How do you respond when you feel overwhelmed and tempted to give up?
These are the moments that define us. The moments when all the inspirational quotes in the world won't help us, the mini bottoms we experience all along the road to creating the lives of our dreams.
I used to give up, all the time. I used to see temporary defeat as proof that I did have bad luck and good things weren't meant for me.
But recently I had a very different experience, one that completely shifted my perception of what I'm capable of.
It boosted my confidence like never before.
A lot of times we search for certain qualities like confidence and patience and think we need to have them in place before we move forward. But the truth is that we develop these qualities because we move forward after we want to give up.
This happens a lot with meditation. People always ask how they can develop the patience for meditation. The answer is that you become patient by meditating. Or people think they can't practice yoga until they're flexible, when in truth you become flexible by practicing yoga.
It all began last month when I launched my third online course, Emotionally Empowered. In many ways, I felt this was my big course, the course I was put on this planet to do.
The idea for it came last December when I was creating content for my first course, The Big Shift, and realized I had tons of things to say about specific emotions and their messages.
The content didn't fit into The Big Shift, so I started a new file and dreamed of the day when I would flesh it out for an entire course all about emotions.
Fast forward to this summer, the time seemed right. I dove in, connected with spirit to channel important messages and entered deep meditations to refine the lessons I've learned over my lifetime.
Then it was time to launch. I was tired — I've been working too hard all year — but super excited. I created an amazing, free, value-packed three-part video series to go along with the course, and got spectacular feedback from it.
Then I announced the course — and nobody seemed to care.
I was crushed. I'd worked so hard on this, it seemed to be something people in this community were really interested in and needed, and I had no idea why the reception was so...chilly.
I lost it. I broke down. I was so upset, feeling like all the work I'd done, all the ideas of helping people truly heal their hearts and love who they are were for nothing. I wanted to give up.
I felt the worst fear: that I had put myself out into the world, exactly as I was, and people didn't want me.
Quite at odds with all the #inspo proliferating on the internet, right? "Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were once walls." That kind of thing always makes me feel flawed.
So I did what I do — I allowed myself to totally feel all the pain of disappointment, anger and frustration.
I allowed myself entrance to my very own pity party — for a very short time. And then I did something I never would have done before. I reached out for support.
I belong to a really great program for people turning their passions into businesses, and I posted a very vulnerable cry for help. The response was tremendous.
Everyone reached out to support me. Some even said they were having trouble with their launches, too. Immediately, I felt less alone.
And that's all we want sometimes, isn't it? To know we're not alone. Their support (and my wonderful husband's) gave me the strength to continue.
The group gave me valuable advice, and I even reached out to one of my beautiful students already in the course to ask for her thoughts about how I could better convey the results people could expect from the program.
The course ended up okay — about 20 people enrolled, and I'm so grateful for every single person who signed up. But that's not the most amazing part.
The most amazing part is how I feel. Confident. Secure. Empowered. Tough.
The confidence that comes from wanting to give up but then continuing on anyway.
I mean, this is my passion, my calling, my everything. Failure is literally not an option. Life is full of inspiring success stories. We especially value quick starts and early fame.
People rarely talk about the failures that make our successes possible.
Success isn't built on a pile of other successes, but a pile of failures and hard-won lessons. There's a saying in the entrepreneurial community: fail faster. Isn't that so refreshing? What if we gave ourselves permission to try, do, fail and then do again, but better?
So many late bloomers, like Julia Child, found their passions after what some would consider their prime, but made a lasting impact on the world anyway.
Obstacles, failure and detours don't mean you're on the wrong path. They only appear to show you how bad you want it. They're here to show you who you are.
I always say that our true purpose in life isn't related to what we do, but who we are, and this is part of that. To know that the process of bringing our dreams to life is the same process that forges us into the people we're meant to be.
You'll never know how much you're capable of until you fall, and then rise up again.
What has been your greatest failure and what did you learn from it? Share your story in the comments below.
I hope this served you.
All the best,
Suzanne Heyn is a spirituality teacher and online course creator. Her life-changing online course experiences and popular blog help people heal their hearts and love who they are. With an online community of more than 20,000 people, Suzanne is known for her practical, authentic take on spirituality that creates space for deep healing and heartfelt connection.
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