Tag Archives: your purpose

I am a failure… that’s why I succeed.

I have failed. I have failed so many times in my life that I could make a list. I have failed as a good person, as a good wife, as a good mother and as a career woman. Thank you God, that I have failed.

Failure is my teacher and I have learned so much from my failures. When I don’t learn the lesson the first time, a pattern of failure in that area results, until I finally "get it". Each lesson brings with it wisdom and personal growth. Other failures have forced doors to close in order for me to turn around and see the window of opportunity open behind me.

For example: I failed to get selected for a Masters in Clinical Psychology in 1999. During my time off, I wrote the first draft of my manuscript which is now my published book.

Failure in small business ventures forced my attention back to my studies. It’s also worth mentioning that by now I would be desperately unhappy as a clinical psychologist, not my forte at all.
Again I failed selection in 2004 to a B.Hons course (I would essentially redo my honours, with field work, to better my chances of Masters selection at that university).
I decided to do some research, and apply to do a Masters with thesis only, no coursework. I struggled to gain support from faculty, get the guidance I needed, and be inspired and motivated by the existing research themes. I hit rock bottom emotionally. I felt a complete failure.
Then the messages came loud and clear. A few comments here, invitations there, opportunities knocking, signs appearing… I again looked at the manuscript. This time I made a decision and actually INTENDED to publish the book. I gave it my focused ATTENTION and left the details to a higher power. I believed in the result and lived as if it already had occurred. I turned my biggest career failure into my biggest career success thus far.

I am thankful that I am a failure. If I hadn’t failed when I did I would be working as a clinical psychologist, feeling unfulfilled, and never realising my dream of writing a book. I thought that was what I wanted but my talents and strengths are further removed. Hindsight is 20/20 that is why we need to trust our instincts and surrender to the flow once in a while. We don’t always know what is good for us and often chase the wrong dreams.
As for my Masters dreams, I still have them and I fully intend completing my MA and possibly Phd one day. However, it will be when I am ready and only if I am inspired to research a theme that interests ME! My focus now is more on mind/body connections and consciousness, very far from the clinical work I would have been involved in. I am still interested in developmental and family psychology as a counsellor, but I have found other ways to meet the same needs.
I also fail in other areas of my life. My failure as a wife has resulted in a very happy and rewarding marriage. My failure as a mother is the hardest challenge to deal with emotionally. However, I know deep in my heart that as I fail and make mistakes, so too I become more the mother I need to be. As long as I remain committed and open to learning from my failures, I know that I will succeed.
So are you a failure? How can you pay attention and turn those failures into success?
  1. Be grateful when you fail, the opportunity for learning has presented itself;
  2. Be open-minded when your way is blocked – is it possible that your unfulfilled dream is not in line with your needs, talents or strengths? Is it just a matter of poor timing?


  3. Ask the questions and allow the answers to come naturally. Why have I failed? What can I learn? How can I improve? How do I feel about this?


  4. Say "yes" to opportunity and see where it might lead – signs are everywhere. I said "yes" when I wanted to say "no" and it led to me rewriting my manuscript into the publishable book.
  5. If you feel the going is too much of a struggle, then look within. Do you actually know what you want? Do you know what your dreams should be? Are you chasing the dreams of others based on what they think is in your best interests?

It goes without saying that in life you have to be very much in touch with who you are and what you want out of life. If you are not in tune to yourself then you will not notice the signs leading the way to your dreams.

 Some basic signs that you are NOT on the right path include: 

  • Struggling to wake up and get up in the morning;
  • Numbing your emotions with alcohol or drugs on a regular basis to unwind, destress or just forget;
  • A lack of enjoyment or participation in activities that previously brought you joy;
  • Apathy, boredom and lethargy in general most days of the week.

Burn your personal brand

These are not my words but they speak so intimately to my heart and where I am professionally and spiritually, I had to share…

“Make a Bonfire of Your Reputations”By John Jay Chapman, Commencement Address to the graduating class at Hobart College, 1900

“When I was asked to make this address I wondered what I had to say to you boys who are graduating. And I think I have one thing to say: If you wish to be useful, never take a course that will silence you. Refuse to learn anything that implies collusion, whether it be a clerkship or a curacy, a legal fee or a post in a university. Retain the power of speech no matter what other power you may lose. If you can take this course, and in so far as you can take it, you will bless this country. In so far as you depart from this course you become dampers, mutes, and hooded executioners.

“As a practical matter a mere failure to speak out upon occasions where no opinion is asked or expected of you, and when the utterance of an uncalled-for suspicion is odious, will often hold you to a concurrence in palpable iniquity. Try to raise a voice that will be heard from here to Albany and watch what comes forward to shut off the sound. It is not a German sergeant, nor a Russian officer of the precinct. It is a note from a friend or your father’s offering you a place in his office. This is your warning from the secret police. Why, if any of you young gentleman have a mind to make himself heard a mile off, you must make a bonfire of your reputations and a close enemy of most men who would wish you well.

“I have seen ten years of young men who rush out into the world with their messages, and when they find how deaf the world is, they think they must save their strength and wait. They believe that after a while they will be able to get up on some little eminence from which they can make themselves heard. “In a few years,” reasons one of them, “I shall have gained a standing, and then I will use my powers for good.” Next year comes and with it a strange discovery: The man has lost his horizon of thought. His ambition has evaporated; he has nothing to say. I give you this one rule of conduct: Do what you will, but speak out always. Be shunned, be hated, be ridiculed, be scared, be in doubt, but don’t be gagged. The time of trial is always. Now is the appointed time.

It is always now. Now is the plain whereupon enlightened leaders join battle against those ideas that would keep humanity from its ascention: scarcity, lack, fear, separation. I count myself among those leaders. Do you?

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