Guest post by Heidi Johnson

In Aug 2010 my mom's boyfriend died at 64. They had been on/off for years, always seemed to have missed connections in a long distance relationship and had decided to give it a go, one more time. Right before he was getting ready to make the move, he ended up in the hospital with stomach pain. A massive, non-operatable tumor was discovered, and instead of embarking on an epic adventure, he was admitted to hospice. I’d know him for 20 years; there were many stories in our family history connected to his name. When he was dying he shared his regrets; his sadness at so many, many missed opportunities in life.

I finally got it – the switch was on and light bulb was lit. It became paramount to start figuring out what the hell I was doing with my life. There was no way I wanted to wake up one morning, age 50, hating my job and berating myself for taking a management position I knew I should’t have!

But making the move from think, wish, and hope into do, act, and create isn’t easy and had me quaking in my proverbial boots. A state I was reminded of when I recently had a reader asked me how I got so brave. It stopped me dead in my tracks because…

I’m not brave.

“What the heck is she talking about? I’m not brave,” I thought to myself. People think I have it all figured out. Apparently, I’ve been told, I intimidate people with my confidence…

With the switch in the “on” position and the light bulb lit, I didn’t just pop down to the local supermarket and picked up a can of Bravery on aisle 3.  I didn’t wake up this morning thinking “Damn, I’m gonna dominate today!”

No, mostly I Fail Towards Mastery. This cornerstone, Failing Towards Mastery, is one of my a guiding principles. It gets me up out bed in the morning and sometimes kicks my ass. Most days I kick it right back, but some times I lie on the floor whimpering…not brave at all.

And the more I thought about it and wondered how to respond to her email, the more I realize I didn’t get brave because…I’m becoming brave….It’s not a done deal. It’s a process, a journey and I don’t think I ever want it to end.

This is where Failing Towards Mastery comes in. The only way to get unstuck is to start. Start writing, start moving, start believing, start doing. I started pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone and taking action. I had no idea what to do besides feeling fearful, confused, and wandering around in circles….So I started trying stuff out…I got certified to teach journaling classes – 2 people came to my class. I went through yoga teacher training so I could become a Yoga As Muse™ facilitator – 2 people came to my class. Are you getting the picture here….?

It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something. Trust me, I was not feeling the least bit brave, more of a scared ninny, when I started trying on ideas, roles, and possibilities. And truthfully, you can still occasionally find me wandering around in circles. Usually when that happens I’ve let my Inner Critic get behind the drivers seat, and besides being a crap driver, he gets on the intercom and starts broadcasting my fear story. Whamo! – that nasty bit of work has boondoggled me into believing him and I’m wandering around, dazed and confused, when I remember…

I push the barriers of my comfort zone and work at becoming brave because of the loved ones who don’t get this chance anymore. I remind myself believing the Inner Critic is a momentary lapse of judgement and I get to choose what I let in. On a bad day, when I whimper on the floor as my ass gets kicked, I still come up fighting, tenacious as a two year old in the quest for why, remembering this is just another step as I Fail Towards Mastery…


March meThis is Heidi Johnson….

She is a CTI trained coach working towards certification while she practices the fine art of Failing Towards Mastery and duct taping her Inner Critic’s mouth shut….

During her certification process she's offering deeply discounted coaching – to get things started sign up for a free 30 min Conversation Starter at inkwellinsight@gmail.com. When she's not bamboozled into wandering around in circles, you can find her rocking the hula hoop, eating waffles, and laughing with her husband.