Failure, J.K. Rowling style

By October 6, 2011Entrepreneurship & Mind Set
J.K. Rowling

As is the case with millions of people globally, I love J.K. Rowling and her work.

Her stories are insanely captivating and span age groups. Her empire grosses in the billions AND she lives in Edinburgh, one of my most favorite places in the world.

I’d say that’s success.

Watching an interview she did with Oprah in August of 2011, I am moved deeply by her “failures”.

It’s what we call things when life looks like hell.
For me, one of these “failures” was enough to leave NYC 2 years ago, another “failure” was enough to get me moving in my own business, and if it wasn’t for USSR’s being a HUGE “failure”, I wouldn’t be in the US in the first place.
She lost a mother, became a single mother, left a marriage that didn’t work, had no money and was diagnosed with severe depression.

I’m sure she folded. I’m sure she needed time to process. I’m sure it was absolutely awful for a time, yet it’s what she did with her grief that’s remarkable, and what I invite you all to look at.

She used that energy to create Harry Potter and everyone else in those books. She used her depression to create the dementors, brilliant and powerful characters. She channelled her loss into her story, not only working on healing herself but producing a work that was entertaining and deeply emotional, becoming completely accessible to and loved by adults.

And maybe most importantly… in the end, love wins.

I’m sure that if I asked any of you about your “failed” relationships, “failed” businesses, “failed” friendships, you’d have lots of raised eyebrows, deep sighs and lots of head shaking, but I’m sure you’d also find a hell of a lot of good things to say about them.

With time.

We just hate it when we’re in it, because it hurts, and it feels like we’re going to die.

And yet it’s when we’re IN it deeply that we can make profound shifts, turn corners into something really spectacular and GROW in ways previously unimaginable.

For me, one of these “failures” was enough to leave NY 2 years ago, another “failure” was enough to get me moving in my own business, and if it wasn’t for USSR’s being a HUGE “failure”, I wouldn’t be in the US in the first place.

So now, looking back, it’s all a series of well-disguised gifts, not failures at all.

One iconic thing I have heard many times, from all coaches worth a damn, including my current and genuinely awesome Rob Scott, is: “Get out of your comfort zone. Growth happens there.”

What I hear there is: Reframe “failure”.

Comfort is most important when we’re fearing for survival, and what better test of our sense of safety but our very sense of failure?

Failed relationship, failed business, failed whatever. We scurry into our little holes and hide, licking our wounds until we’re ready to deal with the big bad world again.

But what if we just relaxed into it all? Embraced these failures and graciously thanked the people involved?

What’s possible then?

A new business, a new relationship, a new life!

It’s worth a try.

Here’s the link to J.K. Rowling’s interview with Oprah.

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