Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]

 
Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]

 
Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]

 
Leilani Münter Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]

 
Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]

 
Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]

 
Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]

 
Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com

 

failure

Cheryl Bigus Cheryl Bigus truth seeker. voice attendant. nurturing teacher.

Cheryl Bigus works with women who've neglected their well-being. She helps women regain vitality and hotness in their lives without punishing themselves through diets of deprivation or extreme workouts. [www.naturalvore.com]

Women give and nurture, so much so that we often lose ourselves. I came dangerously close to that serious loss. I always took care of everyone, putting others’ needs ahead of my own. During a personal crisis, I lost trust in someone through a heartbreaking betrayal. I paused then, and for the first time stopped nurturing outward and started nurturing inward. In deference to others, I’d failed by stifling my own voice. I hadn’t been asking for what I needed to thrive. But if I don’t care for myself, I can’t care for others in a meaningful way.

Failure is good. Failure sparks ingenuity, spiritual awakening, survival, inner strength, and rebirth. Without failure, we tend to get lazy, never reassessing the patterns we live by or the rules that guide our actions.

I allowed my perceived failures to bury me and what I have to offer the world. I let others’ opinions hold me back from my truth. Sometimes, listening and speaking our truth doesn’t go over well with others. It can upset the status quo. My truth may be contrary, quirky, opinionated, outside the box … but it’s mine. My truth and your truth don’t have to be the same. How boring would that be?

I teach women to stop and listen to their inner voice, the intuitive whisper or scream from inside. It’s the key to true freedom. If ignored, that inner voice will fester and manifest in negative ways. If spoken and lived, we’re set free.

Now I look at my path with pride. I own it. I’m guided by what I want and where I want to go. Failure is still here, and I still visit it, hopefully with courage and humility. I’m learning to befriend failure because unimaginable gifts come from it and from letting go, from stepping out of comfort and into the unfamiliar.

I love stories about people’s successes, because when we look closely at them we see that successes always follow failures. Failure in itself is success, because it means we’ve put effort out into the Universe. The Universe will give us what we need in the moment, even if it’s failing a few times in order to get to our success.

I fail. A lot. But now I try to ask questions instead of shaming, blaming, or beating myself up. I ask myself what the experience of each failure has to teach me. What did I learn?

Cheryl Bigus

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