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Ep #40: Failing on Purpose

Last week, we talked about failure and how it ties into the concept of true self-care and self-love. On the podcast today, I’m going to be continuing on this topic of failure in a way you might not have considered before – reveling in it and going for it all-in, despite the fear that holds you back from chasing your wildest dreams.

Self-care is the main topic we’ve been discussing over the last month or so, and failure is a big part of learning to practice it in a really profound, sustainable, and healing way. Failure is glorious and is the path to growth, but it can be so hard to celebrate and even let ourselves get that far into experiencing it.

This week, I’m sharing the process that I’ve used to take the leap in creating this show for you, and how I’ve learned to invite failure into my life every single day. We can learn to love ourselves in such deep ways when we practice failing time and again, and so I want you to experience the most remarkable failures that will actually help you achieve your goals.

I have a beautiful four-part, four-week online breathwork course. You get weekly journaling exercises and a full virtual at-home breathwork session for you to do at your own pace in the comfort of your own home, which is awesome. Go check it out!

What You’ll Learn:

  • When practicing self-care is most self-loving.
  • Why reveling in our failures is a vital part of our growth.
  • How you’re not showing up for yourself when you don’t want to fail.
  • The best way to grow and step out of your comfort zone.
  • How to learn to be great at failing.
  • The promise I made to myself in taking the leap to create this podcast.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

 

 

This week, we’ll be talking about failure in a slightly different way while doing what we do what we do best. Reveling in putting yourself out there and going all in for your goals and dreams, and loving yourself wildly, with radical and unwavering compassion. This, my love, is how we heal. One perfect failure at a time.

You’re listening to Feminist Wellness, the only podcast that combines functional medicine, life coaching, and feminism to teach smart women how to reclaim their power and restore their health! Here’s your host, Nurse Practitioner, Functional Medicine Expert, Herbalist and Life Coach, Victoria Albina.

Hello, hello, my love. I hope this finds you so well. Welcome back. I’m going to hop right in because I’m so excited to share more with you about the power of failure. I was recording the last one and realized, gosh, this is a lot. Best to pause, let that sink in, and come on back to talk just a little bit more about failure before we look next week, to the topic of doing the next right thing.

So to recap for you real quick, we’ve been talking for the last – gosh, month and a half, almost two months, something like that, all about self-care since episode 34. And how self-care feels the most healing, the most loving, when it’s coming from a place of true self-love. When you’re doing it for yourself.

Not because you feel you need to or have to, not to tick some box that’s like, I did self-care today, not just to post it on Instagram, though I do feel like I can totally criticize and critique like, #selfcare. But there’s also something lovely about this collectivist spirit. Like, having a beloved community wherever you can find it, who can show up for you as you show up for yourself and say, “Way to go, baby.”

I love it when y’all do a self-care-y thing. A lot of you tag me on the delicious, healthy, filling, high-fat, gorgeous, amazing meals you make, so I can cheer you on. And gosh, I love it. I love taking something like social media that could be used so complicated, and can lead us down these rabbit holes with beating ourselves up, compare and despair.

I should do an episode on compare and despair. I will write that next, my darling. But when we can take those spaces and find a space for ourselves and our growth. Like, our real growth and community therein. I think that’s awesome.

So we’ve been talking about self-care. How when you do it for yourself, not because you feel you need to or have to, just because you want to show up for yourself in a certain way, like by taking a bath or a nap, going for a run or to the gym, eating a specific way, and most importantly, I would say doing your thought work, that is when self-care is the most self-loving.

And therefore, I might posit, the most beneficial, in a profound, sustainable, healing, and lasting way. When you learn to trust yourself to do the things you said you’d do for you. We then frame those thought choices in the parallel frameworks of awareness, acceptance, action, and the think-feel-act cycle, which yes, all of that happens simultaneously in our beautiful human minds and bodies.

And this is the basis of the thought work that I teach, and that my coaching clients get to practice live with me every week. We then went deep on the concept of courageous action and the vital component of failure and our ability to take courageous action for our lives.

Last week, we talked about failure and why it’s a glorious thing and how amazing it is to fail on purpose, to take note of your failures. So you can revel in them because they mean that you put yourself out there. And that’s a vital part of growth, of going for your goals in life, of showing yourself evermore love.

And all of this is a deep practice of self-care and action. To praise your failures and recognize them as a vital part of growth. How delightful? This week, I want to continue to talk about failure, bringing in something a little different. This one’s going to be short and sweet.

So one of the things I see the folks in my life coaching practice do again and again and is something I have done again and again is to let fear keep them from even showing up, from even trying something new. So life stays the same as always. Same self-doubt, same resentments, same low self-confidence, same chronic annoyed-ness. That’s a word, right? Annoyed-ness?

Same irritability, same anger, same belly ache, same fatigue, same anxiety. All for not showing up to ask, how can I do this life thing differently? Now, per my own definition of failure meaning setting an expectation, not meeting it, well, I suppose in some way, not showing up for yourself is not a failure because you haven’t set an expectation for yourself.

You’re just giving up before you’ve even started. But it hits that same tenderness, that same tenderness around fearing your own self-recrimination, for not meeting a goal. That same fear that you’ll be mad at or mean to yourself for not getting it right, for not doing all the things perfectly. For investing time, energy, money, hope in something and having it not turn out how you dreamed.

So you don’t even start. You don’t apply. You don’t make that online dating app profile, you don’t ask, how can I do this thing? How can I heal? How can I live life differently? How can I respond to my parent, my ex, my kiddo in a different way today? How can I talk to me differently? How can I live a life that is so rich with self-care, self-love, and healing?

And you just keep keeping on. And for sure, that’s safer – I’m putting that in air quotes – in the short run, totally. Much less frightening on that mammalian level because remember, brains do not like change. First from our evolutionary reasons, but gosh, is that really how you want to live?

I want to invite you, my darling, to take a deep breath in and out, to center and ground yourself. Take a moment, feel the chair, the floor, the earth below you. Feel yourself planted where you are, where your foot falls as you walk. Feel yourself in motion. Lying down, still.

Whatever your truth is, whatever is happening in this moment, feel into it. Ground yourself in it. Deep breath in and out. Feel the air on your skin, the softness of your clothes, the weight of the blankey on you, the weight of your coat. If you’re somewhere, it’s warm, feel that warmth on your skin. Ground yourself in your body, feel into it. Deep breath in and out.

Now I will invite you to ask yourself with love, gentleness, kindness, if the life you want to live is one in which you see failure as a terrible thing, where you fear it because failing could mean something bad about yourself, and you may beat yourself up for that, a life where you don’t start or try or take on something new, something beyond your known means because you’re afraid you’ll be mean to yourself, if you don’t do whatever it is perfectly, if you fail, and so you don’t challenge yourself to grow, if you don’t challenge yourself to commit to yourself, to push beyond your current limits, sure, you can’t fail. But what’s the tradeoff?

If you don’t attempt to walk, if you’ve only ever toddled. To lift that weight at the gym, to go on more dates, to build your business, to take that risk, what’s the tradeoff? A life in which I’m not risking failure is not the life I want for myself, or for you, my beauty, which is why I do this work that I do.

I am a life coach because I want you to live your best life possible. And because I challenged myself to step out of the comfort of my old title, my old roles, and to grow and fail and fail and grow. And I know that the best way to do that is to learn to be your own watcher, to learn to look at your own mind, your own beliefs, your own stories about what you make things mean about yourself, your life, capacity, your everything.

And part of setting yourself up to be a champion of failure like myself is to promise yourself that gentleness is always available. When we’re scared to fail, it’s often because we fear that we’ll be mean to ourselves about it, right? I know this sounds so simplistic, but I just want to invite you not to be.

To decide to risk failure on purpose. Having promised yourself that you’ll be kind and gentle with yourself when you do. And this is probably not your habit, right? Your brain goes right to, ugh. But what you get to do is to make that promise. I will no longer get mad at myself for trying and failing. I will just learn what I can, make a little note about it in my notebook and move on to the next opportunity to fail today.

When I can’t lift what I’d like to lift at the gym, I no longer – because I used to – I no longer berate myself for it. I recognize my own current limits and then add like, two pounds or whatever the next day and work on getting comfortable with that level of growth before I make the next jump.

I felt scared to make this podcast and to put myself out there and to be vulnerable, to put my thoughts, my work into the world, but I chose and continue to choose to risk it because it matters to me that you get this information, so you can change your life if you’re into that kind of thing.

For so much of my life, I let my old perfectionist habit thoughts rule. I labeled failure a bad thing, feared it ahead of time, and allowed that fear to keep me from taking a risk, from having an expectation of myself. Until I got comfortable with all of that risk and all of that chance and likelihood of failure.

Until I had shown myself that I wouldn’t beat myself up if this show is a failure, and PS, we just crossed, I think it was 60,000 downloads. There was no Feminist Wellness. And then I practiced failing and letting my old stories about it go. I shifted the narrative about myself and my capacity to tolerate discomfort.

And I decided to go for it and make this show, and judging from the emails, the DMs, the reviews I’ve gotten from you all, and thank you so much for all of that by the way, it means the world to me when you screenshot the podcast, post it to your Insta, tag me, when you leave a review on iTunes, when you DM me or email me, we can connect, it is so encouraging.

I get a lot of joy. I mean, this is the most extroverted Leo thing I could possibly say, but I get so much joy from interacting with you all, so thank you. So I just – my chest just got all light and fluttery and like, these really happy vibrations are on my heart chakra just thinking of you all out there and every time I hear from you, the joy.

You’re here to learn about fear and failure. So judging from what I’ve heard from you all who listen each week, this podcast has been really helpful in your lives, so I’m glad that I did it. I’m glad that I took the leap and risked failing in this big, visible, public way.

Did I know how to make a podcast before I started? Nope. Did I choose the wrong mic and then have to return it and find out about the new one? Were there 1000 hurdles? And did I choose to sit around feeling confused and overwhelmed about it? Yeah, I did that. I did that for years.

I don’t know how to make a podcast, it sounds so complicated, what if people hate it? What will I call it? What will the intro say? My brain, so scared to fail. And then at some point, a year and a half ago or so, I got tired of all those old stories, of not trusting myself, to not mistreat me for trying.

And I decided to make a promise to myself. Whatever came from this show, I would be loving and kind to myself for having tried it. I would applaud me, success or failure, whatever, for having tried. So I took the leap and I know there’s a lot of privilege in there for sure, which is definitely a topic for another show, but I took the leap.

I learned about podcasting. I read books and took courses and did all sorts. I decided I wanted to do it, but I have so much to share and always so much to learn. Yay for learning, says this nerd. And I went for it. I went for a big, massive public failure because, why not?

If it failed, there would be so much to learn, so much acceptance to invite in, so many ways to comfort and love myself up. So many lessons. If you don’t try, how will you know if you can possibly meet your own wildest expectations for yourself?

It’s just so worth trying, my love. The only failure is not risking failure. So that’s me, putting myself out there, telling you in the last two episodes all about my process with failure. Fail, fail again, fail better. I have failed thousands of times. I will continue to.

I’ve failed at school and careers and relationships. I’ve failed in a million different ways. And I used to beat myself up for it so much. And I now decline to do so because I don’t need to be another perpetrator in my life. As a survivor, as a recovering perfectionist, I want to say it proudly. I welcome in failure because I don’t fear it in the same way anymore.

I don’t fear my own reprisal for having tried, and my darling, that is so amazingly healing. I can be my own ally and my own accomplice. I can and do have my own back. I have my own back. I want to say it a third time. I have my own back.

I will not be another perpetrator in my own life. And I want so much for you to have yours. That is true self-care, true self-love and action. Having your own back always. Let’s put that on a t-shirt. You being your own best friend, your own cheerleader, the one who says, “Way to fail, babe. Way to put yourself out there for your dreams. So beautiful that you tried and failed. Let’s learn from it.”

Versus sitting in that old cozy oppressor, bully, mean girl chair with yourself, beating yourself up for trying and failing. Think, feel, act. Take courageous action, my love. You are so worth it.

And don’t let that old fear of failing keep you from giving your life your most courageous go. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Failure? No. Failure just means you tried and that’s a magnificent thing. I’m already so proud of you.

My beauty, I want to hear all about your most astoundingly, ridiculously amazing failure and what you learned from it. On my website, there’s a comment section for each podcast and I want to hear all about your best failure.

Head on over to victoriaalbina.com, back-slash, forward-slash, you see, I failed at knowing which slash it is. What are you going to do? The usual one that’s in a URL. So that’s slash, 40. This is episode 40. How amazing is that?

Head on over there and tell me all about your best failure or share about it on your Instagram or Facebook, tag me so I can cheer you on, though I think I’ll only see the tag if your story or post is public. Well, I don’t know. I fail to know that and that’s fine because one of you is a really good Google-r or is a millennial who knows from the internet and you can school me on it. DM me. Post about it.

Anyway, I love it when you tag me and capitalism loves it when we hide our magnificence and our laudable failures away, when we are isolated and alone. So don’t go it alone. Let’s be a community. A family.

Collective healing is the key to our collective liberation, so share in the joy of your failure. Hashtag it. This is how we heal, and tag me @victoriaalbinawellness, and know that I will be in your corner cheering you on the next remarkable failure on your road to your greatest goals.

That’s it from me this week, my love. Please take a wee moment to leave that comment. Make sure you’re subscribed to the show. I just want to be really connected with you so let’s do it. If you enjoyed the show, please do subscribe on the iTunes, leave a rating and a review. It’s so helpful so that folks worldwide can learn new and better ways to love themselves enough to fail time and again.

Thank for listening. And remember, you are safe, you are held, you are loved. And when one of us heals, we help heal the world. See you next week, my perfect darling, and good luck with all of your failing. It means you showed up for your one perfect life and I’m already so proud of you.

Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of Feminist Wellness. If you like what you’ve heard, head to VictoriaAlbina.com to learn more.

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VictoriaAlbina

Victoria Albina

Victoria Albina, NP, MPH is a licensed and board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, herbalist and life coach, with 20 years experience in health and wellness. She trained at the University of California, San Francisco, and holds a Masters in Public Health from Boston University and a bachelors from Oberlin College. She comes to this work having been a patient herself, and having healed from a lifetime of IBS, GERD, SIBO, fatigue, depression and anxiety.

She is passionate about her work, and loves supporting patients in a truly holistic way - body, mind, heart and spirit. A native of Mar del Plata, Argentina, she grew up in the great state of Rhode Island, and lives in NYC with her partner. A brown dog named Frankie Bacon has her heart, and she lives for steak and a good dark chocolate.

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