Recently I met a new acquaintance for coffee introduced through a mutual connection who thought we could both benefit from knowing and networking with each other. What I thought would be a professional meeting became a get together between kindred spirits and the beginning of a lasting friendship.
After getting our coffee we began talking about ourselves, but instead of rattling off our bios and describing what we do, we spoke more candidly about the twists and turns in our lives that have shaped who we are. She shared about being laid off from a job that ended a 17-year career path, going though a divorce and other life changing challenges. And as I shared about my own expectation hangovers, relationships that ended abruptly and past struggles with confusion, depression and hopelessness, a bond began to form.
Then she said the most insightful thing: “I love speaking about my failures because they always connect me to people. My failures humanize me.” In that moment I was experiencing the truth of that statement. By opening up to each other and sharing authentically about our “human-ness” there was instant intimacy. It also reminded me that most of the emails I receive and the clients that come to me for coaching are drawn to me because they relate to my failures – not because of any of my accomplishments or training.
My encouragement today is to be UPlifted by your failures. Bring them into the light instead of keeping them in the dark because of shame or judgment. Failures are our greatest learning opportunities as long as we are willing to learn from them versus using them as something to beat ourselves up with. When you speak more openly about your mistakes and how they have affected you, it supports you in letting go of shame you may be feeling. Today and each day change the way you see failure because truly all of your mistakes are masterpieces.
”My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Christine Hassler supports individuals in discovering the answers to the questions: “Who Am I, What do I want, and How do I get it?” Christine grew up in Dallas, graduated cum laude from Northwestern University and received her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. She is now a Life Coach with a counseling emphasis specializing in relationships, career, finances, self-identity, personal and spiritual growth. Her expertise is centered on the twenty and early thirty something years of life. Christine has authored two books: Twenty-Something, Twenty-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction and The Twenty-Something Manifesto. As a professional speaker, Christine leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. She has spoken to over 10,000 college students as well as to conferences and corporations about generational diversity. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, as well as various local television and radio shows, speaking about life issues and “Expectation Hangovers®” – a phenomenon she identified and trademarked.
Christine is the spokesperson for Zync from American Express and the key resource for their Quarterlife Program, which empowers young people to take control of their finances. She also created a life balance curriculum for the Leadership Institute and is a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100. Beginning this fall, Christine will serve on the faculty of the University of Santa Monica.
You can connect with Christine on Facebook, through Twitter or at her website.