Days of Gratitude — Failure, feedback and being fabulous

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What happens to you when you see or hear something about you which screams FAILURE? Or makes you recall feelings of failure?

What is your first reaction?

Mine is a tightness in my chest, in my heart and I feel my body, especially my shoulders and neck aching — as if I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. And then the thoughts come.

  • “How *bleep* dare they!”
  • “Who the *bleep* do they think they are!”
  • “Right I am going to tell them what I think.”
  • “No one will speak to me again when they see how useless I am.”
  • “I am a failure, I might as well give up.”
  • And on and on and on and on…

It’s like a never-ending mantra which is actually doing you a favour.

Hear me out…

When the words come, explore them.

I do this by sitting quietly and first connecting my heart to the heart of Mother Earth, and breathing gently in and out. Then connecting my heart to the heart of consciousness, and breathing gently in and out.

Then I bring to mind the event and experience and muse, allowing my mind to wander.

Finally, I write in my journal.

I might ask a question ‘what if I didn’t give up, who would I be?’

The sins of the teacher visited on the children

In the playground, the teacher touched my father’s arm and said: “I am sorry but she will never go to university.” I wasn’t sure at the time what that was, but I knew that wherever we were being channelled I wasn’t good enough or clever enough to go there.

The playground swirled around me and my head throbbed, I can still recall the blur whipping around me. In that instance, that teacher had condemned and labelled me a FAILURE.

Not long after, my year ran a competition, I don’t remember what the point of it was, but there were 50 questions that we had to answer, some we knew and some required that you use your initiative, undertake research or ask your mum and dad.

Something in me said I will win this and I did.

But getting on stage to receive my prize of a packet of felt pens was not a success, I felt that everyone was looking at the girl who wasn’t going to university and thinking, she must have cheated.

At 16 I was expelled, I was bored, classes were too slow, and why would anyone want to spend time helping a disruptive child? Just before getting expelled one teacher took me under her wing and I adored her, she really made a difference, but it was too late and not long after I was out on my ear.

I lurched from crap job to crap job and ended up in the civil service, mind-numbing work, and people whose job title dictated who they would talk to and how.

I hated it.

And there, in the midst of it all was Mrs Glover, she saw a spark and set me free. I was allowed to go to college to study, and I loved to learn again.

Later in my 30’s, I went to university, and I got an MBA.

But you see that wasn’t good enough and I just kept on taking courses and always hard ones, I had to prove that I could and I was not a FAILURE.

In 2009 I took my last two courses, at the same time — ILM level 7 executive coaching and mentoring certificate and an NLP practitioners certificate — I passed — of course, I did, I worked hard…

And then I saw two more masters courses that I fancied one in therapeutic writing and one in business psychology and these I thought would make me more successful.

I don’t know what stopped me, perhaps it was the FEEDBACK I was getting from my peers, customers and friends, perhaps I had stopped for a moment and smelt the coffee, perhaps I was starting to believe in me?

I’ll tell you now, recognizing my gifts has taken years… But it has to start somewhere.

What do you do when you get feedback?

I am always grateful for the lesson and the feedback. These are gifts.

Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things. — Rhonda Byrne

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What do you hear when you get verbal feedback from a client? Or read a testimonial?

I can tell you what happens with me. I smile and sometimes cry. I stare at the words and think — that’s me.

What I always do is to say thank you. I put my hands on my heart and feel into the appreciation.

If you have 15 minutes to spare, here is a video about gratitude.

Take a moment to think again about how you feel about feedback and testimonials.

I loved the course. It’s the perfect blend of inspiration and challenge. The units are well thought out to stimulate healing and growth. The meditations are both beautiful and powerful. Dale’s energy and compassion shine through throughout so that you know you are held and heard in a truly safe space. I have emerged, changed and empowered.

Did you hear (or read), wow what you did there was amazing.

Or

Did you hear, blaaaaar — fail, failure, doomed?

How we give and receive feedback is so important, and I am going to stick my neck out and tell you that how you receive feedback, is vital to your personal growth.

It is, of course, your responsibility to choose your response, to ask what does this really mean to me, and how can I learn from this?

If the feedback was not so great, same questions and…

What needs to change (or not) or to simply acknowledge that someone else didn’t like what you did, in their opinion.

I know it takes a brave person to suck it in, let it settle and to then see the learning to be gained and that this is an opportunity.

When someone slated an early book of mine, out in the open, on the internet for all to see. At that moment I wanted to die, runaway, join a circus, change my name, anything but to be reading their sarcastic rude comments, and in the next moment I smiled, yes I smiled. I said it doesn’t matter why and what they said what matters now is what I do with it.

The book was course material that I put together to give my students — and print on demand was an easy way to get copies and so I put it out there, changed it a few times and forgot about it. Life got in the way. I know foolish, but hey, we all do stuff that comes back to bite us on the bum.

I have learnt from this, of course, I have and I want to thank everyone who has ever given me feedback, positive and negative because you have helped me to:

  • Become who I am
  • Feel comfortable with mistakes
  • Accept that being imperfect is ok
  • Learn my craft better
  • Help my clients in ways I could never have dreamt of because I can put my hand on my heart and say ‘yes me too, been there done that and got the T-shirt’

Hold this in your heart, turn hearing FAILURE into FEEDBACK and you will feel FABULOUS.

It can be a hard path putting your hurt aside, but when you do and look for the lessons, you will see the gifts and you will know just how fabulous you are.

With love, enjoy being fabulous.

Today think of the gratitude you feel when you consider what you have learned through apparent failure (which is only feedback).

Grab your journal take just 3 minutes to write 3 things that you are grateful for which the tough lessons have taught you. If you watched the video, you will see that there is a bit more to gratitude journaling than just saying I am grateful for…

Journal Gratitude and Being Fabulous Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. What has been the biggest thing you have learned about an apparent failure?
  2. If you could go back what would you tell yourself?
  3. How will you use this learning going forward?
  4. What are you most grateful for in this learning?

Grab yourself a copy of The Little Book Of Gratitude Journaling Prompts and keep it by your bed for inspiration.

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Originally published at https://daledarley.com on August 24, 2020.

Intuitive Coach, Book Coach, Writer

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