By Carla Helené Ezell
A friend of mine contacted me about an amazing opportunity I’ve longed for going on four years. His excitement got me excited. I mean, this was a really great chance for me to step out of the background and into a spotlight I’ve worked toward my entire life. And there it was, on my doorstep, ready to realized for real! I dreamed of that day. I prayed for it. I worked hard for it for longer than I could remember. It was in my blood. In my sights. My lifeline… And then, I got busy with other things that took my eyes off that particular prize. Over time, I let that dream become diminished in my sights and focused on things that were more immediate.
Life happens. We get busy and our goals change. There’s no shame in that at all. I mean, if you aren’t evolving, you’re dying so I don’t feel anything negative toward the development of my life path. Not one bit. But that doesn’t change the fact that this goal which had been put on the back burner for a few years, was still something I wanted to do.
So I packed my little bag up (figuratively, of course) and set off on the journey to my destination. I was stoked. I was as prepared as I could be given the short notice. I thought I was ready for the challenge… until I actually stepped up to the plate to swing the bat… and fell flat on my face.
I failed. Miserably.
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the worst effort I’ve ever made. We are our own worst critics most of the time. But I knew in my heart that I had not earned the opportunity I was trying to win. My lack of consistent preparation throughout my season of waiting caused me to stumble when it was “go” time. And the last minute preparations I threw at the task simply did not garner the outcome I had hoped for.
Even before I received the official notice that the opportunity I was reaching for had slipped through my grasp, I knew instinctively that this was not going to be the win I hoped it would be.
Randy Pausch says, “Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted…”
Yup. I have yet another experience under my belt. But instead of getting upset about it or beating my head against a wall or even feeling like the failure I was in that moment, I decided that failure would not define me. Instead, I decided that it was time to make some changes. I knew I had not prepared like I should have for that opportunity, not in the long run. I tried my best with what I had at the moment but there was a clear deficit because I had not remained prepared all along. I let some things slip through my grasp because other things had taken center stage in my life.
It is all a matter of your outlook. You see, failure is not failure until you quit trying to succeed. Just because I failed at this one task, does not mean I am a failure all of the time. I own my mistakes. I take responsibility for not staying prepared over the years and allowing other things to pull me away from my original goal. And I forgive myself for letting my friend down. I mean, he put his name on the line for me and I came up short. I’ve apologized to him for it. It is what it is. I can’t change the past. But I can damn sure have a hand in shaping my future!
To finish the quote by Randy Pausch, “Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”
Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn. But never, should you actually fail. ❤️
My name is Carla Helené. I am a cheeky naturalista, serial entrepreneur, speaker, educator and self love advocate who encourages women to embrace their truth, love themselves and make margaritas out of life’s lemons. Is there a recipe for this? I’m not sure I but I know we can figure it out together.
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