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Why it's OK to Fail - the graced Podcast Episode No. 9

Natalie: You're listening to the Graced podcast episode number nine, and today I am talking about all the myths out there behind success and why it is absolutely okay to sometimes fail. It's a great episode, kind of short, but then I'm also talking about a big contest that we're having at Graced the whole month  of November, so you're definitely going to want to stick around.

Natalie: Hello friends! Thank you for tuning back into the Graced podcast. I'm Natalie, your host, and today I'm going to be talking about success and failure and why it is absolutely okay to sometimes fail, and how you can turn that failure into a positive thing. This is a really pertinent podcast for today because for those of you like the ten people who eagerly await that I publish a podcast on Monday morning, it is now Monday afternoon and I have not published a podcast. I jut could not get it together in time. So I apologize, but it just goes to show, man, not everyone is perfect, and I certainly am not.

I actually just came off of shooting my last wedding for the season this past Saturday, and I had a wedding every weekend for the past September and October. Every weekend, so I am so thankful to have wrapped up that wedding season and now hopefully now I can focus a little bit more on maybe getting my podcast published in time.

I do want to give a big shout out to Allison from Madison, Wisconsin who sent me a super sweet message this morning. I was just blown away. It just made me so excited to know that there are people out there listening to the podcast who really enjoy it, who are not my best friends, who pretty much are obligated to listen. You guys know who you are. That was huge. It just totally made my day, so thanks Allison!

Just a reminder, if you've been listening and following along to the podcast, if you could leave us a review on iTunes it would be so appreciated. It really helps get the word out about the podcast and helps people find us more easily. If you could take the time and just leave a short, positive review, it would mean so much to me.

The idea for this podcast really came from me just looking at social media and thinking to myself, "Holy cow, these people who post on," especially Instagram. I have to single out Instagram, "Look like they have the perfect lives. The perfect homes. They're always clean. Their kids look like they just stepped out of a J. Crew catalog. Everything is perfect." I know deep down that not everything is perfect in their lives, and even though I may look at them and think, "Wow, they are a huge success or they've got it all together," I know that we're really only showing our best parts of ourselves on social media. Nobody wants to put out there their failures or the things that they have not done in their lives or the things that they were supposed to do and they didn't get done; or the people they feel like they let down. Nobody wants to put that out there and talk about. We don't want to talk about our failures, but we all know that we do fail in life.

I want to take this time in this podcast to talk about the idea that, yes, you may have success in your life, but a lot of times success only comes from experiencing failures along the journey, along the way. It is absolutely okay to fail as long as you take that failure and you turn it into a lesson learned, and you take that information, take that lesson and apply it to your next big journey, your next big decision, your next big adventure and you learn from it.

So I have four concepts or four ideas that I just want to touch base on in the podcast that kind of speak to the whole idea of success and failure. Number one is always remember that no one, absolutely no one is an overnight success. It may seem like, "Hey, they just popped on the scene out of nowhere, and they have a successful business, and they're making millions of dollars," or whatever it may be. You see someone on Instagram that has a 100,000 followers. Keep in mind that you don't know their story. You don't know the challenges they've faced or the failures they've experienced, and that they absolutely didn't get those hundred thousand followers or all of that success over night. It takes a lot of hard, hard work over years and years sometimes for people to finally achieve great success or work towards what they've been dreaming of for years.

I really want to encourage people that when you're looking at people on social media or hearing their stories, just keep in mind that it takes years to become an expert in your field. It takes years to become an accomplished musician or an accomplished artist. Those things require hard work and perseverance and that these people just didn't wake up one morning and all of a sudden they were a success. I think we all know that deep down, but it's really easy to just look at people on the surface and all the great things that they're doing and think, "Oh my gosh, they're just so lucky," or "It's so easy for them. Success must have come super simple." That's usually not the case. Behind that success is many, many years of hard work and backstory of failure. A lot of people, especially in business, have gone through multiple businesses that have failed before they finally find their niche or find the business that really takes off and is a really big success. It's the culmination of all those different failures and those lessons learned that finally come together and the person has this absolutely awesome business idea, and it becomes a success. Just keep in mind that absolutely no one is an overnight success.

The second thing is just to keep in mind as well is failure doesn't always have to be a bad thing. Failure just means that you learned a lesson, and it is absolutely okay to fail in anything that you do as long as that failure is failing forward. So you take that failure, you learn a lesson from it, and then you move forward. I know that people use this analogy a lot, but it's like walking when you're a toddler. Think about if the first time you fell down when you were learning to walk that you just didn't get back up. No, we all got back up and we tried and tried and tried, and there were so many falls along the way. Eventually we got better at walking and we didn't run into as much stuff and we didn't fall down. We didn't do those things that one year olds do when they're learning to walk.

That's a really simplistic example, but I like to think about all the different ... Well I don't like to think about, but I do think about all the different failures that I've had in my life, whether they have been failures or lessons learned when I was a nurse or in leadership or just personal life lessons as well. I think it is definitely true that those lessons, those failures, shape you into the person who you become. Those things are always having an influence on your life and those failures, those lessons learned, help you from not having those failures again. Help you from not making the same mistakes twice.

As long as if you fail, as long as you can process that failure and go, "Okay, that really sucked and it was embarrassing. It was no fun." You might think, "Man, I wish that never happened to me." As long as you take what you learned from that failure and you use it, it's worth it. It is all worth it because hopefully someday, you'll take all of those lessons that you've learned and you'll turn it into something beautiful. Something great.

So the third thing I want to talk about when it comes to failure is that sometimes we fail big. Sometimes we fail small. You have to remember that there is really no big reward for anything that we do in life, whether it be business or personal life, there is no reward without taking a big risk, and this is really, really important to remember. Failure sometimes happens when we put ourselves out there, and we took a risk and it doesn't work out. It doesn't pan out for us, and so we consider that a failure. If you never took that risk and you never experienced that failure, you would never learn from it as well.

Like I said, there's big risks in life and there's small risks in life. At some point, hopefully, you're going to take a really big risk that's going to turn into a huge success. I really love the story about Howard Schultz who is the owner of Starbucks as we know it today. He was the CEO of the company, and he had a passion for Starbucks. He had a passion for creating cafes like Starbucks, and he was willing to take a huge risk, like a $3,000,000 risk, to acquire Starbucks and to turn it into what we know as Starbucks today.

He had failures in his life prior to taking this big risk. He knew going into it that this is a huge risk, but we would not have Starbucks as we know it today if he had not taken that big risk and was willing to experience failure if that risk didn't work out. I love that story because I love how passionate he was and how willing he was to put himself out there. He needed to raise millions of dollars, and when I think about the amount of risk that I take in business, it is not millions of dollars of worth. That sounds so scary to me.  It doesn't matter how much money is involved. It could be a personal emotional risk, whatever it might be. So there may be some failures if you take some risk, but hopefully you learn from those and the next time around, you can turn that into a success.

Another thing I just want to touch on is the whole idea that what you see on social media is not necessarily the whole picture, right? What we see on social media is not real life. We follow all of these very successful people, and we believe these myths that they're an overnight success and life is easy for them. They just must be super lucky people, and we envy them for the life that they have or the money that they have or the type of business that they have. We know in our mind that deep down not everything you see on social media is the whole picture. I love that phrase, "Stop comparing yourself to people on the Internet that you don't know." It's so true, and we get caught up in that. Then here we are living our day-to-day lives feeling like we're inadequate, or feeling like Pinterest failure moms, right? Since Pinterest came about, we have all this pressure to be these perfect moms who do these awesome things, and then we just feel like Pinterest fail when it doesn't look as picturesque as it does on Pinterest.

Just a reminder that what you see on social media is not real life, and that those people have experienced failure in their lives. They've experienced the same challenges that you and I experience. They may have some things going on in their personal lives that behind the scenes are really tragic or really challenging, so just remember that it is not the whole story. Don't get down on yourself for what you see on the Internet. Do not compare yourself to strangers on the Internet, right? Right.

Failure can be a really positive thing, and of course we don't like to talk about our failures on a daily basis. Like I said, I've had plenty of my own failures. I have very specific moments that stick out in my head, especially from when I was a nurse. I'm still a nurse, but when I was actively practicing, and when I was being challenged and put in leadership roles, and learning to be a leader. It was at a really young age for me, and I learned some really, really tough lessons along the way. They were tough and I felt like I was on this roller coaster of I would be doing really awesome and I would be getting awards and I would be this ideal picture of a nurse or of a Naval officer. I would be really positive about that, but then I also had these huge failures mixed in there. Of course nobody saw those failures. No one saw what I was struggling with or those big lessons being learned.

It's those lessons that you learn when you fail that you pull together throughout your life so that you can build on that foundation and you can become your best self, and you can become more confident. You can feel like you can take more risks. You feel like you can become a success or you become successful because you know what it is to fail, and you know what it is to learn those big life lessons.

Kind of a short message today, but I really wanted to get that out into the world that it is absolutely okay to sometimes fail, because it's those failures that make us the people that we are today and that we will become. If you're struggling with failure right now, I just encourage you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You will take this hard time and you will turn it into something awesome.