A few months ago I said farewell to a dear friend who was embarking on a new adventure. Although I was overprotective, her talent, intelligence, entrepreneurial spirit, and sheer grit was overwhelming evidence that she would be successful in whatever she pursued.
She made a firm statement near the end of our conversation. “Let me fail.” It was her life, her decisions, her opportunity, and if she failed, they would be her lessons to learn and grow from.
She sent updates on her progress. Although the landscape was beautiful, she was not in a supportive environment. People she thought she could trust and depend on were frauds. They used “Let Me Fail,” as an invitation to take advantage of her trusting nature and robbed her of her self-esteem.
It’s an insidious thing to question someone’s dreams and aspirations. Weak and insecure people have a habit of projecting their impotence on others. It makes them feel powerful when they belittle, berate, assault, and abuse those they feel threatened by. “Let Me Fail,” was stripped of its original power and used as a weapon. As if to say, “You want failure; it’s yours.”
A few weeks ago she returned. She had retained her strength and dignity, but her inner light was doused by fear and uncertainty. That alone can keep many people down, but not those with purpose, strength, and character.
Failing was not her goal, but she attracted failures who wanted her to fail with them. Winners don’t do that. Winners mourn their loss, accept and learn from their mistakes, take on new challenges, and act with humility as they rebuild their life. They replace tears of sorrow with tears of joy. They laugh with true friends, build better relationships, and get back to working on and for themselves, for the betterment of others.
My friend, and women like her, are far too strong to allow the manipulation, lies, and weakness of others to keep them down for long. Yes, they do fall from time to time, then they brush themselves off and rise higher than before. With renewed determination, you can hear them say, “Watch Me Succeed.”
Those who try to stop them may hear a different, more colorful phrase.
Also published on Medium.