So You're Worried About Failing?

I woke up this morning ready to write a blog post on Spiritual Activism & things I think about pursuing in my day to day life. I did my morning meditation session & sat down to write for you all.

I don't know what made me do it, but I checked instagram and noticed a little red 1 in the upper corner notifying me of a new direct message. It was from a girl I've never met, one who asked me about having the courage to live out their dreams even though she's deathly scared of failing. She let me know she feels in her soul she knows what she wants to do but didn't want to fail.

Those that know me, know that I LOVE having those conversations & it was early in the morning & I think best when it's early & I've just got out of my meditation. So I answered with what I felt was true in the moment. I want to share what I sent her way (although it's edited a bit better for a blog post and not as much rambling).

**Disclaimer that I really don't know what I'm doing at any given moment. I try my best to live my life by these 3 principles/truths. 

1. I give where I can, big and small
2. I focus on self-love so that I can love others from a good & healthy place
3. Life is constantly changing so it's ok to not have all the answers, because chances are they're going to change anyway

**End Disclaimer

If you're worried about failing, I'd say, welcome to the club. It's human to be scared of failure. We all do it. Those that don't worry about failure are just too full of themselves to admit they do worry about failing. And we get really scared of failure because we don't want to try and achieve our biggest, wildest dreams and have to come back with our tails between our legs saying to those who told us we weren't going to make it that we did in fact not make it. So let's start there and see where it takes us, ok?

If you're worried about failure, I'd ask you to take a few moments & write down what failure is to YOU. Not your parent's definition, not your friend's definition, not society's definition, but YOURS & yours alone. If people are judging your life choices on their definitions, you'll find yourself constantly in a rat race that leaves you feeling like you're just out to please everybody. Get clear on YOUR definition & know it doesn't truly matter if it doesn't align with anyone else's.

Then take a few moments to write out your worst case scenarios. Chances are at the end of all those scenarios, you're still alive. If you head out into the world with this big idea & you have to come home a "failure," so what? You'll have to endure a few "I told you so's" but you'll also be able to live your life knowing you had a dream, you tried & you gave all your heart & soul to something you believed in. Haters like to try & put down those with the courage to try things they themselves don't have the courage to try.

Know life isn't supposed to be easy, especially when we're going after things that are so near & dear to our hearts. Jenny & I have failed SO many times. And so often what we think we want isn't what we really want. But you can never ever know until you try. Jenny & I have taken some massive risks in our life & every single time we have, life's thrown us some curveballs & it was way harder than we ever could've expected & it definitely didn't go according to plan, but those risks always led to experiences that have shaped us into who we are now. People who are proud of the life we live & the memorable experiences we've shared.

Who I am today is directly shaped by the choices I've made in my life, failures & all. I've gotten really good at spending some quiet time for myself in meditation. I have to carve out a space so that I can listen to what my heart is telling me. I've learned to pay attention to how my body feels when I'm speaking, both to myself & others. Especially when it's big decisions & dreaming. I've come to trust my heart always points me in the right direction, but it's so easy these days to get distracted & not listen to our hearts.

I get it, it's hard to have big dreams, to share those with people who are supposed to love you & then have those people in your life not line up with that vision. It can feel incredibly lonely. But they want what's best for you. They want to see you happy & successful (whatever that means), but they can never fully understand you because they're not you. They haven't lived the same life experiences or had the same interactions you've had.

And we can break our backs trying to meet other's expectations for us. At the end of the day, it's not worth it. We're accountable to ourselves, ultimately. And to be the best version of ourselves, it starts with having enough self-love & courage to take care of ourselves first. Then we have the energy & love to offer others. This holds true in all areas of our lives. 

Pursuing our dreams & failing is scary. There's no denying that. To me, I've found on the scary decisions it's best to not overthink it, and just go for it. Break it down into the tiniest steps possible and just start there at the first one. The first step is almost always, making a phone call, doing some research, buying a plane ticket, etc. Those things are fairly easy. 

Trust the Universe has your back. Trust your heart will guide you to where you're supposed to be. Trust your dreams matter & that your life is worth living wholly & completely fulfilled. 

Which is why I want to share this with you. Yesterday I stumbled on this article about a group of people meditating to benefit their community. I thought about how at concerts when I'm singing along with everyone I just get these chills & this deep presence & how good that is for my soul (science backs me up here).

Then I thought about how I'm just one human. But I can add love to the world in so many different ways. How awesome would it be to share where I'll be meditating & invite others to join me? And what if others in different places saw it and decided to collectively join in from a distance. Just sitting & breathing & focusing on love & gratitude for all. Could that make the world even a tiny bit better?

There's so much hate & anger around me right now & my heart hurts. But when I start to get overwhelmed I just have to make space for myself to sit & breathe & I know I'm ok. I know that not everyone is filled with hate. I know there are SO many good people out in this world. 

You see...when I thought about bringing people together to just sit together and focus on love for a bit I thought of failure. What if no one shows up? What if others think it's stupid? With the situation in Aleppo, hate crimes, terrorism, bullying, sickness, etc...with all that going on, how does sitting and meditation change anything? What if it's all bs anyway?

Chances are all of those things might be said about me or to me. But if you go back to the top and revisit #1 & #2 of my life principles you'll see that giving people a break from it all, to just be for a bit with no expectations is a gift. And if you've ever taken those mindful breaks for yourself you'll know that meditating is an act of self love. And when you take the time to take care of yourself, you can better take care of the world.

You see, I want to focus my life on creating/living from a space that feels good. A place where I'm creating the world I want to see around me and inviting others to join me in living meaningful lives filled with joy.

But how does one do that without ignoring all the horribly real aspects of humanity? Hate, racism, greed, sickness. Those are real problems that I don't feel like I can turn a blind eye towards.

And while there are things in my life that consistently cause me to feel angry, I always have something to be grateful for. There's so much beauty in my life. There's so much beauty in the world. There are SO many good people alive right now.

So how do we create the world we want while not turning a blind eye to the messed up parts of humanity? Because not one of us is perfect, & I have my flaws & I desperately want to believe the good in us will win with love for ourselves, each other & the world around us. Will you join me? 

spiritual activist in training mindfulness graphic hand letter

 

Josh Solar

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