Dear Failure,

How ya doing? I can feel you patting me on the back like an old familiar friend. Your touch singes my skin, so could you lay off? You’re not even a real emotion, just a perceived one. You only exist from one perspective. If I climb to a different branch, the view from my perch changes. Sure, I broke a few branches on my way up. I even stumbled a few times. But I climbed. I may have further yet to go. But I climbed. I may have needed a boost, a net, and even a parachute. But I climbed. Guess what, Old Friend. I’m shaking things up. You’re holding me back with your negativity and naysaying. I’ve got to shake you off some time.

May 2020
failure definition
failure: noun. lack of success, the omission of expected or required action

I love reading these old letters. They come at a time when I need them most. Failure is one of my biggest fears. As I’m sure it is for many.

Recently, I’ve been achieving some momentum in my career, and imposter syndrome begins to set in as the compliments accompany the accomplishments. I’ve written a letter to Imposter Syndrome–and I’m sure I will again–but fear of failure is like that nagging inner critic. It likes to tell me that what I’m doing isn’t on par with the client’s vision, that I won’t be able to defend myself against misogyny and bigotry, that what I’ve advised falls on deaf ears or helps no one. I’ve had to introduce this inner critic to a seat several times in the past couple of months.

Failure can also be beneficial. It provides an opportunity to see what doesn’t work, a chance to pivot, to learn. I now accept failure as a tool and foundation for the person I am today. The failures of my past have created a loyal friend, savvy businesswoman, and careful communicator. Failure has prepared me for future failures. I know that when they come, I may feel anger, hatred, sorrow, or even grief. I also know that I will succeed. I will recover and rebound. I will recognize my own strength beneath the anger or sorrow and push through to the other side. I will give myself grace and time to do so.

If you have emotional letters you’d like to have featured, please feel free to share to

Thank you for continuing this journey with me.


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