From Failing Math to Finding Myself


"Maybe failure is just a stepping stone to greatness, stitched together with good intentions and some heart. Along the way we find ourselves again and when we just be that, we have begun to succeed"

From 7th grade to 11th grade I had a math tutor. My mom would drive me to her house for my tutoring sessions once a week, twice if I had a test coming up. I don't recall brushing up on my math skills, or lack there of. I remember eyeing her victorian style decor, making mental changes in my mind about her curtain choices and furniture placement, while waiting for her to offer me cookies. Cookies are always a priority over algebraic equations. I can count on one hand how many math tests I passed over those 4 years, math wasn't really my thing. Writing stories, daydreaming and the urge to redecorate filled my heart up with love just like those cookies.

F as a grade meant failure, and as a teenager I decided it also meant I wasn't smart enough to understand math -- that my brain wasn't able to comprehend the formulas and equations. It may as well have been written in a foreign language. I'd panic at every test and sit slumped in my seat when the grades came back, hovering over the paper to make sure nobody could see. I was focused on the failing and never focused on the lesson. I jumped on the pity party train and convinced myself to stop trying. That was the real wrong answer in this equation. When we allow failure to overcome us we then give all the power over to our negative thinking and lose hope that we can begin again.

[Tweet "You have to own the failure, but never become it."]

I wandered my way through college dubbed by my family as the perpetuating student. I had 4 college majors over the course of 10 years none of which showcased my strengths or passions. I did however become completely fixated on becoming an exceptional math student. I didn't want to fail again. I decided after some trial and error that my final college major would be business. I made it my mission to take on Economics and Statistics as if I never failed a math course a day in my life. I sat in the front row for every class and took notes like a champ. Then with 7 classes left to graduate I dropped out.

I was exhausted, working full time in my "business" account executive career choice and going to school at night. I felt like a zombie. I convinced myself that this path was going to prove that teenage girl wrong. That I could turn those failures around. Walking away from it all turned out to be the biggest success I could have ever imagined. When we embrace what went wrong we can then move forward.

Almost 4 years ago, at 33, I started my own business doing what I love. Now failure is not about failing. There is no F on the paper. It's about the ups and downs of growing a business, following my passion and tuning into my strengths. There is nothing to prove, only new lessons to be learned. When I fail I get back up again and approach situations with a fresh set of eyes. When I made the choice to tap into my authentic self, where I make decisions from a place that feels good and I stand in my truth, real magic begins to occur. I can say that even when I fail I am succeeding. I am pursuing what I love and that in itself is success.

Failure I have learned is just a stepping stone to greatness, stitched together with good intentions and some heart. Along the way we find ourselves again and when we just be that, we have begun to succeed.