how to stand in failure (w/ Leslie Nwoke)

Failed recently? Same.

Failure is a beautiful, uncomfortable, discouraging, catalyzing, inspiring thing. Right?

My growth relationship with failure was first inspired by a Conan O’Brien commencement address in 2010. He said:

“It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.”
So. I brought in the greatest person I know to talk about failure on my podcast this week: Leslie Nwoke. She’s a doctor, coach, non-profit founder, mother, wife, and gorgeous soul. She’s the soothing voice that you want to hear when you fail… big-time. (Low-key highly recommend bookmarking this one.)

Here is some of our advice on how to stand in failure:

  • Don’t take it personally. Don’t take this failure and make it a judgment on your character or abilities. This is a thing that is happening, but it doesn’t mean you are a terrible or incompetent person. (Leslie recommends this book, and I talk about it on this podcast.)
  • Remember who you are, and reframe this situation. How is this experience strengthening you? How is this experience making the next failure easier? How are you becoming better? (And here’s a resource that helps with that.)
  • Offer yourself compassion. This should be number one, honestly. Use this opportunity to become your own friend and caretaker and be radically wonderful to yourself. (Leslie’s suggested resource on self-compassion is here.)
  • Act. JUST ACT. All of the reflection and reframing in the world can’t make action happen. That’s on you. 🙂

Fail on, my friends.


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