I’m a failure…really?

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FailureOk, hands up who’s thought of themselves as a big fat FAILURE at some stage…?  I’m picking just about everyone. And to be totally honest I’ve been feeling it myself quite a bit lately…until I started reading a very inspirational and mind-changing book…

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog article from scratch. In fact, it was seven months ago, when I was last in Bali. I’m finally inspired to write again, this time on board my flight from Auckland to Sydney, where I will then connect with another flight back to…you guessed it – Bali!

Just seven months and I’m heading back. Back to the magical Island of the Gods, back to my second home that I’ve grown to love. Back to see my awesome kids.

The truth is, I haven’t felt like writing anything since being back in New Zealand, I didn’t feel like I had anything worthwhile to say.

My time has been spent finding work with enough hours to keep living costs paid for and connecting with friends – old and new, you know, just your average ‘normal’ life again.

Plus, I’ve been disappointed in myself. Feeling a failure.

You see, when I was in Bali, fully in my heart space, I felt different. I felt alive, I felt passion, and I felt inspired to help other kids at the Yayasan to get much needed sponsors when I got back to New Zealand.

Then, on the way home to New Zealand in November, I detoured through Melbourne to do Heather Yelland’s Power of You workshop. Five days of getting to the heart of myself, my big ‘why’ and coming away feeling totally in my power and inspired to make a difference, well, more of a difference…

But when I got back to New Zealand the challenges of: finding work, finding somewhere affordable to live, and feeling totally unsettled after being away six months took over and my energy and motivation pretty much went down the toilet.

I had the ideas, but I didn’t feel motivated to take any action. So I have been feeling a failure.

Fast forward seven months and I’m sitting on this flight to Sydney reading Serena Star-Leonard’s second book ‘How to Succeed in 12 Months – Creating a Life you Love’.

Yes, I did a selfie on the plane :)

Yes, I did a selfie on the plane 🙂

Serena gave me the book as a thank you for the volunteer editing work I do for her and Johnny’s website www.fivepointfive.org.

Flying along at 30,000 feet (or whatever it is) I’m up to page 47 and I love it! I would like to share with you a couple of snippets from the book that have got my mojo going again.

Excerpts from Serena’s book (copied with permission):

Be an Action Taker

The only difference between an Action Taker and someone who does not take action, is taking action.

Action Takers take action over and over again until life begins to resemble what they have been hoping for and dreaming about. Their determination to achieve their goals means they will persist, even if they fail big sometimes and even if they have no idea how to achieve what they want to achieve.

The moment when it all changes your world

This is the bit where all the hard work, the belief, the optimism and the intensity pay off and the momentum you create starts to affect the world around you.

When your world starts to resemble your plan, the experience is electric. Not only do you feel a surging sense of accomplishment, but often other exciting opportunities start to arise around you. You become a magnet for other people who are following their dreams.

You will begin to see failure as a part of the process and not something to be feared or endured with shame.

Are you prepared to fail?

When people think they are failing, it is not uncommon for them to experience feelings of panic, stress, self-doubt and anger and/or to appear crazy, frantic or completely nuts.

When people think they have failed, it is not uncommon for them to experience guilt, disappointment, anger, humiliation, self-doubt, blame and even depression.

Let’s face it, failure sucks! Especially when you are trying to achieve something really important to you, or when other people are relying on your success.

How to succeed in 12 months - creating a life you LOVE

And so, as I’m sitting here reading Serena’s fabulous book I’m stopping giving myself a hard time and instead giving myself a pat on the back, because in fact I HAVE made progress with those dreams in the last seven months, and sometimes life just gets in the way for a while.

Ok, so I wanted to get sponsors organised for a group of kids at the Yayasan and that hasn’t happened – yet.

But what I HAVE done is raise enough money through very generous family and friends to send an awesome young man named Kawi to the life changing Green Super Camp with Yogi in July – and it only took a month!

When I got the final donation a week out from leaving, the great feeling of achievement, happiness and excitement for Kawi is exactly as Serena says above.

Kawi is off to Green Super Camp with Yogi in July

Kawi is off to Green Super Camp with Yogi in July

So, the goals I set myself when I left Melbourne in November 2013 are still there, they won’t go away, but my sense of failure that I haven’t done enough can pack its bags and fly to another destination, because I now realise I HAVE taken action, and I HAVE achieved.

It’s a baby steps process but I WILL get there.

Thank you Serena!

My intention of writing about this is not to get showered with accolades of a job well done, but to show, from a very personal point of view, how we give ourselves such a hard time – a lot!

So, how many of you resonate with my story and beat yourselves up over not being enough or not doing enough? I’d love to hear from you…

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  1. Beautiful Paula! I too had been incredibly hard on myself, feeling like a failure, feeling like I was never going to succeed. I’d got my mojo back and been working well but recently have been falling back a bit again (or maybe just today). I so appreciate your post because it reminded me just how much I have done in the last few months. Sure, it’s not exactly as I planned but there’s also been a lot of great action.
    Keep up your wonderful work. We will all reach our goals when we are meant to. 🙂

    • Hi Caylie, gosh don’t you hate it when that happens – it’s like a roller coaster – flying along fine for a while and then we get on the slippery downhill slope for a bit…I think maybe we need to make a date in our diaries for an hour of reflection every 2-3 months…just to sit and think back over that time to see what we’ve accomplished. And as you say, things don’t necessarily work out how we planned but we really do get there when we are meant to…we forget it’s not a race and slip up by comparing ourselves to others… 🙂 x

  2. OMG Paula – I know what you mean. Reading Serena’s latest book reminded me that it’s okay to fail – it means I just found a way how not to do something.

    You are right with our baby steps – we will all get there in the end.


    • Hi CaAtherine, yes Serena’s book had plenty of ‘light bulb’ moments, but the failure thing was the biggest…it’s good we get reminded from time to time because how easy it is to forget! All the best with your baby steps… 🙂 x

  3. Justine Laidlaw says:

    I hear you, I totally get you, and at this point in time that’s kinda how I am feeling too. I am procrastinating and have lost mometum since finishing my course and it sounds like Serena’s book just may well be the inspiration to get my A into G again! Thanks Paula and woohoo for the post, that in itself will make you feel inspired to continue those baby steps! Hugs xx

    • I know, it’s frustrating how we self-sabotage ourselves Justine – why is that? Just when we think we’ve ‘got it’, we then go and ‘lose it’! Serena’s book is definitely a step in the right direction and full of fantastic guidance…let’s make baby steps together ay 🙂

  4. Hey Paula,

    Thanks for the beautiful review, I am so glad you are enjoying the book! You are doing great things and we are so happy you are on our team! Lovely to see a new post from you and not just because you mention my book!

    Thanks and keep up the awesome things you do!
    Serena 🙂

    • Thanks Serena! I love being part of your team and supporting you guys in what you are doing – you are such an inspiration – out there doing it, and have such a wealth of knowledge and support for everyone 🙂 x

  5. Thanks for sharing Paula, What a heartfelt journey and WOW sending two kids to the Green Super Campo is an awesome contribution to changing the planet. I think we all go through stages of feeling failure. I must say for me leaving a corporate job and attempting the challenge of blogging – and in so doing putting myself in the public eye – has had me on many days questioning myself and the value of my contribution. Taking action is at times easy to say and not so easy to execute.

    • Hi Carol, yes, it’s definitely easier said than done sometimes – to take the action needed to progress – we are our own worst enemy at times! I think one of the big things I’ve learnt is to just do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are…we are all different, and it’s not a competition or a race…some move quicker than others but if we get there eventually it’s all good at the end of the day :-).

  6. paula,
    i hear you loud and clear! i’m my own worst thrasher. cyber hugs to you. it’s all a state of mind and how stupid are we all that we STILL don’t get that?
    all the best with doing the LOVE that you do and all my wishes for your happiness,

    • Thanks so much Nancy, it’s so great to connect with you again :-). Yes, it’s definitely a mind game isn’t it…and if we can just keep strong and follow our heart/intuition, then it all works out perfectly…but sometimes we forget – damn it! 😉 x

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