I have been suffering a case of writer’s block. I have conjured every excuse imaginable, rather than write this blog. So I have taken the opportunity to explore the pattern here. Perhaps what I realized will also be useful to you.
I suspect we each have a failure of some kind from our early years that has left its imprint. For me, that was what in the British school system at the time we called “O-Level English.” You had to pass O-Level English or you could not graduate into high school.
I failed it. Everyone in the school knew of my failure, or, at least, so it seemed to me. I survived the embarrassment of having a private tutor. Felt more confident re-sitting the exam… and failed again! My own native language. I mean there were people passing this thing who grew up speaking french.
Even though I did eventually become more exam savvy—learned to review the questions before reading the text—and passed the third time, I took on this feeling of fundamental deficiency. Like there was something barren inside that I needed to hide from the world.
Working with people over the years, I have found this to be true of most. When we finally integrate that part of ourselves that was previously treated as unacceptable, we unleash newfound freedom and creativity. For me, as it turned out, all the skills I developed to hide my deficiency from the world can instead be re-purposed to show myself. If you are good at hiding, you will also be good at making things visible.
My willingness to admit that I was blocked, and to ask for help from those who support me, has opened a new commitment. My feeling of failure—imprinted early and no doubt reprinted over and over as my life unfolded—has shown me that I am actually good at making visible what is authentically true for me. While I am not planning to become the next Hemingway, I am uniquely placed to reveal the benefits hidden in my deepest pain. And to guide people to discover the greatness of who they are and what they are capable of.
It is now very hard for a client to persuade me that there is something fundamentally wrong with them. And let me tell you, most will give that a damn good try at some point! This same conviction in the original greatness of who you are pervades the design of our new at-home Transformation Retreat, the Numina App, and this blog.
Uncomfortable as it may be to feel whatever past feelings of deficiency get triggered by current events, it instills a wonderful confidence to know even that—especially that perhaps—is part of what makes each of us uniquely awesome.
I would love to hear what discoveries have come out of your most painful failures.
Founder & CEO