Does rejection mean that you’re not worth it? When you don’t win, does that make you a loser? In this world full of chaos and things that don’t work out, sometimes we have to “embrace the suck”. We have to develop resilience and move forward with greater strength and purpose. For today’s episode, Dr. Neeta Bhushan delves into the concept of “embracing the suck”—reframing disappointment and adversity. Referencing her book, That Sucked. Now What?, Dr. Neeta discusses how to shift our perspective from seeing setbacks as failures to seeing them as opportunities for growth and learning. She shares her personal experiences of overcoming disappointment and offers practical tips on how to handle unexpected rejections and develop a resilient mindset. Dr. Neeta also explores the benefits of embracing discomfort and the role it plays in personal development. She teaches how we can actually find magic in the mess by embracing the chaos. Tune in to learn how to finally “embrace the suck”.
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Embracing The Suck: How To Reframe Disappointment And Move Forward With Dr. Neeta Bhushan
I cannot wait to dive into this conversation because I’ve been talking with our guest, Neeta, and dipping our toes into some of the things that we intend to explore in this episode. There are two places that I want to begin, but I’m going to choose one. Sometimes it’s hard to choose a path, and that ties into this conversation.
You wonder what’s best for you and what’s going to feel good. What if you can do both, but you just choose the order in which you begin one and maybe get to the other eventually? Can you let go of the attachment? I feel interested in exploring, Neeta, what you and I were talking about offline before the recording, which was a recent experience you had. Doing that within the boundaries of what you feel comfortable sharing publicly, but mostly leading into the lessons that you were sharing with me.
This is what I perceive from that. You’re having a goal and aiming for a big milestone in life. You’re putting your all into it and feeling like you’re going to get there. You’re checking off all the boxes. Everything is going smoothly. Yet despite your best effort, it didn’t work out quite as planned. How do you deal with something like that if you give it your all?
We’re almost told in our society, “Just give it your all. Follow these steps. Do it this way, and you will get what you want.” I think that’s what makes your story so powerful and relatable. Some of us don’t realize life doesn’t work that way until we tried. Some of us think, “There must be something wrong with me, that’s why I didn’t get what I wanted.” In your case, Neeta, it sounds like there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you or your strategy, it just didn’t work out. Is that how you perceive this situation without getting into the details of what it was?
We could talk about it. Every author’s dream is to make the top of the list. First, I have to say how funny it is that we’re talking about this. The title of my book is called, That Sucked. Now What?: How to Embrace the Joy in Chaos and Find Magic in the Mess. It’s literally what we’re talking about here. Whitney, you would start this conversation off so apropos.
As an author or when you get to that stage of, “This is my very first book with a traditional publisher,” having this dream of working with a publisher that I had looked up to for years started my spiritual journey. To even have that visceral dream come true, these are the books that were with me through my evolution when I was going through some of my dark times.
To be on the other side, four books later with my very first book with a traditional publisher, and getting my dream publisher are all a dream come true. You think everything is going to be uphill from there. They’re amazing and they’re great. What I’m referring to and what I shared with you offline is this dream that every author wants to have. What is that dream?
Because of society’s standards, most of us are like, “Let’s reach the top of the pinnacle.” If you’re in the United States, it’s hitting any of the bestseller lists like the New York Times. I don’t even know how many, but that’s a big one for a lot of authors that they dream of. That was my little bucket list.
I shared with my team that it would be the top thing that we would strive for. Getting into my very brown Asian girl upbringing, I desire all of the things that I’ve unlearned. By the way, I’m teaching you all in the book to unlearn, reprocess, and all those things. Is it real that we go back to our competitive sides? For me, it’s a lot of fun but it also became reality in a sense.
You can only imagine how this story is going to go. That dream did not come true. I did not make it. We did make it on some of the other bestseller lists. We’ve won awards and the accolades were coming, but I wanted to speak to that disappointment. I was sharing with you how much I even galvanized around this idea for our team that has been working on this for two years.
You’re giving everyone this opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves in a way to say, “Yes, we’re talking about mental health. Yes, we’re talking about ways to redefine resiliency and to build resiliency during sucky moments and tough times.” I essentially get this big world-shocking disappointment. I knew that it was going to be a stretch, but it still wasn’t an easy blow.
I was definitely in the suck for that. Climbing out of that suck, it’s like, “Did I let people down?” You then go into your thought process of, “Was this good enough?” It’s so human that we have these aspirations and desires. Funny enough, I have so many of these stories in the book and it just so happens that I’m like, “That sucked. Here we are. Now what?”
Also, to go into, “Where does that actually come from? What cost is that?” While we’ve had some incredible press and we were written up in many dream articles and magazines, in a million years, I would never think that I would be the expert on NBC talking about all these people going through these job losses. They want me to be live in Rockefeller Center talking about that as an expert.
While there are all these amazing things happening, that one big goal that you desired, that you worked so hard on, and that you got everybody to go for the goal and go for the aim, that didn’t happen. Sometimes, you’re like, “Should I celebrate everything else?” We get into that pity party of, “Am I deserving of everything else? I didn’t get the one thing. I didn’t get the trophy. I didn’t get the first prize or the second prize or the third prize,” or whatever it was.
There are even stories that I share in my book of some of my clients who have a zero-sum game. We’re taught that there’s only one winner in a basketball game, a tennis match, or a singing competition. What happens to everybody else? Does that mean you’re not worth it? Does that mean your efforts weren’t lauded or regarded?
I can see even some of the folks who do compete in the Olympics. The mental health around there’s only one winner, but you have such stellar athletes. What does it mean for everybody else? That is such a great place to start this conversation with you. This is a little edgy for me to share and open up. This is the first time I’m sharing this because we’re coming out of this on the other side into this incredible book launch. We’re embracing the medicine here too.
First of all, I’m so grateful for your sharing. That was unexpected because I told you before we started recording that you didn’t have to share those details. It feels like such a gift to me and the audience as well to hear that, and how refreshing. Especially with authors, we hear these stories of all the things it took to get to the bestseller list.
We don’t hear a lot of people saying, “I did all of those things and it still didn’t work out for me.” That goes back to that myth that I have heard a lot where we don’t hear enough from people that worked hard and didn’t get something. It can feel lonely when that happens to us. I too was thinking about those times when there was only one winner.
We’re recording this before the Oscars in 2023. I’m thinking of all the great movies and all the great actors. You see the cameras are on everybody that’s nominated, and only one person wins. They cut away from all the people who didn’t win and focused on the winner. I’m very curious. What about the people that were nominated and didn’t get it? I want to see what they feel because of that pressure.
I imagine even the greatest actors must feel some sense of letdown or rejection. They probably gave it their phenomenal performances. You hear the stories of, “This person was snubbed. They didn’t even get a nomination, but they deserved it.” It’s a very human experience, but not one that people spend enough time on. The fact that you cover that in your book and you’re still covering it afterward is showing why you have been chosen as an expert on this topic. It’s almost a gift to continuously face the sucky moments so you can continue to learn from them, and maybe write your next book or your next appearance.
That also ties into something else you and I were talking about. It’s that “Now what?” and “What’s next?” question. Does that mean you keep going or does that mean that you pause, take a break, and re-evaluate? You’re facing that right now in your life. I’m curious. In real-time, what are you doing? What is your “Now what?”
Before even answering that question, I was thinking you set a very interesting point around the Oscars. If we look back even in our own lives, we will celebrate those winners. We will watch only the ones who won as the cameras only point to those winners. There isn’t a second place, third place, fourth place, or fifth place.
You have everybody that was nominated, but then you have that winner. You’re absolutely right. We don’t even see the snubbed face, the disappointment, and the humanity of the fact that, “Does that mean the others are losers?” Of course not, but it’s very easy to then feel like you are one because there is only one winner.
In our society, we’re groomed at a very young age with this idea that it’s a zero-sum game. There’s only one winner and everybody else is the rest. That is so much pressure on us. It’s tying it back into my why. This is interesting because my why for writing the book is I wanted to give permission for people to suck and to be okay sitting in the suck.
It’s funny enough that we’re talking about this. I was sitting in my own suck where I’m like, “The books are flying off the shelves. They’re having such a global reach.” We’ve partnered with so many different schools and universities to get this out to their students. To help build and thwart bullying and mental health struggles.
There are a lot of data that came out that young girls are having a lot of mental health struggles, especially when they get into college. That’s a whole different conversation. We were already able to partner up with six schools around this. This was totally mitigated by the fact that I didn’t make that list. All of those amazing things didn’t even count for that time because of one particular list that is made because of the hands of a few people that sit on the top. I don’t even know if that’s true. I don’t know how they make the decisions. Basically, that is what it is.
If we think about it, it’s the same thing for the Oscars. We’re putting somebody else’s worth based on votes from a governing body or maybe a few people at the top who are voting for these things. Mind you, I am not an expert at Oscar, so I have no idea how that works, but I can only imagine that it is a decision made by a few people. That is not the majority. To normalize that hurts also, but then to discount everything else that you’ve done to get you to that point, it’s our humanity. I had to be faced with what a lot of people saw from the outside and going, “This is amazing. You’re on this amazing trajectory. You’re having all these amazing conversations and this is so timely. What’s going to be next?”
This is typically what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to keep going, keep striving, and keep achieving. Internally and with our team, I’ve hit a breaking point. We’re supposed to do this event in the next few months. I said just before this call, “I’m going to tune in energetically.” I even share one of the four components of building your bounce factor. It is in part two of the book.
One of the things that we have to get good at is building our muscle of RSA, which is your Radical Self Awareness. It’s so easy when you have an upward trajectory that everyone around you is like, “Are you going to do this? Are you going to go here and do this?” On the one hand, it’s everything that you’ve worked for. Somebody had told me, “You’re living this author’s dream.”
On the other hand, I’m like, “My kids are only small for a short period of time, and here’s where they’re at.” I’ve been going through a lot of mom guilt around this whole process. As well as how I’m feeling about all of this. I haven’t even had a second to check in and tune in to my gut. There are processes that I talk about on how to build that if you’re not sure how to do that. It’s trusting that intuition.
I’m like, “How am I feeling? I’m quite depleted.” Many times, when we’re not checking in on what our depletion looks like, are we getting short-winded with people? Are we getting triggered by certain things? Are we getting irritated or agitated because of God knows what? These are red flag signs. This is your intuition and RSA telling you that something is not right.
You are going from an empty cup. You are trying to pour from a cup that is empty. This is what happens when you marry a coach as well. Both of you are also in personal growth. My husband is like, “Are you sure you’re okay right now? You have not taken a break? I want you to sit with everything that has happened. I think you might need to take a step away.”
I’m like, “No. We’re going for the gold. We’re going to keep pushing. Let’s go.” He’s like, “Can you take a pause and see what is happening?” I needed to have that nudge to say, “You’re right. I’ve been on the go.” We have this cortisol or these chemicals in our body. Our hormones are flight, fight, or freeze. When we’re ready to get into action, our nervous system is like, “Let’s go.”
We got the cortisol pumping like, “What other fires do we have to put out? We’re on it.” When you’re on it so much, your nervous system, the endocrine system, or your body is on overdrive. You can’t even slow down. It’s also a telltale sign. Normally, what comes after that is full burnout where you might not get out of bed. I’ve had that happen to me many times in some of my previous books.
In our society, we’re lauded, praised, and given these trophies because we’ve pushed. I know we do this to athletes like, “You’ve got one more lap in you.” All of that sounds exciting. There is some truth to that because we want to do our best and we want to put our best foot forward. Is it going to be at the cost of us getting super run down, super sick, and maybe not even able to do some of the tasks that we find enjoyable?In society, we're given trophies because we've pushed. Click To Tweet
That’s because society says, “Go push to the gold,” until you over-push yourself and you’re like, “I don’t want to do anything for a long time.” That’s on the opposite end when you’ve lost all of your motivation or you’re stuck in the suck and you are like, “I don’t even know what my purpose is anymore. I’ve lost it. I’ve lost my drive.” That’s the other side of that.
I’ve been through the other side to actually know where my limit is. I knew I was edging my limit. When I said, “I think we’re going to postpone this event. I want to do it, but I need to give myself space to breathe.” I wouldn’t be in integrity of telling other people, “We got to fill your cup. Come to this event to fly forward. Let’s climb out of this suck together,” when I’m still sitting in it myself and not giving myself the space, energy, and time to replenish, have fun, and reflect on these last six months.
Even on my podcast, The Brave Table, we talk about brave conversations like this, which is perfect. It’s also tuning in to what is present for us at that moment. I am going to give permission for this to be in a space of being and not doing. Even though experts, pundits, and amazing people are probably going to be like, “What are you doing? How could you stop? You’re right in the throes of it. You’re going to lose the momentum.”
In my twenties, I would probably do that. That’s probably why I got burnt out quite a bit. Even in my 30s, it’s the same thing because we can push because we’re taught that. Who is validating us on, “Let’s take a break now.” No one, except for the higher parts of ourselves. That’s something that the 25-year-old in me was like, “Go for it.” She’s giving me all of this juice. I think the Neeta who just turned 40 was like, “What feels nourishing for me right now?” That’s a scary place to sit in because she’s not used to coming up.
That is a word I thought of too. I was mentioning to you the book that I just finished reading called, What Works by Tara McMullin. That book was the validation I wanted to slow down. In fact, slowing down is a goal of mine in 2023. One thing that’s interesting that I’m still trying to figure out because it feels foreign to me is Tara encourages you to not have goals, but commitments to yourself.
She explains in the book the difference between a goal and commitment, which I would like to go back and re-read to better understand it. I am committed to slowing down, but it feels scary because it doesn’t feel like it’s in alignment with life outside of myself. That’s part of this too. Sometimes there’s a wise mind, as my therapist would call it. That’s the internal deep down gut feeling, “This is right for me,” but it’s hard to follow that if it doesn’t seem right for other people.
That validation component is huge. That was part of what drew me to your work. For me, it’s not just the present moment suck of like, “I’m going through a bad situation right now or recently.” Sometimes it’s the past suck that my brain will go to. It will go back to times I felt rejected, which is a theme here too. It’s like I went for something and I didn’t get it, business-wise or personal-wise, and getting rejected romantically. Even when you were talking about the Oscars and it’s not the majority of people who are voting for something.
When you get rejected on a personal level, it’s usually not the majority. It’s sometimes just one person, but our brains make it seem like, “Because this one person rejected me, the whole world has rejected me.” I wonder in your book, since I haven’t read it yet, is there a psychological reason that our brains catastrophize to that point? Why do we think one thing represents everything?
If we go back to Human Psychology 101, the book is divided into three parts. The first part of it is the magical moment of suck. In the magical moment of suck, there’s being human 101. First, it’s embracing what sucked. We can deny what sucked. We can gaslight ourselves for what sucked. Meaning keep going, keep bypassing, and keep denying it all together.
Maybe in our upbringing, we were not told that expressing emotion was okay. We weren’t given attention when we were whining, crying, expressing our concerns, or expressing the fact that we needed help. We were crying and screaming, and those emotions weren’t awarded. In fact, the opposite of those was rewarded by joy, happiness, and doing things to please our caregivers. This is why we probably do more of that, and then we come up with these coping mechanisms as teenagers and as adults to do this in other relationships.
When we go back to part one of the book, I talk about when we do have chips on our shoulders. Because of the things that don’t go well sometimes, we have to go back to, “What are we trying to gain?” When we are rejected, that is a core visceral wound to our ego because all we want to do is belong. The bare basics of our human nature are to belong, be accepted, be loved, and be liked. No one wants to be an outcast. Hunters and gatherers years ago wouldn’t thrive if you weren’t in the community.
One of the things that I talk about in the book is when we’re fully in our suck, the stats now is 1 in 3 people report that they are lonely. Either they’ve been in isolation for a long time. They don’t feel like participating in social gatherings because of whatever has transmuted in the last few years. Also, the result of that is we’re now more lonely than ever.
It’s not just what’s happened in the past three years. It’s also social media and all these other variables. The fact that we need other humans to survive is our right. It is the way that our ancestors lived. They lived in a community. If you are outcasted from the community, that would be the end. It’s no wonder that we’re having all of this rise in the mental health crisis that we have across the board.
Rejection is one of those huge emotions that we do not want to face because that would mean that we’re outcasted from the village. That would mean, “Are we enough? Am I worthy? Am I deserving? Do I belong? ” At the core of it, even as I’m sharing it, I’m like, “That can spark some deep-rooted wounds.”
If you’ve ever experienced a bully or not being the accepted one at the lunch table in the third grade or the fourth grade or the fifth grade, there’s a hit there. That would then force us into some of these coping mechanisms. Whether we’re people pleasers, overachievers, and overworking. We’re trying to prove ourselves. We have a chip on our shoulders. We want to prove somebody else wrong.
It opens up this cascade in a slew of ways to not feel those feelings and to not embrace that. That’s where we are allowing ourselves to embrace that suck and embrace the discomfort of what that means. It means, “I did get rejected. How did that make me feel?” This happened a couple of weeks ago. I felt like, “Is this book not enough?”
In the book, I talk about three fear cultures that happen anytime something doesn’t go our way, or an unexpected rejection happens. In this case, I didn’t win the proverbial trophy. There are three fear cultures. The first fear culture is, “Am I enough?” That’s huge. The second one is, “Is there enough?” It means, there are other people working on the same things as you. Maybe they want to start a cookbook, or thinking you want to start a cookbook, but there are so many cookbooks on being paleo or being vegan. Why should I ever write a cookbook? That’s the fear of there is not enough.
I’m pretty sure that goes into our lack-mentality, and then we go into hoarding, then we go into competing because there’s not enough room at the top. That’s where that comes from. The last one is, “This isn’t enough.” What I’m doing, what I’m working on, or the book, what came up for me is, “Was this not enough? Should I have added more pages? Should I have written more?” This can come up if we’ve failed a test, or the project that we were working on didn’t get a passing grade, or the project you were working on didn’t get picked up by somebody. They didn’t select you, they selected somebody else.
Maybe this was a gig that you’ve been going back and forth with for the past few months. This happens all the time. It has nothing to do with you, but it’s everything to do with what you are putting your efforts into. There are stories inside of the book where this is so prevalent in the startup world. Investors are passing on a deal, but then they’re investing in something else.
Many times we’re looking at our product going, “This is going to be the app that changes the world.” When I coached these entrepreneurs, they would go into this pity spiral thinking, “What else can I do to improve my product? I will scratch everything and do everything over again so I can win the trophy.” Many times these investors are only going to invest in 1 or 2 of these things. We would go into thinking that, “The thing that I’ve worked so hard on is not enough.” That’s the three fear cultures.
The importance of you sharing this is something I keep coming back to because first of all, I am just meeting you for the first time. From a couple of minutes into speaking with you, you have felt not only enough but more than enough. Hearing you share these stories, it’s a shame that so many of us go through those feelings of, “I’m not enough. This isn’t enough. There isn’t enough to go around,” which is so common.
As you were talking about this, I’m thinking, most people experience at least one if not all three of those obstacles. We’re all inherently worthy, but imagine us as individuals. I am sitting here thinking, what if you didn’t think you were enough, and so you didn’t come to this show? I didn’t get to talk to you and my listeners didn’t get to hear from you. That would be such a shame. We’d be missing out if you were buying into that.
Each of us can think about that for ourselves. When are the times that we don’t feel like we’re enough, or we don’t have enough, or there isn’t enough? What are we depriving not only ourselves but others of as the result of shrinking down? It can be in small ways. It can be in relationships too. Romantically, amazing people don’t feel worthy enough to be in a relationship. They could be the most incredible partner to somebody who’s missing out on that relationship because their worthiness issue has created such a big wall.
It’s not that easy to just snap your fingers and think that everything is enough all of a sudden. Maybe that practice of experiencing the greatness of other people can be a reminder. The not enoughness thing is so huge. To me, that seems like a core challenge. Is that something that you’ve noticed through your work too? Do you experience that every day in the work that you do, not from yourself but from other people?
Absolutely. As a society, we’re plagued by thinking that we need to be doing more. From when we’re young, it’s like, “Let’s go get that trophy. Let’s go for the straight A’s.” I know that was a big condition in my family growing up. For so many people, it’s that constant struggle because it’s not only those three fear cultures. You’re not only talking about your lack of worth, but in everything that you’re doing, you’re seeing a lack.
There is a topic that I get into in part two of the book. I talked about the difference between manifestation because everyone is into manifestation and manifesting their best life, “I’m going to go manifest this car next week.” There’s a big talk around it. I wanted to set the record straight around the idea of positive thinking. It’s very useful, especially when we are in a suck or when we’ve been sitting in a suck, or you are more prone to sitting in a suck longer. That can cascade into depressive thoughts, ruminating about that suck, and having that suck to be your identity.
There are these other coping mechanisms of toxic positivity, and then positive psychology that can help you get out of the suck. These are all tools. I’m using these as tools to exemplify how to remind yourself of what you put out in the world. It’s so easy to forget that when we are ruminating in our suck. It’s also easy to think that the world is rosy, with rainbows, flowers, and all of the things without thinking that there’s also effort involved in that.
When we hit this differentiation between manifestation and entitlement, those are the two things that I talk about in part one and part two of the book. I wanted to showcase that in entitlement. When we don’t get something that we have worked so hard on, we beat ourselves up. We start thinking that there’s no more room at the top, so we start to act from a place of lack.
Think about all of the ways that you’ve been entitled. This is a fun one. You’ve arrived at the airport twenty minutes before your flight is supposed to board, and there’s a long line. You’re like, “Excuse me ma’am/sir, can I hop in the front of the line?” That’s entitlement. Another example of this is you were speeding up 15 miles ahead because you didn’t want to be late for your meeting.
You were caught driving on the shoulder. The cop pulls you over and asks what you were doing there. This happens to the best of us. I use these examples because they’re funny, but they’re all relatable and they’re true. These are examples of being entitled. Why is that? It’s because there’s this idea of lack. We’re coming from a place of lack.
We didn’t have enough time and we’re in a time crunch. We think we will just skip the line in order to get what we deserve. In manifestation, it is coming from a different way of thinking. It’s coming from a place of, “I’m tuning into this idea that the best is already coming for me. Even though I might be at a place where I’m not believing it yet, it’s slowly making its way toward me. In order to get to that place, I need to remind myself of all of the things that I have received to get to where I’m at now.”
That’s a huge exercise for a lot of us who have been sitting in that suck. It’s hard to even connect to that place. I wanted to bring it up to show the delineation that one is coming from a full place of lack. When we’re coming from a full place of lack, it’s so hard to see that there is beauty all around us. We can find joy in the chaos. We can find the magic in the mess.We can find the magic in the mess and the joy in the chaos. Click To Tweet
Slowly and steadily, we can train ourselves to live in the duality of both. This is what I talk about in part three of the book. While we can sometimes sit in the suck, it doesn’t mean that we’re closed off to take relationships. This is a beautiful example if anybody has ever been in a heartbreak. I know I have been through many heartbreaks. My first marriage went terribly.
If I was going to think, “There’s no more love in the world. I’m going to be single for the rest of my life. I’m done no matter what.” We can allow ourselves to feel that. At the same time, we can grieve the loss of that relationship and grieve what didn’t happen or what couldn’t happen. That person ghosted us. That person ended it and didn’t tell us why. They decided to leave or decided to call it off. We’re like, “I thought this was the best relationship. What is wrong with me? Why am I attracting these?” We think that it’s our fault.
We can also go into the next relationship or the next person that we meet. Maybe that person is not going to be our person, but maybe I can learn a little bit from this person. Maybe I can still be reserved right now because my heart is tender, but I’m open at the same time to a new beginning. I don’t know what that’s going to look like. I’m not going to stay attached to this outcome because many times, that attachment is what leads us to the discomfort that we don’t want to sit in.
The attachment is something I think a lot about because I’m very drawn to the idea of neutrality or balance. You don’t necessarily have to be neutral. Maybe the balance is the option too because both things can happen at the same time. The grief too came up as you were sharing. Even in your situation, your husband was saying that sometimes we need to take a step back. Not to just take a break, but to grieve the loss of something we wanted and didn’t get.
I don’t think our culture supports us in grief or understands it. Another book that was transformative for me is by Megan Devine. It’s called, It’s OK That You’re Not OK. It taught me so much about grief. She talked about it a little bit more in the sense of major loss, like the loss of a person in your life. I think grief can be applied to the milestones and the rejection. There’s a little bit of a difference between losing something permanently like a person. That person is never going to come back. Whereas you have the opportunity to write another book and maybe get to do it again. That doesn’t mean you can’t grieve that the book didn’t go the way that you wanted it to.
The message is in understanding that it’s okay to fail and that you can accept that, but also know that it’s painful. Just because you accept something doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. Lastly, something else that came up as you were speaking a little bit earlier is when we could talk very transparently about failure, it’s giving other people permission to fail.
We’re not trying to avoid it. We’re not trying to brush it under the rug. Your statement around, “I didn’t get what I wanted, but I’m going to keep going because I will get something else.” That could be true, but what if you just acknowledge the perceived failure and share that with others? You can say, “I failed too.” It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to grieve it. It’s okay to be sad. You need to slow down and take that in. Your messages are so powerful. We don’t hear this advice enough in our society.
It’s almost the opposite. Even in the past, there’s this shame around wanting to slow down. If you’ve traditionally been a high achiever or somebody that’s going after the goals, to think the opposite of that and even for myself thinking, “Am I contributing? If I’m not contributing, am I worthy?” I do talk about it in the book because when I had my first child, I wanted to restructure the way that I was showing up in terms of the projects and the things that I was taking on. It felt so hard to let those things go because they had become part of my identity. What could I do if I was going to reinvent myself? I’ve been called the queen of reinvention having started as a cosmetic dentist.
Even in those dark moments when there was the height of that career and the height of whatever the traditional version of success looked like, on the inside, I know there’s more to the walls of this practice and the monetary accolades. I didn’t know what that next evolution looked like. As the theme that we’re talking about, if I still stayed in that profession, I would’ve never traveled or figured out what this next path could look like.
I would never think in a million years that I would be doing a segment in New York City as an expert on some of these big pop culture topics. That is the beauty. It’s to lean into our intuition when it’s telling us to slow down. There are so many different scholars that talk about this. Sometimes when we slow down, we’re able to reflect, see, and hone in on our gifts.Lean into our intuition when it's telling us to slow down. Click To Tweet
Our society is teaching us to do the opposite, which is why it’s so hard for many people to sit and lean into the discomfort that comes up because of what it is revealing to them. The way the book is shifted is that part one is the magical moment that sucked. Part two is how do we cultivate this bounce factor? What is it that we need to heal in our past, unlearn in our past, or remind ourselves so that in part three we can fly forward?
Flying forward doesn’t just mean that we’re going to avoid sucks altogether. It’s a cyclical process. Maybe when you fall into a sucky moment or have a fall, it’s not going to be as great as the first time that you actually stumbled across something big and monumental. You know because parts of yourself will start to erupt and rise where you’re like, “What version of myself is coming out in this? What part of myself is wanting to fix this or wants to control something?”
You know this new higher evolved person of you is like, “I think it’s okay to embrace what didn’t go well.” The other person is trying to fix it because that’s what they have been taught to do. That’s what society has taught them to do for years. It’s hard, but with RSA, we can catch ourselves doing that and have that compassion and grace while we are climbing out of that suck. There are a ton of different prompts and exercises within the book, as well as a whole entry of resources at ThatSuckedNowWhat.com/resources for the book buyers there to dive into.It's okay to embrace what didn't go well. Click To Tweet
I love doing exercises almost as much as I love listening and learning from people like you. Thank you so much for showing up with so much compassion and grace for yourself, and demonstrating how to embrace things that didn’t go well. I’m sure that wasn’t what you would want to have talked about, but it serves as a beautiful example.
You’re living out exactly what you teach in your book. What better way to do that than going through the suck and talking about it in real-time, and even the cyclical side of it. It’s not like you wrote the book and suddenly you no longer go through sucky situations. That shows your humanity in beautiful ways to help others lean in, feel comforted, see your humanity, and know that they can show up in that place of not the entitlement and not the lack, but being more in touch with themselves in the intuitive side. It has all been an absolute joy to witness that from you.
For the audience, I will put the links that Neeta shared, and to the book. You can go to Wellevatr.com to get everything in one place. Thank you so much, Neeta. It has been absolutely a joy getting to know you and hearing your story.Embrace what is and embrace the suck knowing that you can fly forward past it. Click To Tweet
This is the perfect show to let it all hang out, This Might Get Uncomfortable. Thank you, Whitney, for being that container. For all the audience, I’m giving you permission to embrace what is and embrace the suck knowing that you can fly forward past it. I am definitely that living example of it.
It’s my pleasure.
- That Sucked. Now What?: How to Embrace the Joy in Chaos and Find Magic in the Mess
- The Brave Table
- Human Psychology 101
- What Works
- It’s OK That You’re Not OK
About Dr. Neeta Bhushan
As co-founder of the Global Grit Institute, a mental health training platform for leaders and coaches, co-founder of the Dharma Coaching Institute, training thousands to live their best lives, and a thriving coach in her own right, Neeta Bhushan has helped thousands of people move past their heartbreaks, failures, and disappointments. And after years of research into human behavior, observing people in their worst and best moments, being a mother of two small children, and failing more than a few times herself, Neeta knows what it takes to get back up no matter what bowled you over. Her new book, That Sucked, Now What? is a real-talk guide to personal growth that draws on and embraces the suck–and helps you break through to lasting, audacious resilience.
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