Are you a failure?

by Amy on April 18, 2019

Many of you know about my essential oil obsession…

Well announcement: I’m not selling them anymore. To achieve the level of success I wanted, I’d have to put a whole lot more time and attention into the business. Time and attention, I’m not willing to give.

You could say I failed at my essential oil biz.

Yes, you could say I’ve failed at many things…

When I’m feeling down, it’s easy to ruminate, remembering all the times I have failed in life. It’s easy to compare myself to the superstars on social media and inventory all the ways I fall short.  And then I can’t sit down without feeling guilty that I have yet to live up to my potential and I start feeling like somehow, I have to earn my right to exist.

But then I remember the definition of “failure.” It means “a lack of success.” And I think about my essential oil business again.

I met a good friend through my business.

I got to travel to Prague!

I learned that multi-level marketing can be a really legit way for people to make money.

I learned about essential oils. I I use every single day. I love them. My family loves them.

I got to do the business with my kids. They loved helping me prep for classes and teach essential oils.

I introduced essential oils to new people, offering them an alternative to doctors or pharmaceuticals.

I learned that I’d rather spend my free time writing and hanging out with my kids.

These are some pretty big successes.

Yeah I could tell myself I’m a failure. But it wouldn’t be true at all.

What is true is that riding on the back of each “failure,” is a bouquet of successes, each one unique in its impact and magnitude.

So many of us are afraid of failure. We don’t allow ourselves to try because “what if it turns out to be a failure?”

But what is failure and what is success?

What if each one of your “failures,” wasn’t really a failure at all but an invitation to dig deeper into the truth about you – your values, your strengths and weaknesses, your priorities…

What if each failure was actually a window into a better future for you?

I’m not afraid of failure. You don’t have to be either.

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It’ll get better

by Amy on April 11, 2019

Guys, I’ve been having a hard time. I got in a big fight (really big) with my spouse, I caught a terrible cold, we are dealing some HUGE life changes that I will say more about later and I’m just generally feeling a lot of anxiety… So I’m pretty much writing this for myself. But if it happens to help you too, then all the better.

I learned about yin and yang through an early foray into macrobiotic eating. Some things are “Yin,”like carrots, the feminine, black, and the moon and some things are “Yang” like mushrooms, the masculine, white, and the sun.

These opposites complement each other, neither one better or worse. But an increase in one will cause a decrease in the other. The idea with macrobiotics is that some foods are “yin” and some foods are “yang.” (Anyone else wondering who figured this out?) You have to eat a balanced amount of each.

The biggest thing I learned all those years ago, besides the importance of thoroughly chewing brown rice, wasn’t actually about food at all. It was about balance. According to the principles of macrobiotics everything is constantly seeking a state of balance.

It reminds me of something my mom told me once when I was an angsty teenager. “Amy,” she said, “things will always get better eventually.”

You see I subscribed to The Illusion of Fixed Conditions. I believed that my angst would last indefinitely, when in fact this idea is just an illusion. You see, when things are bad, we can’t help but assume that things will always be bad. But The Illusion of Fixed Conditions (and mom) says that nothing is ever fixed. Things are constantly changing. So as any angsty teenager would have done, I curled into bed with a pillow over my head for as long as I could until things eventually got better and my mother’s sage advice once again proved to be right.

It’s tempting then to assume that it’s enough to simply hide under a rock until Mercury stations direct. But this is not the recommended approach. After all there are bills to pay and children to feed and books to write.

Take as an example the game of tennis. If you are unfamiliar with the game, it’s the only professional sport where women receive the same prize money and, depending on the players, that attracts the same number of fans as men. The latest research also says that playing tennis will extend your life span by an average of 9.7 years. You should really take up tennis. But I am getting off topic…

One minute I am in the middle of a tennis match and I have found the Zone or what that guy with the really long last name refers to as “flow.” I am unbeatable I think as I hit another forehand winner. Then I make a couple of errors and, boom, my opponent has won a game and then another one…

Tennis teaches me that anything can happen at any time (in tennis and in life) and the key is to run with it like a French bulldog at a dog park. Yes you ride that positive momentum with abandon as far as it will take you because, grrl, it could change at any minute.

Other times I find myself getting my ass kicked in a match. Tennis also teaches me that sooner or later my opponent will lose her momentum — as long as I stay close I still have a chance.

All to say that…

If you are in a bad place right now in your life, things WILL get better.

I promise.

Just don’t fall for the Illusion of Fixed Conditions. You’re having a hard time right now but it won’t stay that way forever.

And if you are on top of the world right now (yay you!), ride that momentum for as long as you can. When things take a downward turn, remember it’s temporary. Get your ass out of bed and soldier on. Figure out what you can learn from the setback instead of hiding under that rock. It will keep you in the game until it’s your turn, once again, to soar out front.

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Reacting versus Responding

March 8, 2019

The other day as I was driving home, I noticed an urgent craving for chocolate covered malt balls. The feeling came quickly and seemingly out of nowhere. Full disclosure, I’ve been eating a lot of maltballs over the past two weeks. Even though my face breaks out, even though it messes up my sleep. I […]

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I’ve Gone Full Granola

January 25, 2019

Just over five years ago I stopped drinking alcohol. What I didn’t anticipate was how much my life would change. One tiny change turned out to be a tidal wave. I lost weight. My sugar cravings went away. I started to exercise more. I STARTED PLAYING TENNIS AGAIN!!! I dealt with a lot of emotional […]

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To the dreamers…

January 10, 2019

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a gymnast. I remember watching the Summer Olympics and seeing those athletes launching through the air on the uneven bars or bounding through a floor routine. The sight of them filled me with awe and a yearning. But my parents didn’t have the extra cash […]

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New year, no goals

January 3, 2019

Happy 2019! New Year, no goals… I’m going to do that thing where I look back at 2018, the highs and the lows, then talk about what I want to experience in 2019 (maybe not in that particular order). But first let me just say that my attitude towards goals has changed. I like to […]

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My Inner Rudy

December 14, 2018

“Sometimes a winner is a dreamer who just won’t quit.” – from the Rudy trailer I’ve been thinking about the movie Rudy. Do you remember it? Since he was a kid, Rudy dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame. Being on the small side though, everyone (especially his Dad) told him it was impossible. I […]

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Back to Square One

October 11, 2018

Last week I wrote about my latest bout of depression.   I mentioned I had a theory about what led up to it…   But first you need to know about The Change Cycle. Martha Beck writes about it in Finding Your Own North Star, the book that, ironically, rescued me after a particularly nasty […]

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Where did Amy go? Part 3

September 27, 2018

It’s me again.   This is a blog post about mental illness.   I’m no expert on mental illness.   I’ll just write from my own experience.   I could keep tossing euphemisms against the wall.   The blahs, the blues… But let’s just call a spade a spade? Depression fucking sucks.   I’ve struggled […]

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Where did Amy go? Part 2

September 13, 2018

Last week I mentioned I’ve been marinating in the blahs… I blamed the stars, well Mars Retrograde to be exact. Yeah well, that *might* not be the whole story. You see I’ve been working on a memoir. You know that long term project you start that you *think* might take a year or so? Well […]

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Where did Amy go? Part 1

September 6, 2018

Two words . Mars retrograde. Like you, my energy fluctuates. At times it feels like I have endless reserves. Other times, it feels like I can barely get out of bed. Lately, well since May if we’re honest, I’ve been feeling blah. Yes, blah. THE WORST KIND OF BLAH. The kind where you are grumpy and jaded […]

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You Unsegmented

May 31, 2018

I love Astrology. Once, several years ago, I started an astrology website with my friend, an astrologer, Dena DeCastro. But I didn’t want people to know. Especially my coaching clients or the people who subscribed to my newsletter. “What should I do?” I asked my life coach. “I don’t want people to think I’m woo […]

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“You Think Too Much.”

April 6, 2018

“You Think Too Much.” I get this a lot. And, frankly, I find it irritating. What else am I supposed to do? I have a brain, therefore I think. I get it…I’m supposed to listen to my heart. It will steer me in the best direction. In some ways I’m the opposite of an over […]

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WARNING: Having a Dream May Lead to Massive Disappointment

March 30, 2018

I keep thinking about a conversation I had years ago with a woman working in the registrar’s office of my college. I was ordering transcripts for an application to work in Japan as an English teacher. She wanted to know what I was working on. “I’m applying for the JET Programme with my husband,” I […]

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Give Me a Break?

March 1, 2018

Confession: I am not the best communicator. I’m blunt and I don’t take the time to explain myself or soften things. Yet ironically, I’m as sensitive as they come— I read into everything other people say. Which is why I’d have a very hard time having a conversation with myself. That is, if I didn’t […]

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Fake Joy or Real Joy?

February 9, 2018

After I stopped drinking, I developed an obsession with dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s. I’d buy a huge container of them and eat the whole thing in a couple days. I would drive to TJ’s just for the peanut butter cups, nothing else… I’d get a rush eating the initial few on […]

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Last Week was a Train Wreck

January 25, 2018

Last week was a train wreck… I lost my brand new t-shirt the day it came in the mail. I tried it on then it promptly disappeared. After an exhaustive search, I did not locate my new shirt. Gone. Without a trace. Then I completely spaced a meeting. I confirmed it the day before, even […]

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21 Essentials for a High Vibe, Happy Life

January 18, 2018

I have to tell you, I’ve been pretty happy these days. So damn happy that I haven’t had much to blog about. As you know, if you’ve been following me for a bit, this hasn’t always been the case. So I started to think about the things that have contributed to this new found, happy vibe. […]

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New Year, Same You

January 5, 2018

Happy New Year! I’m not going to lie, I love self help new year rhetoric. Vision board? Check. New Planner? Purchased. Word of the Year? Pondering. And yes, I have completed a list of goals, each goal nested within a A/B decision tree of contingency micro goals, complete with an exhaustive list of behavioral and […]

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Meet Alice

November 29, 2017

This is my daughter Alice. Most people nowadays think she is a he. When she introduces herself as Alice, they think she is saying “Alex.” One day early in the school year, a bunch of older girls laughed at her for going into the girl’s bathroom. “Look!” they said. “There’s a boy using the girls […]

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What is Your Genius?

November 3, 2017

Wednesday was my four year sober anniversary. I was never a stereotypical “drunk.” But I loved to fill my free time with activities centered around drinking. Having wine at the end of the day, going to Happy Hour, Getting drinks with friends. I used to think I needed it to have a good time.Giving up […]

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My Double Life

October 5, 2017

I found some photos of me posing in my underwear. From twenty five years ago. We were living in Los Angeles. Our neighbors were working actors. We’d see them on TV. He had a co-starring role in Beverly Hills 90210. Once they told me I could get work doing beer commercials. As a femenist the […]

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For Better of For Worse

September 15, 2017

This morning my daughter went MIA before school. We only had 10 minutes left before it was time to leave for the bus and she still hadn’t finished her homework, eaten any breakfast, brushed her teeth or put on her shoes. I found her outside barefoot with some neighbor friends playing with a remote control […]

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What They Don’t Tell You About Spin Class

September 6, 2017

I remember the first ever time I walked into a Burn Cycle class. My friend invited me to go with her… “First time?” She asked. “Yes…” I replied. That’s when she raised her eyebrows and gave me an ominous look that said sarcastically, “good luck.” Just getting on the bike itself seemed to require a […]

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The Great Time Blocking Experiment

August 8, 2017

  God this is a boring topic. But I just have to because so many of you are suffering like I was suffering. It’s summer. The sky is blue. The kids are home. I just got the Tennis Channel. It’s so hard to get anything done! I’m definitely not as ambitious as I once was. […]

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Chronic Sleep Deprivation — I had no idea!

June 8, 2017

It is said that If you put a frog in boiling water, it will jump out. But if you put that same frog in warm water and slowly heat it to boiling, the frog won’t notice the danger and it will boil to death. For years I have had to get up multiple times at […]

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An Open Letter to Introverts (From an Introvert)

May 18, 2017

  It all started in grade school. I couldn’t figure it out. Why did all the other girls get so giddy over slumber parties?   I hated them.   Most of the time I would go anyway and pretend to be having fun until I couldn’t stand it any longer. Then I would either retreat […]

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14,000 Things

May 12, 2017

Yesterday Ron’s sister would have been forty years old. She was killed in a car accident when she was 21. I happened to be talking to a friend yesterday who has brain cancer. The meds are hard on her. “But you know what,” she said to me, “I am so happy to be alive. I […]

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When the doer cannot do

April 14, 2017

It’s Thursday. I have had the flu all week. And today I learned I have a bladder infection too. Bonus! I cancelled a tennis match, a podcast interview, three tennis lessons (two for me and one for my kids), missed an entire week of jiujitsu because I couldn’t drive the kids, skipped the Facebook Live […]

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God, Source, Spirit, The Angels, The Muses…

April 6, 2017

I am driving down Broadway Boulevard. It is Summer 2008. The twins are about six months old. Looking through the rearview window, I see them strapped into their car seats. As usual, Anthony is not happy. He is doing that thing he does before an all out crying fit. Alice is looking at me. Her […]

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Show Me A Successful Entrepreneur

March 10, 2017

Show me a successful entrepreneur in the service industry and I’ll show you a person who loves themselves enough, loves the work enough to let themselves fail. Somebody who is willing to get out there despite the possibility of bad hair, typos, toilet paper on the shoe, awkward exchanges (Them: Nice to meet you. You: […]

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How to be a Winner

March 2, 2017

Last week I beat a really good tennis player. In straight sets. 6-2, 6-2. If you don’t know tennis, I pretty much kicked her butt. “Wow, my back was really bothering me today.” This is all she had to say after the match. I lost to her a few months ago so I’m pretty sure […]

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Be here, now

February 24, 2017

A few nights ago, my husband said something mildly stupid that hurt my feelings. I am as soft-bellied as they come. I get my feelings hurt with an astonishing frequency. It is one of the many downsides of having a moon in Scorpio. Anyway…We were in bed, my back turned against him. I was convinced […]

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Stop Expecting Them to “Get” It: Why Some Partnerships Fail

February 9, 2017

“What’s on the agenda this weekend?” My husband asks. I open up my planner. “Battle of the books in the early afternoon Saturday, then Jazmina’s Quinciniera in the eve. Then Sunday is Janina’s birthday party at the pool.” “I’m not going to that,” He says. “But…” I answer. “I work all week and I don’t […]

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How to Think When You’re Overwhelmed

February 2, 2017

  I figured out the main theme of my book. This is the theme that informs everything. It’s the big “So What?” of the book. I was talking to my friend about it the other day. She asked me if I knew the theme when I started writing. “I haven’t wanted to start my book,” […]

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Saint Ron: Why the Truth Hurts (If You Let It)

January 27, 2017

“You should be canonized for putting up with her all these years.” This was a comment made about me to my husband. The same person I blocked to escape his poisonous text messages found a way to get to me through my husband. I won’t lie. When I heard that he said this about me […]

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5 Survival Tips When You #$%^& Up

January 20, 2017

I was recently invited to play on a bad-ass women’s tennis team. Wanting to make a good impression, I volunteered right away to practice doubles with a group of women. Got a babysitter and everything. On the night of practice, I got to the tennis club ten minutes early. Nobody there… “Strange,” I thought as […]

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Setting Boundaries with Setting Boundaries

January 12, 2017

For a long time my dream was to create a successful six figure, and then multiple six figure, coaching practice. After achieving the $200,000 a year mark I considered going for $500,000 a year. I created the business plan, I had the team in place, but I never made it. “Being an entrepreneur is the most lucrative […]

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We March

November 1, 2016

She is in a dark room, there is music on the other side of the door, and voices. She is crying and afraid. She doesn’t like being in here in the dark, alone. But no one hears her crying. Then the door opens and a man looks in. She can see the outline of his […]

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The Adult Brain of a Bullied Kid

October 6, 2016

We were on a bus, heading into Portland for a field trip. It was going to be a great day. We were going to try sushi for the first time and see China town. I was in seventh grade. Sitting on the bus, the girl next to me was leaning up against the window talking across […]

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35 Excuses Keeping You From Being Happy

July 27, 2016

No excuses. Just happy. My mom used to call me a “malcontent.” I hated it when she called me that. But now I see that she was right. I always had a reason why I couldn’t be happy. Here are a few excuses I used to make that kept me from being happy. Chances are […]

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You are five.

February 25, 2015

Who were you when you were five? When I was five… I loved flowers — I vividly remember the plants from my childhood – the sunflowers in my backyard, the rose bushes by the patio, the filbert orchards and the Oregon grapes with berries you couldn’t really eat. I loved to swim – that feeling […]

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