Flailures: When Failing Feels Like Flailing.

Flailures: When Failing Feels Like Flailing.

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“Fail,” in all its incarnations, wasn’t a word used often in my house growing up. I’d love to attribute 100% of this to my parents and their excellent leadership skills, but I think a big reason we didn’t use the word because we didn’t use it in school. While kids on tv shows would stress about Straight As and moan if they “flunked” a class, my elementary school worked with an entirely different system:

E = Excellent
G = Good
S  = Satisfactory
N = Not Satisfactory

My first real introduction to Failure was in middle school, in seventh grade I remember thinking of how mean that was, to use such a harsh word to describe someone’s work and worth.

But this is usually our first exposure to the concept of failure, right? Not doing well in a class, with a final hard-stop grade at the end telling you so. No second chances, no helpful notes...just a big, red F.

I’m obsessed with words, so I did us the favor of looking up “fail” in the dictionary. What I found was not one, not two, but THIRTEEN definitions of the word. I was going to be all clever in this post and string together some prose turning the definition on its head, but honestly…thirteen????????????

When I switched from the E-N system to an A-F one in seventh grade, I was beyond frustrated. As a star student obsessed with learning, this was just WRONG. A bad grade just means there are things I need to work on! A bad grade just means my work isn’t satisfactory YET!

But that’s not the system I was in anymore. I made up words to coincide with the letters, since that’s what I’d been used to, and it made the transition easier. But the only ones I could think of for D and F were “Dunce” (remember the cone cap kids would wear in Saturday morning cartoons when they acted up in class?) and “Fail.” They became dirty words meant to shame and scare me.

Fear of failure is what stops most of us in our tracks while we’re on our personal quest towards self-actualization. We get hung up on the idea of failure and what we’ve been taught it represents: being less-than, being “the loser,” being robbed of something and left empty-handed. Failure, we’re taught, is a hard stop. And those outdated definitions are what get us stuck, what keep us from being fulfilled, and what make us put limits our own possibilities and potential.

But if I’m reading them right, almost HALF of those thirteen definitions involve something other than a locked door or closed chapter. Definitions like “losing strength,” “falling short,” and, my favorite, “to disappoint the expectations or trust of someone or something.” These aren’t hard stops – these are all fixable. These aren’t red lights – they’re yellow.

Failing can feel like flailing, and flailing means you’re being blown by the wind into your next adventure. #flailures Click To Tweet

Think about the last time you “failed” at something. How did it feel? Try to take out the shame or anger…what are you left with?

A lot of times, failing can feel like flailing. I’ve talked about this before: how being an adult is a graceful flail of grasping for certainty and being at peace with not knowing all the answers.

And so I’d like to propose that most of the things you call FAILURES aren’t really FAILURES at all: They’re FLAILURES.

Because failing can feel like flailing, and flailing means you’re being blown by the wind into your next adventure.

Are there still things that are failures? Of course. But the blanket term “failure,” with all its thirteen-plus definitions, doesn’t apply to every single thing that doesn’t work out. A meme of Jackass-proportions (remember that show??) paired with a big bold Sans Serif EPIC FAIL is not the same as being rejected by a book agent (hello and welcome to my home, so glad you could make it). Red light, yellow light. A fail is a hard stop. A flail keeps going.

Sure, I still get scared of failing – or, rather, the Ghost Worry that I’ll do something to feel ashamed of later. But in the thick of that fear, I remind myself that I’ve got this. I remind myself that I’ve never felt right about something that’s wrong, or wrong about something that’s right. I listen to my gut and I act. I might be too much for some, but I am always just right for me…whatever that looks and feels like, whether I’m aware of it or not. I’m on a very specific path that’s all my own, and those little sparks of fear are signals that I’m about to hit another benchmark.

I just need to let the wind take me there.

failure flailures


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Baby One More Time: Abiola Abrams on Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone + Getting Your Voice Heard

Baby One More Time: Abiola Abrams on Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone + Getting Your Voice Heard

the WANTcast

BABY ONE MORE TIME is the WANTcast’s take on “Greatest Hits” or “Best Of” episodes: conversations that were so awesome the first time around, we needed to bring them back!

Missed it the first time around? We’re back with a remastered version. Loved it back in the day? Re-listen and re-love it (and maybe pick up on some gems you didn’t hear when we first aired).

Don't use the fact that someone else has your idea as a reason to hold yourself back from going for it - @abiolaTV Click To Tweet

Abiola Abrams is an award-winning author, advice columnist, motivational speaker, and certified life coach who has given her life-changing advice on networks from MTV and BET to the Discovery Channel and the BBC, as well as being a popular advice columnist for Essence and on sites like Match.com. Her book, The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love, won Best Self-Help Book at the African American Literary Awards. As what she calls the “Midwife for Your Inspired Life,” her online empowerment programs help women to answer and rock their callings, by turning self-love to self-launch. She is the founder of the women’s empowerment blog and web series on SacredBombshell.com and the podcast Spiritpreneur School, aka – yes – The Goddess Factory. (and yes, I know. She’s a master at naming things. Just you wait ’till you listen to the episode)


I LOVE each twist and turn of this conversation, talking everything from what to do when you feel like other people just don’t quite GET what you’re about yet and sticking to your guns when it seems like everyone else is getting ahead, to braking out of your comfort zone, to getting your voice heard even when other people are trying to manipulate it to their liking along the way.
 We also talk about being an extroverted introvert and getting swept up in the bigness of whatever’s going on around you, and whether you’re super extroverted or incredibly introverted, how to stay grounded AND enthusiastic even when life is demanding a lot of you (especially when things are really good and borderline overwhelming, which are the times that can sometimes throw us off the most if you’re anything like me).

WANT Abiola:

Listen on iTunes | Play in new window

Show Notes:
Sacredbombshell.com
Gift for WANTcast listeners!
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
The Goddess Factory
Spiritpreneur School
Say Word! Voices From Hip Hop Theater


Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunesshare it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. The more you share, the more Abiola’s message can be heard. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!


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WANTcast 060: On Boosting Your Confidence, Releasing Control, Loneliness, “Finding Your People,” and more! (Q+A Episode, Season Three Finale)

WANTcast 060: On Boosting Your Confidence, Releasing Control, Loneliness, “Finding Your People,” and more! (Q+A Episode, Season Three Finale)

the WANTcast

For the final episode of Season Three, it’s all about you and YOUR questions. After a quick recap of 2018 and Season Three, we dive into five questions from YOU, the WANT community, having to do with boosting your confidence (especially when you’re simultaneously trying/needing to uplift others) achieving your goals while staying charged up and energized, “trusting the timing of life” and releasing control when it’s the most frustrating to do so, how to deal with hurtful/toxic social media interactions, and – the big one – why so many of us are SO damn lonely and how to find those friends and communities we crave as adults.

Stay tuned until the end – there’s a special announcement about the future of the WANTcast and what 2019 has in store for WANT (hint, it involves you)!

WANT Yourself:


*Thank you so much for everything you give to WANT, and to me, and to each other, on a daily basis. I appreciate you and adore you more than I could ever even begin to express. So happy we’re in this together. ONWARD!*

 

Show Notes:
On Insta-Bullies and “The High Road”

Making Friends As An Adult Pt 1
Making Friends As An Adult Pt 2
Reframing Regret
Mindful Social Media
Woke + Wired Podcast
Aaptiv signup (use code KATIE30 for a free month and 30% off!)

Instagram
Facebook
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WANTcast 059: On Being Fully Yourself (No Matter WHAT) with Author, Speaker + Photographer Karen Walrond

WANTcast 059: On Being Fully Yourself (No Matter WHAT) with Author, Speaker + Photographer Karen Walrond

the WANTcast

Author, speaker, photographer and blogger Karen Walrond is the kind of person you just want to know. You just want to soak in some of her light and magic, because maybe, JUST MAYBE, you can use it to help make your own. As someone who has worked extensively with Dove Real Beauty and as a leader in Brené Brown’s Daring Way training, Karen is in the business of helping you shine your unique light, no matter WHAT the world throws at you or tells you you need to be.

When I take a new step, I ask: how can I take all of the people I've been in the past WITH me? - @chookooloonks Click To Tweet

In this episode we talk…

  • Losing everything (yep, her entire house and all her belongings) in Hurricane Harvey and how she got through
  • Having multiple career titles (she was an attorney!) and weaving them all together
  • Fighting against beauty standards and a beauty industry that is highly unrealistic (and predominantly white, thin, and privileged)
  • Adoption as a first choice, not a “backup plan,” and creating a family based on your OWN values

…and so much more.

(Fun fact, Karen and I spoke on a panel together back in 2015 – my very first speaking gig with WANT. I could not have asked for a more loving, empathetic person to sit right next to me. I have been in awe of her work and in love with her spirit ever since!)

WANT Karen:

Even in the worst moments, gratitude came through...because I was used to going, 'What was good about today?' - @chookooloonks Click To Tweet

Show notes:
Website
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
The Beauty Of Different
The Female Quotient
The Girls Lounge (recap on WANT)
Brené Brown
Daring Way

This is the FINAL interview of Season Three. Our finale will be a solo episode!
Email me at katie@womenagainstnegativetalk.com or find me on instagram @katiehorwitch to let me know your questions and topic suggestions to end this season STRONG.

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WANTcast 055: Making (And Keeping) Goals That Are Actually Right For You (Vs. What Looks Or Sounds Good)

WANTcast 055: Making (And Keeping) Goals That Are Actually Right For You (Vs. What Looks Or Sounds Good)

the WANTcast

In this episode of the WANTcast, one of our listeners asked to hear about how to make (and keep!) life goals that are realistic and are actually right for you, not just what looks or sounds good or “right.”

What’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for another – and what’s unrealistic to one person might be more attainable for you than you think.

Some questions to ask yourself, some red flags to look out for, how to figure out goals that work for you, and yes – how to actually go about ACHIEVING them (no bs here, folks).


Listen on iTunes | Listen on Stitcher | Download | Support the pod by shopping on Amazon



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Also head on over to iTunes and subscribe to the show, and leave 5 stars and a review to spread the WANTcast love. I apprecite it more than you know.


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WANTcast 051: On Going All In, Risk Tolerance, and Getting Out From Behind The Shadows with Amber Rae

WANTcast 051: On Going All In, Risk Tolerance, and Getting Out From Behind The Shadows with Amber Rae

the WANTcast

Ever felt like you’re being creative for everyone BUT yourself? Wondered if something is a sign, or just a sheer coincidence? Just wanted someone to tell you to take the leap, even though you don’t know for SURE what you’re leaping into?

Today’s guest is author, speaker, and artist Amber Rae, author of Choose Wonder Over Worry: Move Beyond Fear And Doubt To Unlock Your Full Potential. In her book, Amber guides you to dialogue with the self-sabateur that is Worry, uncover the ways your unexplored emotions are leading you to numb out/procrastinate/hold yourself back, and access your inner wisdom to reach your full potential.

In this episode we talk about getting out from behind the shadows as a creative, how to know when you’re on the right track, how to distinguish between signs from the universe and stories youre fabricating, how to know when fear is leading the way, making a living through creativity and the many ways that can manifest, what it means and looks like to live out your truth, and so much more.

If you’ve been waiting for a sign – then maybe this episode is it.

 


Don't die with your gifts still inside. - @heyamberrae Click To Tweet
Listen on iTunes | Listen on Stitcher Download | Support the pod by shopping on Amazon


Show Notes:

Website
Choose Wonder Over Worry
Buy the book!
Twitter
Instagram

Danielle Beinstein’s astrology post
Dhru Purohit
Phoebe Lapine on the WANTcast


Our sponsor this week is Franklin and Whitman, an all-natural, plant based, cruelty free skincare line with a mission to make your skin AND the world a better, kinder place. Frank + Whit donates 5% of all sales to various rescue dog organizations. Try some of my favorites – their Cleansing Serum, their Oak Lane face mask, their dry shampoo – and more. Be sure to use the code WANT at checkout for 20% off your entire order at franklinandwhitman.com.

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Like this episode? I’m so glad! Sign up for The (Good) Word, WANT’s weekly email love letter, at womenagainstnegativetalk.comleave a review on iTunes (the more reviews and five-stars, the more our message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

 

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