sometimes there are things we *need* to do ourselves and other times, we can absolutely ask for support. The keyword here is, ask. We don’t have to do it all alone. Sometimes the assumption, the risk or the idea of asking for support makes us feel or act a certain way and ends up being the sole reason we don’t ask for support at all.

5. What will you do differently moving forward? The icing on the cake! You’re not stopping here just because you had a mishap or a failure along your journey. Take the learnings and insights from the questions listed here and apply the lessons to your next step.

We have a full year ahead to plan, imagine and create a new. I think it’s fair to say on a global scale and every facet that affects us collectively and individually there is still so much unknown.

The pressure to have everything all figured out as you plan and work towards your dreams you can drop like a bad habit. The failures that you may face along the way to achieving your success, I hope propel you with more vigour and better insights for your next steps.

Excited for the year ahead, with so much appreciation.

Lisa 💞

I’d love to hear from you! From the list of questions above, is there one that stands out when looking back on a misstep or failure you experienced? If not, what’s a question you normally ask to help you move forward? Let me know in the comments below.

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