Failure To Launch

by justine

My job is really up to me. It used to be because I work remotely, because the original person who hired me left, because no one really understands what my job should be within a department 3,000 miles away. But I’m proactive and I’ve taken it upon myself to make my job productive and useful.And so far, everyone is happy with what I’m doing.

For this calendar year, I’ve decided to work on two major projects – both of which are challenging and interesting. Their success should expand and refine my position as I move forward.

During my trip to Boston, one of these projects came to a head. There were meetings and decisions to be made. A pilot program was launched, data measured, presentations given.

And then? Nothing.

It’s been really trying the last few weeks to watch something I’ve put a lot of energy into not receive any sort of response. Worse off – the decisions for the next phase stalled. Everyone suggests more research, meetings, discussions, more crap, really… And it’s completely discouraging.

So I was carrying around that discouragement and a whole lot of other drama from being on site a few weeks ago.
And I knew I needed to reconcile all of this for myself, but I didn’t know how. Was I going to have to Byron-Katie-this or would something shift my perspective?

If I’ve learned anything from my personal growth over the past few years it’s this – I am responsible for dealing with my own shit storms. I needed a way to reconcile, talk myself out of this, or box it up and put it on a shelf.

And, like always, I was listening to a podcast while out on a run with the dog – and things started to click.

Merlin Mann & Brett Terpstra discussed failure, the different types, how it all feels, etc. It made me break down the whole experience:

The actual goal we had for this project within this timeline = failure.
The actual goals we had for this project for OURSELVES = total win. Awesomesauce all of the way.

That’s what I needed to separate for myself.

Acknowledge – yes – it is a failure on this level. But that, Y-E-S it was a success on another. And the parts I have control over? Success all the way. Everything else I don’t have any real say in – the rest is up to someone else.

I’ve reached acceptance for how things are. It allows me to move on to the next thing, try something else, put my energy where my work actually is. And this whole process taught me more about myself, my interest in projects, my tolerance for change and the type of work situations I want to be in more often.

And that, in itself, is a success.

You can listen to the entire podcast on the 5by5 Network.