Lessons Learned from a Tough Day
I am currently working on a really interesting new project for a client. It’s creative and fun and it’s got me learning so, so many cool new things. It’s also got me stretched me aaaaall the way over to my growth edge in every possible, imaginable way.
Earlier this week, in the middle of a particularly frustrating day (read: I could get zero things to work the way they were supposed to, and I felt like I broke everything I touched (not true, but felt true at the time), I broke down into tears and cried at my desk. I may or may not (but probably definitely), have thrown a (very small…tiny, really) item or two across the room. I felt hideously frustrated and stuck, and three words went around and around in my brain like a beacon:
🚨 FAILURE … FRAUD … STUPID🚨
Eventually, I decided to take a break. I went for a walk, and cried, then laughed at the fact that I was crying, then cried some more because there was more to cry. I returned home and did a little more work but didn’t really get anywhere. Then my partner came home, and I was able to talk through my challenges a little with him, which led to a very minor brainstorm that moved the project forward ever so slightly just the teeny tiniest, almost completely imperceptible amount.
After all that fun, I took a hot shower, sent a message to my coach, and ate a lot of French fries. I mean, like, a lot of French fries.
I ended the day feeling really drained and, well…not great. But I knew that tomorrow would be another day to try again.
I’m sharing all this as a reminder for YOU that it’s ok to have hard days and to have big, scary, difficult, challenging moments.
They suck for sure, but there is always another opportunity to show up and try again.
On that day earlier this week, I felt like none of my personal development tools or skills kicked in. I was just spinning around in a heap of garbage in my own mind. That happens sometimes. Being OK doesn’t mean always being happy, or up, or making the healthiest food choice, or even navigating difficult situations with Grace.
It means showing up and loving yourself no matter what.
Even when you cry and swear and whine, and think about punching your computer, and flirt with the idea of quitting everything because IObviouslyDon’tKnowAnythingAboutAnythingAnyway.
It’s ok. Really. You’re ok. You’re better than ok. You’re super good.
I’m also sharing this as a reminder that, if you can hang in there and trust the messy process, and stay with the discomfort of being at your growth edge, and sit in the shit of a difficult moment, and remain curious while you’re there about what the lessons are in all of these challenges, then you will always, always get to something super amazing on the other side.
As for me, I showed up again the next day, and again the day after that. Every time my 🚨‘failure, fraud, stupid’🚨 beacon blinked, I blinked back louder:
🌟CURIOSITY🌟 … 🌟PATIENCE🌟…🌟BREATH🌟
Again and again and again until finally, I felt a sense of calm and space return to my body, and my truth reemerged: I’m smart, I’m experienced, and I can do difficult things.
- Some additional lessons and reminders and truths that emerged from this moment of frustration were:
- I can ask for and receive help. I don’t have to go it alone. Not only that, but that asking for help can lead to collaboration that is inspiring and encouraging, and ultimately confidence building!
- That stuff breaks sometimes. It just does. It’s frustrating. And it’s life.
- That mistakes are a very, very quick and powerful way to learn important things. Huzzah!
- That it’s totally ok to learn as I go.
- That learning new things can be a real bitch sometimes, but that doesn’t mean they are unlearnable or that I can’t learn them.
- That being curious and communicative are fundamental to progress, collaboration and self-care.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that mentally and emotionally I feel a little bit like a wet sponge that has been wrung out. 🙂 This soul work stuff takes some stamina. But it’s always, always worth it. I got through the week in one piece, and I’m very excited to take all this fresh perspective forward with me and see what magic I can make in the week ahead.
I invite you now to turn toward yourself.
What challenges are you facing right now? What’s got your ‘failure, fraud, stupid’ beacon blinking away in your mind? What would you like to blink back at it? Can you invite in some self-compassion and curiosity?
What do you think these challenges are here to teach you about yourself? What tools do you need to help guide you through this moment? What skills do you already possess that you can call back into action? Who’s on your team of helpers, the people that you trust on the days when you feel vulnerable and that voice chimes in ‘not good enough’?
Listen, you are continuing to show up during some of the craziest times in modern history, and I assure you that you are truly, truly doing amazing work. For what it’s worth, I am insanely proud of you.
All my love,