about my first big failure and what it meant
When I was in my 20s, I lost my job. The guy who said good-bye, my boss, did it in the nicest way. He talked about territory restructuring and other changes. The company gave me a lovely package so that I could move back to my home in Chicago. I might have tried to believe that I had no part in what happened, but in my heart I knew my job was gone because of nonperformance.
It was the first time I had failed at anything.
I’m not going to tell it was fun or that I learned a lesson then that changed my life. It wasn’t and I didn’t.
It took me a long time to even make sense of it. I was a winner, always successful. How was it that I totally missed on this one? How was it that I couldn’t seem to find a way to get to the winning? How did I get myself lost in a spiral of unhappiness that made every small loss lead to another slightly bigger one? What was I not doing or seeing?
Really I was blind to one HUGE thing.
It was the wrong job for me.
How hard I’d tried to fit myself into a space that didn’t fit me.
I bent and twisted, smashed and squished, curled and flattened, until I was walking in circles without direction. All the time that I was doing that, I was sure that my lack of performance was the problem — it was only a symptom. The problem was that I was trying to reconfigure myself to fit a job I’d taken.
We live in a time finding the right job may seem a challenge, but living in the wrong one still isn’t the answer.
Ever wonder what you bring to the world? … where you belong?
Look at what you’ve always done well, what problems you’ve always solved for other people, the things you do that other folks rely on. You’ve been successful before. Look inside those successes. You’ll find the answers have always been there.
I can say it’s so.
I’ve lived it.
All that my first big failure meant was that wasn’t MY path to change the world.