Be honest, sometime in the recent past you failed.

At something. 

Maybe it was a resolution you made at the beginning of the year.  Maybe it was something you dreamed of doing, maybe it was something that you got halfway through and didn’t finish.

No matter.  I want you to relax.  No guilt mongering here.  No finger pointing either.  They don’t work worth a lick.

When things aren’t working out for you. When it feels like failure is your companion more than you’d like, it might not be totally in your hands.

It could be that the something that turned out to be an abject failure was simply not great enough.

I know, I know, you’re thinking if I choose something greater or bigger or grander why wouldn’t that be even harder to accomplish?  And I get it.  I really do.

But it might just be that the something you chose was too shallow for you.

It might just be that you’re far greater than you give yourself credit for and consequently you need great dreams.

And if you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around this concept, here’s three ideas from some great writings to kick your creative mind into gear and help you get back on your feet when things aren’t working out.

If we latch onto some of the intentions of these great authors we are being led to real growth and lasting transformation and ways to not only get back on our feet, but not to get knocked down in the first place!  Sounds good to me.

Check them out.

Henry David Thoreau – walk and be present

If you want to be healthier, happier and dream bigger this might be the way.  It’s one thing for us to decide to move more, which we need to do if we’re to live a long, happy, healthy life, but it’s another thing altogether to stay in the moment as we walk. 

No texting, no phone at all if possible, managing your mind so it doesn’t stray into areas of the past or issues of the future.  As Thoreau said over 150 ears ago, walking without presence of mind is a missed opportunity to feed the soul and connect to your essential wildness. And it’s a missed opportunity to support yourself when things aren’t working out.

It’s this inner connection that enables us to reach into the deep of who we are and access the bigger and greater dreams that direct us towards our brilliant future.

Seneca – make your life wide rather than long

It’s not that we have a short time to live but that we waste a lot of it.  So said Seneca, the Roman philosopher.

Far too many of us drift through life with little enthusiasm or eagerness.  

We forget how precious and beautiful life is. 

And t top it off, we confuse busyness with being productive. 

We passively allow ourselves to waste our one precious life on things that don’t matter one iota, squandering moments which quickly turn into hours, days and weeks.

We waste our time dealing with a life we don’t want because we didn’t invest our time working on the life we do want. 

Less doingness more beingness is key to following our truest path, knowing that regardless of what outer appearances would seem to say, we know at the end of the day, even when things don’t seem to be working out, they will have worked out perfectly. 

The same can’t be said when we are ever distracted by the necessity to constantly ‘do something.’

What if you set an intention to invest more time in being, and practiced connecting inward as you work on the life you do want to live?  Seems a pretty easy way to get back on our feet when things aren’t working out.  Right?

Anne Lamott  – Let go of perfectionism

This one is my favourites.

Probably because I’m constantly aware of it as a recovering perfectionist.

Who else has that inner voice that says this could be better…t’s just not quite good enough.

Perfectionism is not our friend my lovely. It doesn’t have our best interests at heart. 

It stops you/me/us from showing up in life as a the confident, imperfect, amazing beings we are.

The prison of perfectionism will keep you in a state of fear if you don’t fight back.

Perfectionism will paralyze you, will keep you clinging on to what you believe you can do, what you already know.  And I don’t know about you, but that’s not okay with me.

I want to grow, I want have new, exciting ideas.  I want to be able to look back on life and say I built my life around the things that were important to me, not that I was so invested in things being perfect because ‘what if they don’t work out’ that I hardly grew at all.

Fear of things not working out will never lead us towards exploration and towards the dreams of our heart.

Let’s determine right here and now…yes I’m talking about today…to kick the need for things to be perfect to the curb so we can create that life we want to live, so we can actually live a bigger juicier life.

Final Thought

Choose something that is not so shallow that you have no passion to follow through. Remember, you’re far greater than you might have given yourself credit for, so dare to dream big dreams, they have the power to push your world forward.  You’ve got this.

I’d love to hear in the comments below if any of these thoughts resonate with you and if not, what do you do to get back on your feet when things just haven’t worked out.


Encourage one another.

Love Elle


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. I like the advice to make life wide rather than long. I never thought about it that way before. Makes a lot of sense.

  2. How strange , my comment seems to have gone into the ether 🙂 Let go of perfectionism yes and also also being present and i had also posted on this a couple of days ago 🙂

  3. These are great, Elle! I like all of them, but I especially like Thoreau’s advice: “As Thoreau said over 150 ears ago, walking without presence of mind is a missed opportunity to feed the soul and connect to your essential wildness.” I find that coming back to the present moment helps me tremendously.

    • Glad you enjoyed the article Sandra. Mindfulness is a great necessity for me too in my everyday life. 🙂

  4. No doubt, you’re far greater than you might have given yourself credit for , nice one .

Pin It