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Episode 34 – Growth Through Failure

Growth Through Failure

In this episode, Julie shares how being willing to fail can lead to your greatest triumphs in life.  When we spend so much of our lives trying to avoid failure we are limiting our highest growth potential because in the depths of failure is when the greatest lessons are learned and our true strengthening happens.  Getting curious about our desire to “win” and learning to let that go will allow us to experience the true joy and bliss that can happen when we try new things and don’t let the fear of failure stand in our way.

In This Episode, You Will Learn About:

  • How failing can be the greatest thing that happens for your growth
  • How to let go of the fear of failure
  • Having courage to put yourself out there in a new way is what will lead to your greatest triumphs in life

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Julie Goetzinger is a psychic medium, best-selling author and coach who teaches how to make more money and impact without sacrificing your well-being. In her book, “Free to Fly: Manifest the Life of Your Dreams,” she shares her story of how she created abundance by stepping into her true self as an artist and spiritual medium. She is the creator of Free to Fly and has seven years of experience in business as an entrepreneur.

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Performing at the Moth

Recently, I went and performed a story at The Moth. The Moth is for storytellers, many of which are professional speakers, actors, actresses coming to perfect their craft.  And I decided, being trained as a professional speaker, this would be something that’s great for me, to get in front of an audience and to practice a story. I signed up to put my name in to be pooled. And what happens is you’re to prepare a five minute talk on a specific theme.

The theme that night was crossroads.  So we were asked to prepare a five minute talk, and you don’t know if you’re gonna get chosen when you get there. You put your name in the bag and that just means that you’re open to being chosen.  I came in cocky as hell and I left deeply humbled. 

Here’s what happened:  I walked in and I’m like, “I got this. I’m a speaker. I’ve got a speaking coach. I’ve got a rating coach. I can do this. I’m not afraid.” I introduced myself to the staff. I sat near the VIPs. I saw their seats marked VIP, and I decided I would make friends with the VIPs because I, too, am a VIP, and I deserve to be here in this section. Again, feeling cocky, feeling confident. And cocky to me just means overconfident.

It was just how I was at the beginning of that night,  and I made friends with this woman who actually had won the event the previous time. So we exchanged phone numbers because I figured it’d be good to know her. And she also just thought it was fun to connect with me. So we exchanged phone numbers. She is the first person to get picked to share, and she does an incredible job, and I’m so proud of my new friend. She gets good scores and that was something else. I didn’t realize that we were even being scored. I thought that we were just going up there, kind of like karaoke, and just share our story from our hearts. You know, kind of like improv.

Well, no, there’s a specific criteria that you’re to follow. It’s supposed to be timed and you are judged and you get scores.  I was like, “Oh, okay, well, if I’m meant to get picked, I get picked. If I’m not, I won’t. No big deal, right?” My name is called next. I’m like, “Oh shit. Too late to turn back.” Now, I walk out on stage loosely having a story that I wanted to share about divorce and had no idea how long the story was gonna be.

I was proud of my story because my message was about divorce as completion.  It was about not to fear it, not to think you’re bad or wrong, or to shame yourself for going through divorce or for considering divorce, but to see it as completion and to continue to send that person love and appreciation after the separation.

So I finished my story. I just stopped. There was no real ending. I just stopped talking.  I had no idea how long I’d been talking. The audience applauds me. I go and sit down and my scores pop up. They’re low. They’re pretty low, and I’m thinking, “Well, I didn’t know what I was doing. It’s fine. At least I got up there and shared my story. It’s okay.”  The next person gets up there, her scores are much higher than mine. The next person gets up there, their scores are also higher than mine, to the point where my name just kept dropping lower and lower in that scoreboard. I’m sitting there feeling like I’m gonna explode with tears, fighting them back. Just feeling all the feelings that I have no right to be here. Who am I to be a speaker? I need to pick something else. I can never do this professionally. Who would pay me for this when I just got that score? I don’t deserve to be here. The lights finally came on during intermission and I did not say goodbye to any of my new friends. I beline it the hell out of there. I fast walk to the metro, get to the metro. Two people ask me for money, and I’m thinking, “Well now I’m gonna get robbed after just being kicked down, being told I wasn’t good enough, basically by a huge audience of people that I’ve never even met.” Finally I get home and I cry myself to sleep.

Realizations after the Failure

I wake up the next morning wanting to blame someone for these feelings. These feelings of inferiority, these feelings of failure. And I’m thinking, they shouldn’t have judged you. They shouldn’t have given scores. That was humiliating. I will never step foot in the Miracle Theater again. And then I got curious and I started thinking, what part of me has such a strong desire to win? Why? 

I thought back in my life to other times when I had won and lost and what happened, and what I recalled was if I would score the winning goal in soccer or if I would get chosen for a part in the play in my school auditions, then, I would receive a lot of love from my father. And my dad was a performer as well, and I was thinking, this is his arena. I can’t let dad down. My dad has now departed. I was thinking, “Wow, I really let dad down.” And I think subconsciously that was actually what I was responding to. Not my scores, but what it meant and how it made me feel. I realized that winning was actually me putting myself out there saying yes to allowing myself to be someone who shared a story in hopes of inspiring and uplifting others.

Maybe someone in the audience was going through a divorce right then, or was about to, and was fearful and needed to hear my message not to be afraid. That was why I shared that, not to get good scores. And then I started thinking, how is this any different than getting crappy scores in mini golf? Why does this matter so much?

And I realized that it was the being stuck in this idea of what success looks like. Success looks like lots of money. Success looks like high scores. Success looks like praise from others. So, as long as we need that feeling and that validation from others, we will never feel success within. The success here is in putting ourselves out there of being bold and being brave. Having the desire to inspire and to help and to teach others, that is success. 

And that is my story of how I was humbled, yet was also able to pick myself back up and grow through this perceived failure and to not see it as a failure at all. I also realized that the name of the theater was The Miracle Theater, and I laughed about that because of the breakthrough that I experienced in the Miracle Theater.

This is the exact story that I plan to share at the next month’s event. I’m not shying away. I’m not hiding. I’m not staying home feeling sorry for myself. I’m gonna put myself out there again only one month after having that happen. That is success. That is winning.