Failing to Succeed


Failure is not an option.

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about everything going on in my life. What am I doing? What am I going to do? Who am I? Why do I love pizza so much? Ok, maybe that last part wasn’t discussed, but you get the point. In the course our conversation, he told me he recently saw an interview on CNBC with the creator of Spanx, Sara Blakely. She talks about her rise to the top of the that big fat (pun intended) industry, and what drove her there. After my initial outrage and disgust over the fact that he was thinking of me while watching the creator of Spanx, I decided to watch it.

I opened the video, I almost immediately turned it off for one simple reason: the woman, BILLIONAIRE (bitch) Sara Blakely, was this skinny, pretty, blonde woman. What the fuck?? Where’s the justice?? I thought for sure she would be, at minimum, a “curvy” woman who understood the plight of wrestling a muffin top into a pair of pants. Now enraged, I would had to hate watch the video. I was hoping that she would sound like and asshole and I would feel a sense of victory. Much to my further annoyance, that didn’t happen either. She was smart and well spoken. Then she said something very interesting; her father encouraged her and her brother to fail. Huh? What is that all about? Sounds like a douche to me! But the more I thought about it, the more I understood it, and it makes perfect sense.

We tend to look at failure as this horrible thing that happens to us. If we don’t make enough money, we feel like failures. If we aren’t at the societal milestones that have been beaten into our collective psyche, we feel like failures. We’re looking at it all wrong. Failing brings us the opportunity to learn and grow from our experiences. Yes, it’s hard, and it sucks. But there’s always that point when you think to yourself, “What could I have done differently?” If you can’t learn from those experiences, then there’s something wrong.

I don’t like to think of what’s going on in my life personal life as failing, but in a sense it is. I’m ok with that. I’ve really taken a new outlook on my life and how I’m going to approach it. I’m not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself. Yes, I’m 33 and separated, have no kids, and am living in a one bedroom apartment (ok, when I actually write that sentence, I do sound like a bit of a loser). Instead, I’m looking at it from another angle. I have the freedom to do what I want! I can take the time to really think about what it is that I enjoy, what makes me tick, what keeps me motivated. This blog is a starting point. I know, it’s not as amazing as inventing Spanx, but it’s a start. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I stopped doing it a long time ago. I never wrote for anyone else, just myself. The idea of this blog kind of popped into my head, so I acted on it. I’ll be honest; I was petrified to put it out there for people to see. The thought that other people would read my initial post and hate my writing (failure #1), or read about my personal life and think I was a loser (failure #2), scared the shit out of me. I’m not sure why, but something in me decided to say fuck it, who cares. If people like it, awesome. If not, they can fuck off. The point is, I overcame my fear of failing/being judged and did something that made me happy. Success!

There’s a ton of things that I’ve failed at over the years, and there will be a many, many more. But for now, I’m in a good spot. I’m doing something creatively, which I’ve always enjoyed. I’m not sure where it will take me. I’m not going to worry about it though. I’m going to enjoy it. I realize there’s a ton of opportunities out there. I just need to find them and wrestle the ol’ muffin top into them.

Spanx a lot for reading, and all of your support. Now get out there and fail, you losers!

(GET IT?? Support?? SPANX??)

Here’s the interview

CNBC Interview with Sara Blakely

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