Failure: the new "black"
Is it possible that failure might just be an important foundation of success? I sure as heck hope so because I have a lot of failure “bricks” with which to build the foundation of my life, career and relationships.
I’d like to share with you a little about this fascinating concept (one that might seem counter-intuitive) and how it has served me.
It was just a couple of days before Thanksgiving. I’d been spending months wrestling with my Sagittarian nature, trying to hone down my niche, concretize my offerings, and create a website that would be simple, effective and a reflection of who I am. NOT AN EASY TASK for someone who likes to think outside the box, and defy labels and perimeters.
I was feeling like things were getting to a good place and was ready to take a break as the holidays were about to commence and Mercury was about to go into retrograde. Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been MANY times that I have stuck out my middle finger and said “IN YOUR FACE, MERCURY!” as this pesky planet has decided to do the moonwalk backwards across our stellar landscape. And most of the time it has little to no impact on me, but I had a feeling that, along with the coming of the dark, this planetary phenomenon was a signal to be more inward and to allow the rest of my business platform to come together with grace and ease . . .
However . . . something unexplained but very clear came to me in a meditation just 2 days before our national day of giving thanks: “Do a Thanksgiving Day call to support people who are going home for the holiday.”
It would be the first day of Mercury in retrograde. I had just barely signed up for Maestro Conference and had only just a brief opportunity to check out the site. I had never done a teleconference before in my life. “Sure! No problem,” I thought, and once again, with a cocky little strut taunted the fates yet again.
I like to surf the unknown. Surprises are my bread and butter. If it’s new to me, I am drawn to it, at least to understand it a little better. So, needless to say, I frequently find myself on adventures, and sometimes not the good kind. The famous explorer, Roald Amundsen, once said “Adventure is just bad planning,” but to me, no adventure is a bad plan altogether, and real adventure is about what happens outside the plan. Now, I’m not promoting irresponsible treks to the South Pole without some good gear and a bit of research and experience, but I would like to suggest that when we try to exert control over our circumstances (which can appear in the form of “planning,” we are 1) Fooling ourselves if we think there is any such thing as control and 2) Cheating ourselves out of the opportunity to have an experience much bigger and more fulfilling than our limited perceptions and projections could have manifested.
Stepping into the unknown is CRUCIAL if you are going to have anything different than you have now.So, here it is, just a couple days before Thanksgiving and I am choosing to defy the fates and hostess my first teleseminar. I invited my friend, Betty-Louise, to be on the call with me to help me to relax and to help keep me on topic so I could focus on managing the Maestro Conference calling system. Betty-Louise has a radio show about Organic & Orgasmic living (she interviewed me for her show: http://www.coachbettylive.com/2011/11/05/cbl143-the-inner-beauty-and-sexuality-of-the-goddess/), and brings out so many great ideas and has such a great flow. I knew it was going to be a really great call. I went on to Maestro and looked around and everything seemed really straight forward. So, I scheduled the call and sent out announcements.
A lot of people signed up for the call. Even though it was last minute, so I had a lot of wind in my sails. So, the morning of the call I woke up early and had a nice meditation. I logged on early for the call and got everything set up. Turned on the pre-call music, checked in with Betty-Louise, and just focused on getting present with what we were going to share.
The call lines filled up and the moment came to start our call. I felt good right out of the starting gate, but within a few minutes, several people dropped the call. I was a bit disheartened and wondered what I was doing that was turning people off, but I couldn’t get distracted by it. I had to make sure I delivered from the heart to those who were into what I was sharing.
I took a few moments and then introduced Betty-Louise, who is so fun and dynamic (www.CoachBettyLIVE.com), but within less than a minute, more than half the calls disconnected. I couldn’t believe that people were responding that negatively. It was puzzling, but I decided to not give too much time to Betty-Louise since this seemed to not go over so well with our listeners. There are ways of communicating with a guest without letting the others listen in and I wanted to just let her know what was happening, but I was new enough at this and already felt like my brain was at its multi-tasking limit, so I had to just trust that she wouldn’t be offended at me hogging the mic.
I had an intuitive hit that there might be technical difficulties, so I mentioned, several times, that if there were any technical difficulties, the callers could communicate that to me by typing in questions for me. Nothing came in.
So, on I went. A bit puzzled, feeling anxious, but not letting any of that stop me. The content, despite the dwindling audience, felt like it was really coming from Source, and I was quite enthused about it. I chalked the dropped calls up to elements outside my control and sallied forth. As the class continued, a listener here and a listener there would disconnect.
I tried to take questions. A hand went up and I “called” on the participant . . . total dead air, and then more dropped calls. At this point, I realized that it was just me, talking. No Betty-Louise, no opportunity to take questions, and I sure wasn’t about to try to figure out how to do break-out groups! I may be brave, and I might be brazen, but I’m not set for self-destruct.
We got to the end of the call with a whopping 5 people on the line! Call it the undying optimist in me, but I felt really excited about the experience. The words that came out felt authentic and felt right and I was inspired by what flowed out. It was like opening my mouth, and letting the Wise Woman speak through me.
So, we ended the call and I checked in with Betty-Louise. She, too, was really enthusiastic about the content of the call and was perplexed as I was about the dropped calls. We only had 5 people on the line at the end! Just as we were finishing up our check-in, I got 2 text messages from friends who’d been on the call. One of them hung up early and the other had stayed almost to the very end. Both of them snet the same message: “There is Spanish guitar playing non-stop in the background that won’t shut off and no one can hear Betty-Louise.” Well, that explained it! No wonder people were dropping like flies! I wouldn’t have stayed on it either! And then I realized that 5 people had suffered through till the very end despite the crazy distractions and dead air! Then I was ecstatic! It’s one thing to keep people on a call when everything is perfect, but to reach the finish line with people who had to fight through frustration after frustration, well, that was a real vote of confidence.
I also found out, later, that none of the dashboards had been activated, so no one was able to type in questions. I’m still not sure why we couldn’t hear the caller, and there is no real explanation as to why I didn’t get the text messages about the technical difficulties until AFTER the call was completed . . . except for that darned Mercury in retrograde. I was humbled, I must say.
Then I really sunk into the perspective of the brave 5 who finished the call with me. God love ’em, they were real troopers!
The next day I got the following e-mail from one of those brave souls who stuck it out to the finish line:
Hi Amanda, Even with the technical difficulties, I thoroughly enjoyed your talk. You are SUCH a divine sweetie pie. I could tell you weren’t aware of the music and us not hearing part of it so I just enjoyed sitting and deep breathing and staying present until you would come back, and when you did, you had wonderful things to share with us. I was actually in tears a couple of times. Good ones. . . I really appreciate you! Thank you!
Namaste, [keeping this anonymous to respect privacy]
There will be so many other opportunities to get it perfect. The old me would have perseverated over the myriad ways in which that call did not go the way I’d planned, but instead, I allowed myself to focus on the gems, and that e-mail was at the center of it all.
Now the next time I do a teleseminar, I’ll have this deep experience under my belt, so much more confidence, and there’s almost no way it could get worse ; ) I’m walking away from this experience having learned how to navigate another sort of chaos, how to laugh through catastrophes, and I also learned that it helps to take the FREE on-line workshop that shows how to do a seemless tele-class, which I, of course, did after this comedy of errors. Wow, my dad really was right when he said “When all else fails, read the instructions.” Maybe next time I’ll even use that strategy first!
As I close, I want to share a not so verbatim quote by one of my teachers, Martin Prechtel: “It’s not so important that one accomplish perfection as it is to fail beautifully.” I think that I got that one down pretty good!
Stay tuned! I will be offering more of my personal experiences as a goddess emerging. It’s raw, it’s real and sometimes it ain’t so pretty . . . but deep down, it’s beautiful!
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