…You may know the feeling well. Maybe you’ve tried hard to avoid it. Failing, after all, is 'to be avoided at all costs'.
I’ve failed many times. Especially in my career. I wanted to be a dietitian and I failed three rounds of internship interviews, two Master’s of Public Health interviews, my final clinical exam in my Master’s, which resulted in my being unable to do my clinical internship. So I failed at becoming a dietitian.
I used to attribute my ‘failure’ in my career to my poor interviewing skills. That if I had just practiced my interviewing skills more, I would’ve made it. Maybe it’s true. I might have made it as a dietitian. But would it have gotten to the root of what was driving the ‘failure’? Not so sure.
It's been 7 years since my last set of interviews. I'm now healed from this. But for the first few years I was swimming in my victimhood tears.
Since beginning my work in the non-diet and intuitive eating world, my perspective on so many things has changed. Including being able to see myself more clearly from within. Was failing dietetics really about not practicing the interviews enough?
Don’t think so.
It was from a fundamental belief that I wasn’t good enough. And when you believe you’re not good enough it shows up in your confidence, or lack thereof. Or for others perhaps in other areas of life, perfectionism, etc. The words that came out of my mouth in those interviews were irrelevant. What my body language was screaming was “Don’t choose me! Others are better”.
And it wasn’t that I felt completely inadequate or useless. Feeling ‘not good enough’ isn’t that either. I did well in my nutrition undergrad- and my Master’s for that matter. Really well. I even got to present my Master’s project at a conference. I felt great about that.
Still not good enough. Still stuck.
I put my dietetics career in a glass jar and let it drift off to sea. Next on the list was a scavenger hunt for finding my new career.
I found a couple. One was wrapped in kale. Looked interesting. But nah. The next was wrapped in self-trust. Ooohh, I like that. Self-trust. Intuition. No bad foods. Live, love, eat, feel free.
I win the scavenger hunt!
Intuitive eating is where I am today.
I can’t say for sure if I’d be here without failing dietetics. Maybe, maybe not.
Intuitive eating is about connecting with your senses, cues, physical and emotional body...and other 'bodies'. It’s about challenging the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world.
It’s so much more than about food. So I realized.
I held beliefs about myself that contributed to my (dietetics) ‘failure’. I started doing ‘belief’ and ‘thought’ work (with a mentor) and began understanding, like REALLY understanding, that beliefs aren’t facts (recently wrote a post about this called "Deep-rooted Beliefs").
And while I haven't had the direct experience of 'failing at diets' like some of my clients and other women in my life, I know what it's like to feel like a failure. I know where it's felt in my body. I know the pain. But despite the 'root cause' of the failure, or the feelings of failure, more importantly, I've learned to detach myself emotionally from failure. I've learned not to let failure define me. Because it doesn't define me. It doesn't define you. And I, and you, can move on.
I am happy to be doing this work, to say the least. It feels right in every way. It’s about food. It’s about health. It’s about emotional well-being. It's about connection. It’s about poo-pooing limiting beliefs…and embracing our authenticity.