The Power of Intuition vs. The Fear of Failure
October 5th, 2017
Last night, I watched an interesting documentary called "Inn Sæi: The Power of Intuition." Naturally, given my career, the study of intuition usually captures my attention. Well there's that, and also, the filmmakers are from Iceland. These two factors made this movie catnip to me. Could not resist hitting that "play" button!
It made some points that I felt were quite affirmative to my own beliefs, which naturally we humans often seek out to validate our own selves. But it also helped present a few hard truths, ones that can be difficult to really digest, and a couple that struck very close to home. Here's a quote that really stood out for me:
"If you take the journey, and do things you don't like/you're afraid of into complete unknown territory, there is [the] possibility that you go into [a] different pattern, and something else will happen, and the experience will change you. But also, there's a big chance of failure. And I think failure is such an important aspect of everybody's life, that we have to really be ready to fail. Because if you experiment, you don't know what's going to happen. So the failure has to be part of the journey." ~ Marina Abramović
What a powerful universal truth!
This quote felt especially pertinent to me as I launch my own business enterprise, knowing that I am risking failure. Then I reflected outside myself, and relived many of the personal stories people have shared with me throughout the years- the people who also summoned the courage to launch a business, the ones who wanted to leave an abusive partner but didn't know how they were going to support themselves, those that needed to dig deep into their own strength and speak unpopular truths in order to initiate change and purposeful growth, etc. Their words and experiences flooded my mind, and the connecting thread was clearly visible. The impulse for change came from within. It was the call of their intuition. They wanted to move past the predictable and fixed moment, and reach out for the unknown. But first, they had to confront their fear of failure. It's usually that point in a person's journey when I am asked to perform a reading.
There's a connectedness between intuition and moving into the unknown, and it goes deeper than the usual "If I do this, will it work out" kind of questioning. There's a sense here that the rational mind, as involved as it is in the execution of our plans is, most often, not 100% of the equation. The impulse that initiates the process is usually creative. Visceral. Intuitive. It lies within the realm of inspiration.
This creates the great difficulty- moving forward, despite having no firm guarantee that this "nudge" will actually work out in reality. No matter how affirmative the reading may be, no matter how well all the facts line up, it is ultimately still a trust-fall exercise with the universe. At the end of it all, you still have to move out of your old patterns and move headlong into the unknown, being pushed ever onward by an unseen inner force that keeps pushing and prodding: "No risk, no reward."
So, what if experiencing failure is actually an important experience that ultimately serves your highest and best self? What if there's an embedded lesson in failing that may set you up for even greater and more meaningful success later on? Perhaps your intuition is craving the lesson and the experience, and not so much the guarantee of achievement. What if it's all about the creation process, and not the final form of the creation itself? We hang so much importance on the notion of success and failure as some infallible benchmark of the worthiness of the journey. But what if that approach was wrong, and we completely miss the point? What if the lesson was in the trying, and not the result? Would our intuition be wrong then?
No, not necessarily.
So, the question I pose to you is this:
How does that initial impetus for change manifest in your life? How do you first notice it, sense it, feel it? That spark is the birthing point of inner-seeing, inner-knowing, moving into the magic of life. Pay attention to how that shows up for you. The more you pay attention to it, the more you will notice it. The more you notice it, the more in-the-moment you will live. The more in-the-moment you live, the more calm you will be. And when you become calm, the specter of failure will loosen it's grip on you.
And then, no matter the final result, you succeed.