This is not the end, not even close. Every hero comes to the point when they feel like they’re about to give up. The moment when things feel overwhelming. But this is not the end, it’s just the beginning!
Last night I watched The Darkest Hour.
About Winston Churchill in WWII. And what struck me more than anything was his deep and profound doubt he felt in himself at one point…
The man was brave. He looked powerful people in the face who wanted to destroy him and he took them down.
But he was almost conquered by the biggest monster of all.
The monster of his own doubt.
The Monster Of Doubt
The monster of the voice inside of him that said “well, maybe you were wrong all along”…
One scene, in particular, stuck with me.
In it, he’s sitting on his bed in the dark.
Tears in his eyes.
And you can feel it hanging around his shoulders…
That he’s about to give up.
He’s about to throw in the towel and give in.
- To give into everyone else’s opinion of what he should have been doing all along.
- Feeling like he has to take the practical path.
- About to give himself over to the way that has less risk, less thorns, less push back from everyone around him…
You could see his exhaustion.
He was there.
At that point when it just seemed so much easier to give in than to keep going…
And it struck me that this is the truth…
Every Hero Feels Like They Want To Quit
In every single story you’ve ever really loved I guarantee there was a moment like this.
A moment when the hero gets beaten down.
When the hero wants to quit.
When the hero gets knocked out. Is down and out. Loses everything. Goes broke. Gets fired.
Every. Single. One.
The hero sits there, head in her hands, believing that this is the defining moment.
That failure is the moment that will define the rest of her life.
That this falling down was all she ever was.
That she’s a failure and will always be remembered that way.
This Is The Moment Of Rebirth
But then something else happens…
The hero remembers.
She remembers who she is.
She remembers why she got to this place to begin with…
Because she had the courage that others didn’t have.
The courage to try… and fail…
Which, ironically, is the only way to truly succeed….
I know most people are feeling this recently.
Like the hero.
As though you’ve hit the part of the story that says “this is what I am”
The part of the story that declares that all of your failures are real.
That the evil voice in your head is right.
That those nasty little words that have been pin-balling around your head your whole life are right.
But at this moment sits the secret gift.
The gift that says:
This is the way. How I find my path. This is how I become unstuck, unlost, unfettered, unshackled, unchained.”
I lean into the deep fear that I’m a failure, that life is cruel, that things are hard, and that I just can’t keep going….
And I take one more step.
That singular step becomes a mile.
Then that mile becomes a journey.
And that journey becomes a quest.
All because you had the courage to say “I think this is the end” and then take one more step anyway.
The only difference between those who fail and those who succeed are that those who succeed get up one more time after they fall down.
They see catastrophe and they realize that there’s not much else they can do except keep walking….
This is how to turn trauma into success.
And so they do.
And in each step, they find their strength.
- Finding a new voice.
- Discovering new courage.
- Uncovering new ways of being that they didn’t know they had in them.
This Is Your Moment
This is that moment for you.
When you’re over it.
Feeling like you’re done.
Feel like throwing in the towel.
Right at that crucial moment when you figure you just can’t go on.
This is when you discover what you’re really made of.
This isn’t the end my darling. Not by a long shot….
This is just the beginning….
And now the choice is yours.
Take one more step.
Go on despite failure.
Keep going even though you keep asking “why bother?”
And to drill down to what’s really important to you.
To ask yourself “what will my next chapter be?”
And to have the courage to keep walking toward it.
Despite who you thought, for that moment of deep and profound doubt “this is who I really am”.
You are the hero with her head in her hands.
But that’s not the end of your story.
Not even close.