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Tuesday Coffee Chat

In my quest to get back into a regular blogging schedule, I realized that Tuesday Coffee Chat is back this fall! I've missed some weeks, but I would have anyway because of the whole "I haven't felt like blogging" thing.

And, of course, today's topic is a doozy.

How do you handle your failures? Are you a crawl back into bed and wait for it all to pass kinda person? Or are you a jump immediately back on the horse sort?


There was a time ... quite a long time ago ... when I did not know failure. I was full of confidence (possibly arrogance) and just plowed forward through any failures and mistakes I made. Things didn't shake me or deter me or knock me down. I just believed that I could do whatever I set my mind to do, and I did it. And when I failed I just kept moving in that direction until I succeeded.

Somewhere along the way I realized my lack of invincibility. I even began to look back on past successes to realize I was the only one who thought I succeeded. Friendships I thought were solid were anything but solid. Other relationships I thought were true and honest weren't true and honest. The things I thought I wanted weren't things I wanted. Fail. Fail. Fail.

And my confidence went down the toilet.

Now I don't trust my instincts when I succeed. I am not sure what success is anymore.

My response is no longer to just push forward. My response now is to scale back my expectations and live each day as simply as possible. In other words, I find that I no longer have the courage to take any risks. High risk equals high return. But it also means a crashing fall if my instincts are wrong. And since they have proven to be wrong so much of the time, I no longer trust them. That leaves me in a place of isolation, I know. But it feels to be the safest place for me. And I just don't have the energy to always be fighting for something. I am more comfortable to just letting life happen around me, jumping in when I feel inspired to and sitting back during all of the times when I don't.

Really I just try to appreciate the small things in my life, the little successes, those day-to-day things that bring me joy. Although I feel a little knocked down by the realities of life, I am not unhappy with my station in it. Maybe I am really, now, who I was always meant to be and, before, was really striving to be someone I was not. I'm not sure.

But the bottom line is that when faced with failure ... with adversity ... I now tend to take a few steps back instead of jumping several steps forward.


  1. I'm not so sure that high risk always does equal high return...??? I guess it depends on what is important to you and how you measure "success" as you say. For me, I completely agree with your (new) attitude about the simpler things and an more purposeful life. Mostly, "success" is not measured by mySelf so much anymore, but rather, those around me. Which rather runs contrary to this selfish, self seeking world and I can find myself at odds within at times. The world would see that as a Fail -- but I think it tells me, I'm actually where... and like you say WHO, I am supposed to be. :)

  2. I can relate to where you are at now very well, Nicole. I am extremely hesitant to put myself out there when it comes to new relationships or new experiences for the same reasons as you, what I often thought was going great, turned out to be the opposite. I have learned not to commit myself, to hold back and move very cautiously. I also live a simple, quiet life and I am quite content with that and my online friendships. Maybe the lesson for both of us is to move forward more slowly, one step at a time with caution, rather than giant leaps that send us crashing if we fail.


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