Finding Happiness Through Our Failures

It was 7am – kids were already up getting ready for school.  As I laid in bed, eyes still closed and fighting to wake to a new day, I could hear my girls (ages 8 and 6) already fighting and my son (9) pretending to be “Chewbacca” from Star Wars for the million and tenth time.  All I wanted to do was open my eyes and find myself lying by the beach, the waves quietly rolling in – the water tickling my feet.


As a mother and entrepreneur with young children, you just have to accept this fact:  life will be messy.

How you deal with messy is a whole ‘nother matter and one that has been a rollercoaster of a ride filled with slamming doors, pots of coffee, tears, and a whole lot of “I’m sorry’s.”

If you would have asked me a year ago where my stress and anxiety level was at on a scale of 1-10, I would have said 10.  Today, I would say 2. What changed? Me.

I had failed.

I had failed in my business.  I had been failing at motherhood.  I had been failing to take care of myself.  I was stuck in Failure-ville – Pity-Party-Ville, if you will;  as if every day someone was pissing in my cheerios and I had no control over it.  And boy did it take me a long time to figure out how wrong I was. I had all control over it – control of how I felt about it.

I wish I could pin-point the moment or even the day, but it’s a day that has changed my life in so many ways.  I chose to take responsibility;  full, complete responsibility for everything in my life.  No excuses.  No shifting of blame.  No more pity party.

“You can’t change the things that happen to you, but you can sure change how you feel about it.”

I have experienced tremendous shifts in my life by several means:  meditation, journaling my struggles and expressing gratitude, various life-growth programs, affirmations, finding my big why for self-care, and also by just simply being more loving to myself.

“You cannot give to others what you do not have for yourself.”

Love is for giving, not receiving and I firmly believe this applies to and is directly proportionate to how much love we have for ourselves.  

Rather than take on a new diet or dedicate yourself to the gym, for two weeks, look at yourself in the mirror every chance you get and tell you that you love you.  Express that you are worthy of love, that you are a wonderful human being with special gifts the world needs and that what you have to offer others is unique to you.

Being more loving to yourself first, in my opinion, is the catalyst for long-lasting change.  When you realize the limits you feel are only limits you place on yourself by means of your own thoughts and the stories you tell yourself –  it is freeing to know that anything is possible.

You see, what happens when you start from the inside, everything on the outside shifts and naturally evolves.  Some may call this the law of attraction – like attracts like.  This is what happened for me.  I know it sounds silly;  just imagining yourself doing it feels very awkward.  However, we give our thoughts more power than anything else in our lives.  When we finally take control of our own minds, everything changes.  We grow in ways we never thought possible.  When you’re growing, you feel fulfillment, and when you are feeling fulfilled, you feel happiness and joy.

The pursuit of joy and happiness is ultimately, as humans, what we all strive to attain.  The lesson I want to share, from my own experience, is that change didn’t happen until I decided that it was me, and me alone, that got me where I was in my life. I was going to have to change to get where I wanted to go.  No one else was responsible for my thoughts and the story I was telling myself but me.  Each day is a work in progress.  So far, I have found that I have more desire than ever to learn new things, create more, to be and do more, share more, and really create a life that enables me to give in ways I never imagined.

In order to be a healthy you, it all starts from within your own mind and heart.

We can learn from our failures. Share your stories of failures and success in the comments below. Let’s inspire one another to be strong – to push through the hard times – and to learn from our experiences.

Victoria Volk

Professional Photographer at VLV Photography
Victoria Volk is the founder of VLV Photography, a Boutique Photography Studio specializing in HS Seniors & Families and is the process of launching an inspirational website – The Guided Heart. Victoria has been happily married nearly 11 years with 3 children. She loves coffee, sleeping in, and slipper socks because her feet are always cold.

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  1. Carrie Neely

    This: Being more loving to yourself first, in my opinion, is the catalyst for long-lasting change.

    Absolutely. It changes everything, and it all begins with one’s own attitude; the rest follows suit. Like attracts like, right? 🙂

  2. ling |

    Great reminder! As mom and entrepreneur, it’s so easy to get sucked into other people’s agenda and see ourselves as victims of our circumstances. It is a constant practice to stay on top of our thoughts and cultivate the awareness to call ourselves out when we enter pity-party-ville!

    • Victoria

      Remaining in awareness is a constant practice, for sure! I have found it has gotten easier as I have been more able to just “let go.” Thank you for reading, Ling!

  3. Angela Tsai

    Really enjoyed reading this! The fear of failure — of being mediocre, of starting over and over again — is high on my list. As I start my own business, it’s nice to be reminded that it’s up to ME how I feel about what happens, and that i need to take responsibility for what happens, victory or otherwise. I have definitely gone through pretty public failures, and only when I owned up to them (publicly!) did I start to feel like I could forage ahead with my own ventures. Check it out:

    Thanks Victoria for your thoughts!

    • Victoria

      That’s an incredible story, Angela! I left a comment there, on your blog as well, but it’s fascinating how failure (or our view of failure to ourselves) reaped such parallel rewards for both of us.

      My best to you!


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