Cate Giannousopoulos (pronounced: John-is-hopeless) is a passionate, driven, layered woman who has worn many hats through the years, including marketing director, childbirth doula, kickboxing instructor, TV series executive producer, and serial entrepreneur (current: UntsuckCo). She attributes her personal/professional growth to her failures and most painful experiences, not her victories.
Failure question: What has been your biggest lesson from failure?
I struggle with the word “failure.” I don’t like it because so often the greatest gifts come through our most profound “failures.”
My failures and mistakes have typically been the things I have spent the most time beating myself up about; they are also the things I carry the greatest shame over.
We’ve been taught a narrow view of what it means to fail, and I believe that narrow view has caused the most suffering, not the failure itself.
If we learn the most about ourselves in those moments – in our failures – about how to love others, how to self-honour, how to listen to our inner whispers, how to pay attention to the impact of our decisions…how is it a failure?
Is it really a failure if it teaches you something your deepest self needs to learn? Or if it helps you understand what you crave and deserve? Or if it reveals the narratives you’ve bought into but no longer serve you?
I get the regret that comes with unintentionally hurting others.
I get the “I should have seen that coming” and the “why didn’t I listen to my intuition?”
But we are generally all doing the best we can with what we have.
I don’t know of anyone who has truly learned themselves – and grown in that knowing – without the pain and darkness that comes with making mistakes, failing, and getting back up….
During a recent dark season of my life, I vividly remember sobbing on my kitchen floor after my kids had left for school (and just before a work meeting). I couldn’t manage or control the flow of tears. I was on my knees – literally and emotionally. The pain felt guttural…like years of marinating self-judgement and loss and pain.
If you’ve felt that, you know it’s pretty awful.
And then somehow somewhere in all of that desperation, the gift comes disguised as a choice: find the courage to get up and look at it – the pain, the ugliness, the beauty, the loss…and start to heal it.
Or ignore it, self-medicate, and let it settle deeper into your bones and hope it doesn’t creep up again (even though you know it will). 😉
I have done both.
And only one of those brings with it a deep, unwavering freedom from the shame we feel about our “failures.”
Trust in the abundance of your life.
Trust in the generosity of others.
Trust you will somehow be ok.
Learning to trust wasn’t a light switch for me – it didn’t change overnight.
It was a process.
It was a practice.
Have the courage to ask for what you need, to tell the truth of who you are, to forgive yourself for not knowing better back then.
You are more than ok, you are whole.
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