“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Maya Angelou
The other night, the evening of the full Virgo moon, I had a dream. Our beloved family pet, Milly, new to our home since March this year, played the central character. Milly in real life is a rescue dog, she was a stray. Her history is unknown. She is a delight, the most playful, friendly and loving energy you could find in a 4 kg dog.
In the dream I had to eject Milly from my place of work. She had to find her way home. I was heartbroken to do this. Gutted. When the time came I could go out and find her. I found her dirty and matted, climbing a dirt track. She didn’t see me, but lay down on the ground, exhausted. I picked her little body up, overjoyed to have found her. And looked into her eyes. They were vacant, the eyes of an animal so beaten down by life that they had separated themselves from her soul in order to survive. My heart broke into a thousand pieces. I knew that it would take a very long time of patience, love and care to bring the light back into her eyes, to restore trust. But is was what I must not do.
We have all been beaten down by life in some way or another. Some more than most.
I knew this dream was about me and my work. The part of me that I had to eject from my work, to find its own way home. The part of me that had shut itself down after what had felt like many defeats. The part of me that is broken by struggle, effort, striving. By the experience of failure. That is afraid to trust yet again that this time I will succeed.
This is the path any entrepreneur must face. To transcend talk and move to action. To fail, and rise again. And fail. And rise, again.
Some people experience success early. And then fail. Some fail, and fail, and keep showing up. Some fail and quit. There is no path without defeat and failure of some kind, be it in our work, or our relationships.
Failure is the nexus point that determines character. Now you get to choose who you really are in the harsh light of failure.