Hey friend, how'd the week go? 🌱
First, a huge welcome to the folks who signed up this past week. Thanks for being here. It means the entire world that you share this with friends and teammates.
This week, two things went well for me, both beautiful and soothing in their own way:
- A cold front came through—unheard of in Nicaragua.
- I reconnected with a handful of people I admire: delightful, whip smart, and encouraging to a fault. (More on this later.)
On the flip side, two things were tough this week:
- I got a cold and spent days in bed. I made good use of the time by reading through my mental health training, which I'm loving.
- But before I got sick, I played photographer for a DTC brand. My hands were shaking in fear, enough to make 75% of the photos blurry, but the rest are on point. I'm patting myself on the back for building muscle around moving forward through self-doubt. Bonus that my boys are kewt models?
But let's be real, this is what we usually look like:
I know I said I wanted to feel "free" this year, but I didn't expect it to all come so quickly. We're only 22 days into 2023, and things are happening.
Which leads me to this week's topic, something I'm personally navigating now:
How do I overcome failure and keep pushing forward?
Before we get into it, a giant shoutout to Social Nomads, this week's sponsor, who's bringing my work to a wider audience through short-form video. A must-have for conscious entrepreneurs wanting to reach their target audience.
And a request: if you know someone who is working on themselves this year, forward them this email. Let's empower more friends to do their own self-work. 👏
Alright, onto the fun stuff.
I'll tell you a story, and you tell me if it was a failure or not.
In 2015, I started podcasting. I'd never done it before, so I learned how to record, edit and book guests. I interviewed dozens of entrepreneurs on managing the ups and downs of the creative journey. It was a blast and made me feel alive.
But I was forced to take a break when I got morning sickness with my 2nd child. I tried to pick it up again when I felt better but lost steam.
In 2019, I started a new podcast, this time about spirituality. It had more traction than the first one and was even more fun to record because of its vulnerability. I was inching closer to my true self.
Again, I was forced to give it up when I got an even more severe form of morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) with my 3rd child. My illness lasted longer, and then the pandemic hit. Podcast over.
I did all that podcasting for the warm fuzzies and never made a dime.
Fast forward to summer 2021. I had regained my health, my children's school reopened, and I was ready to explore new work opportunities.
And I got hired by someone I'd interviewed on both podcasts—a lovely experience that challenged and healed so many limiting beliefs I had around work and people in business.
So, you tell me: were my misadventures into podcast-land a failure?
There was a time when I would've told you: "yes, my podcasts never got off the ground and I gave up, so they're failures."
Now, I'd say: "no, my podcasts were a necessary step in the right direction of my life and brought me to exactly where I needed to be."
And I'm not the only one who goes through these ups and downs.
It helps to think about how many times Abraham Lincoln failed before becoming President of the US:
- He was devastated when he lost his mother, sister and his beloved fiancé.
- He tried to get into law school and failed.
- He borrowed money to start a business and went bankrupt.
- He got fired from a job.
- He had a nervous breakdown.
- He lost eight different elections.
All before becoming the 16th President, abolishing slavery and helping the US through the Civil War. No big deal.
I wonder: what would our lives be like if Lincoln hadn't pushed forward through failure? What would my life be like if I hadn't pushed through my own failures?
But persevering through failure is hard to do—because the associated emotions can be overwhelmingly difficult.
Until I stumbled upon this framework in a Nicaraguan bookstore (of all places):
For some people more than others, setbacks cause discouragement.
If that's you—that's definitely me—this framework helps adopt the right mindset and strategies to stay motivated to keep on keeping on and ultimately achieve your goals.
How can we re-frame failure from "the end of the road" to "a bump on the journey"?
Let's break it down.
When you're down about something, you're zoomed way in on that thing and how it's affecting you. Caught up in the moment. Everything is falling apart. There's no way through.
The solution? Zoom out.
By taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, you'll see that each failure is just one small part of your overall life.
When I zoom out of my podcast failures and see how it fits into the greater story of my life, I see how it led perfectly into the next plot line. The puzzle pieces fit together.
It's not just conjecture, either. Studies show that people who have a "big picture" mindset about their failures are more likely to bounce back and experience success in life.
Because gaining perspective leads to perseverance.
Once you've gained perspective, you're no longer overwhelmed by the difficult emotions that accompany failure, so you have a more positive attitude.
But the right mindset isn't enough on its own.
You must add positive action to a positive attitude.
That positive action means doing the work to push through your road blocks and keep going.
Luckily, your setbacks bring with them great learnings. Something didn't work? Congrats, you just learned something new.
Learning from your failures and adapting your strategies leads to even greater wins. But you need to keep going to apply those learnings...
Having the perseverance to keep going gives you longevity, empowering you to stay committed to your goals for the long haul.
You'll experience temporary dips—to be expected—but your overall trajectory is up and to the right.
Think of the stock market. Short-term bets are risky, but staying in the market for decades means your investments will trend upward, no matter what happens this year or next.
Setbacks are short-lived.
Longevity also means focusing on the process and not only the outcome.
When we think of success as a long-term process, we are more likely to make decisions that align with our values and goals. And making decisions that feel right for us means we'll enjoy the ride way more.
4. Opportunities for success
As a function of time, longevity leads to more opportunities for success.
Because the longer you stay in the game, you more chances you have to score.
The only way for me to capitalize on my podcast learnings was to get back into the professional arena. If I hadn't, I'm not sure if my years of podcasting would've been fruitful. (I'll never know.)
That's part of the reason why, after deciding to not work with *ssholes, I'm taking every single chance I can to reconnect with the amazing people I've come across over the years.
Magic happens when you move toward your zone of genius. 🪄
When the path feels long, I'm reminding myself that life is a marathon, not a sprint. This quote helps:
I'm planting seeds. I'm staying in the game. I'm taking my shots. I'm doing All The Things. The rest is safely in God's hands.
Failure stings, no way around it. But it's also a powerful learning experience that opens new doors—if you let it.
I found this summary helpful:
Stumbling is an inevitable part of life. We can't change that. What we can change is how we approach it.
If the word "failure" pops into your head, zoom out. Gain perspective, and the rest will follow.
That's all for this edition.
Now, I'd love to hear from you:
Reply back to tell me about a "failure" you're re-framing by zooming out and seeing it within the context of your entire life.
Sending you all the best vibes ✨
— Marcella ✌️
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