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What if failure wasn’t failure and quitting wasn’t quitting and instead those experiences are simply …

… complete.

I’ve followed the artist Emily McDowell for a number of years, and have witnessed her life and entrepreneurship journey.

Her current newsletter, Subject to Change, always has a gem of insight to offer.

Here’s what caught my attention, stopped me in my tracks, and inspired a re-read (and read-aloud to my husband) in her latest installment:

In conversations about quitting, failure, and walking away, there’s a word and concept I think is underused: completion.

Unlike all these other terms that come loaded with judgment (our own, other people’s), and the implication that we’ve done something wrong or are lacking in moral fiber, “completion” is neutral. It says, “this was a thing, this thing is now over.” It acknowledges that the thing was never meant to last until the end of time. A completed relationship isn’t a “failed” relationship; a completed business venture isn’t a failed one. There is infinite value in a completed experience. You can be proud of it AND be done with it.

Delaring something complete also means actively calling back your energy from that thing, which allows you to choose to re-allocate that energy somewhere else.

Take a pause, then go back and read that again.

I’m a little in love with the idea of “completion.”

I didn’t quit being an HR leader; it was a completed experience. I got what I needed from it and moved on.

And while I love being independent, if I ever decide to go back internal, it won’t be because I failed. It will be because it was a completed experience.

What an absolutely lovely reframing, one that every leader could benefit from bringing into their consciousness.

So go back, read it again, and let me know what you think. What’s something you believe you quit or failed at, but you can reframe as completed? How does that reframe feel?

Hey there! I’m a leadership team whispererexecutive coach, and speaker. I guide leadership teams in high-growth companies to achieve rapid growth in a healthy, sustainable way. I coach senior leaders to discover the path to lead with ease.

Looking to increase the cohesion, trust, and impact of your leadership team? Reach out and let’s discuss The Compass Team Experience and how I can help.

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