By Angela ‘Sassy’ Gattin
FFCrew + FF Blog contributor + runner, yogi & writer
Let’s say you didn’t meet last year’s DID goals. Maybe you didn’t meet your DID goals the year before. Maybe you didn’t meet them the year before that. Maybe you’ve never met a DID goal. Maybe no one knows what you did or didn’t do because you never told anyone (and OMG, aren’t you glad you didn’t?). Or maybe you did tell everyone (and OMG, you wish you hadn’t!). Maybe you really thought all the goals you set were completely doable, and in truth, they really were.
But then life happened, things happened, injuries happened, crap happened. For reasons XYZ, those goals were not crushed. Maybe you are watching the approach of DID 2016 with a bona-fide credibility problem. If so, you are not alone.
Why declare again this year? Why come forward and tell other women, in public, what your goals are if you’ve never managed to meet any of the previous goals? Because DID isn’t always about showing the world what worked. Sometimes it’s about figuring out for yourself, for your own life, for your own circumstances, what doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s weeding out everything that didn’t work so that you can figure out what does work. Those stories are still important.
Somewhere out there is a woman who thinks her goal is stupid. Who thinks her goal is lame. Who isn’t just scared of her goal, she’s scared of what her goal says about her. She needs to hear your voice.
Maybe she’s not an Ironman, not a triathlete or marathoner, not a high-mileage runner. Maybe she’s not a runner at all. She still needs to hear your voice. Maybe there is a woman out there who thinks she doesn’t deserve to declare her goals because she considers herself a failure. Maybe there is someone out there whose goals don’t seem grandiose enough, seem impressive enough, seem tough enough for DID. Somewhere out there is a woman struggling with worthiness and comparisons, thinking that her goals live in the shadow of everyone else’s bigger, fancier, brighter, more sparkly goals. Someone whose unrealized goals are living in the shadows of the goal-crushers. These women need to hear your voice.
For these women, DID is not necessarily another chapter of success. Sometimes DID is another chapter of gritty defeat. Maybe what the world needs this DID is a success story that doesn’t necessarily end according to formula. It doesn’t necessarily look good on social media. Maybe what DID needs is someone saying I have tried at this for three years in a row and for three years in a row I have fallen flat on my ass and I have nothing but this list of mistakes, missteps, and excuses to show for it.
Maybe what the world needs is to understand that the work that went into compiling that list becomes the blueprint for what you won’t do again — what not to do again.
It’s important for women to be reminded that the road to failure is every bit as transformative as the road to victory. Women need to hear the lessons from that road. After all, it is the hardest-learned lessons that truly change our lives. Women need to hear the work that it took to get to a point where that Did Not Work List is not simply a catalog of failure but a resource. Maybe DID needs women who own the process so that different choices can be made in the future.
If any of this sounds like you, DID needs your voice. There are women out there who need to hear your goal and need to hear it said your way, with your reality, in your voice, with all the words you struggle to come up with and put out there. If it can be argued that what DID needs is authenticity, then those of us with credibility problems still need to show up. In case you are thinking that no one wants to hear that story or that the women described above are hypothetical, think again. I am that woman. I want to hear that story.
I am a three-time DID loser.
I have never met a DID goal in the three years I’ve been a part of FF. While I admire and adore the triumphant inspirational stories of the women who have crushed their goals with gusto, I value the stories of the women who haven’t. The women who didn’t–you are still my tribe. The women who got crushed by life this year, whose goals had to be set aside, who had to reprioritize, scramble, or scrap the plan altogether–I value your stories. You are still part of my tribe and I still need to hear your voice.
I need to know you are out there. I need to hear from those of you who are desperately trying every day to disown your stories because they include failures. The fears surrounding DID may not necessarily be that your goal is so big that you’re afraid of not reaching it. Maybe the fear of DID is that you think you’ve lost your credibility; that you have no business declaring another goal.
This is your business. I need you to be part of this. If you have more scars than medals, your story matters because it probably hurts every damn day. It matters. Women like me still need to hear your voice. We still need to see you rising to try again.
Declare It Day is February 6.
Join us. Honor your journey, your reasons, your failures.
Be willing to fall… determined to rise.