Twyla Tharp identifies six kinds of failure: skill, concept, judgement, nerve, repetition, and denial.*
I’d add a seventh, although it can be found in each of the above: character.
When we fail to deal with our failures they become our shadows – we drive them to the hidden places in our lives, hoping to starve them of light, yet they remain a part of us, hurting, hungering.
If I can find a way of dealing with these then I disarm them.
When I acknowledge and embrace them, then their power is not so great.
When I gather forgiveness and learning to them, they become a place for journeying from instead of to.
Then I am able and free to expand; I can grow, I am capable – as Otto Scharmer, proffers, we can:
‘Take deep-dive journeys to the place of most potential.’**
The thing is, no-one is failure free, therefore, shadow-free. There’re only those who try to escape their shadows and those who face them and embrace them.
The classic hero’s journey sees someone wrenched out of their day-to-day lives to face some challenge they’re rather not face. In the course of this, they come upon their greatest shadows. Often, they overcome and emerge to a life of greater hope – which is not the same as “happy ever after.”
‘Courage comes from willingness to “die,” to go forth into an unknown territory that begins to manifest only after you dare to step into the void.’**
Perhaps the best way for many of us is to take on a new challenge and to face the shadows as they present themselves: acknowledging, gathering, and expanding.