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FAILING FORWARD: how quitting & failure is key to growth

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

All my life I tried to avoid failure & quitting at all costs...Turns out they were the key to growth & success!

In this episode, I dig into:

  • The questions we need to ask ourselves if were in a rut

  • The 3 areas in our lives where quitting can be extremely beneficial (sometimes)

  • The limiting beliefs that keep us stuck

  • Discerning intuition from fear

  • How quitting my Master’s program changed my life

  • The inner work you have to do as an entrepreneur

And oh so much more!!



Follow along on IG: @hollgrafix

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I became the person I am today (an entrepreneur, podcast host, and "That Brand B*tch") by embracing “failure.” We have grown up with this notion that quitting things is almost as bad as m*rder. People protect you from failure your whole life. And they absolutely do not want you to quit because they’re afraid of the implications of being a “quitter.”

In reality though, I’ve found that quitting shit I hated and falling flat on my face has helped me become my truest self. It’s helped me lean into who I am and what I'm here for, and has given me this opportunity to truly learn through experience and lean into what I actually enjoy. If you never quit anything or redirect your efforts // priorities in one way or another, you may be morphing into whatever other people want you to do with your life. Maybe you haven't had the audacity to truly step into who you are and take a freaking risk...

When you’re able to experience the pain of failure and the possible embarrassment of quitting, that shows that you’re leaning into who you are and who you're meant to be. Today I want to discuss where in your life you might benefit from being a “quitter,” and how I've learned to "fail forward".


With the best intentions, our loved ones often try to protect us from failure and discomfort. But, what they often get wrong is thinking that success and failure are totally separate. In reality, this couldn't be farther from the truth.

I actually believe that failure is the roadmap and KEY to success!

Whatever success looks like to you, you HAVE to fail along the way. If you don't, then you're probably not dreaming big enough, or not being truly honest with yourself with what you truly want. If you're not taking those big jumps needed to get to the success you imagine (and risking failure along the way)... you're likely robbing yourself of your biggest, juiciest, most bat-sh*t crazy dreams!


I know that everyone had this whole existential crisis during COVID (myself absolutely included lol).

During that time, we all started questioning what was really important to us. During lockdown, I had major realizations and thought “oh my god, I've literally never done anything for myself.” I've never given real thought to what I actually want. What would truly make me happy in my life?

And I think a lot of people don't even dare to ask themselves that. Asking these questions is a huge win in and of itself. Think about how many people go through their whole lives on autopilot and never stop to ask these questions. Where am I trying to be the “good girl”?

Asking yourself these questions is ESSENTIAL in reflecting on WTF you eve want with your life... Which may lead you to the realization that you need to quit a lot of sh*t that isn't serving you! In my eyes, quitting is simply redirecting your priorities and changing your direction. So let’s leave our preconceptions about “quitters,” at the door and think about a few areas of our lives that quitting may serve us.


(1) Your Job:

If you have the guts to quit a job that is soul sucking, doesn't pay you well, makes you feel like sh*t, or whatever the story is... that’s a win to me.

Is it a privilege to be able to quit things? In some situations that is absolutely correct!! But, if something is absolutely sucking every ounce of happiness our of your day, is exhausting you mentally / physically, and is FAR from the life you want to live... I believe it's worth looking at how you can shift your priorities to make change possible. It's all about defining your top priorities and taking action toward that, no matter what!

(2) Your Relationships:

It's 2023.... AKA time to quit the relationships that dim you, make you smaller, and that do not serve who you are & want to become!!

If you’re not feeling like yourself anymore at your core because of a toxic relationship, you can quit the relationship. These are things that I have quit as well before and that have really made me into the person I am today.

Feel free to quit lifestyles that hold you back and keep you stagnant. I think this is so freaking important and not a lot of people talk about this. Everything that you do in your day is contributing to what happens tomorrow and the next day. Literally the tiniest change today can cause the biggest changes down the road. It's a whole domino effect.

(3) Your Routine / Lifestyle:

We can get stuck in certain routines and lifestyles because they feel ohhh sooo comfortable. Maybe these ways of living have worked for us in the past... But we have grown and changed since then, so now these old ways of living are just keeping us stagnant and holding us back.

If you want a different result, you can't keep doing the same shit. In order to have change, you need to change. You need to become a different version of YOU!


Fear is the biggest cock block of success.

Quitting the lifestyle choices that are no longer serving you is so dang important!! Becoming aware of your limiting beliefs and then consciously quitting the mindless acceptance of those limits is huge.

Rewriting the limiting stories you tell yourself is an everyday practice, not an instant fix. I'm not gonna tell you that you can snap your fingers and all of a sudden, all of your limiting beliefs are gone. But quitting these things and being active in doing so in your life is going to help you become the better version of yourself. It's going to help you truly transform into who you wanna be. As soon as you become aware of those limiting beliefs and accept the discomfort in moving through them, that’s when you’re going to progress forward.


Do you think that the most successful, happiest people allowed themselves to be stuck in fear forever? No. We all fear very similar things. It's a part of the human experience, right?

We’re constantly asking ourselves: What if I'm not good enough? What if I fail? What if I make a fool of myself? I embarrass myself? These limiting beliefs and mindsets feel HUGE at the time. And then when we reflect on past fears that we moved through, we often think back to “why was that such a big deal?” This is a comforting thought for me when I'm going through a rough time or when I'm struggling to make a move... Cause I can think back to all the stuff that felt so big at the time, but I got through nonetheless.


REMINDER: There's a difference between fear and gut wrenching anxiety. If you experience a feeling in your gut that you’re not supposed to do something, it’s important to listen to that and learn the difference between a gut feeling / anxiety and fear. When the feeling is a bit of nervousness and doubt mixed with excitement, that is my marker that it's something I should be doing.

Cause if it's something worth pursuing, it should be a little bit scary!

Even with this podcast, I'm feeling a healthy dose of fear. When your dreams are coming into fruition, that fear is going to sneak up. When I feel fear about something, I just show the hell up anyways because I'm not gonna let that stop me anymore.


I was in university for Child and Youth Studies. Essentially, I picked that program when I was in high school on a whim. I really didn't have much reasoning behind it. Everyone was applying to university, and I was like, yeah, obviously I'm going to do that too. I get great grades. I'm smart, I'll just apply to things.

My sister was an Educational Assistant at the time. And I didn't really know what I wanted to do.

So, since my sister is one of my biggest role models, I just followed in her path and decided to pursue Child and Youth Studies. I absolutely loved the four years of university. I did good in school and people told me I should pursue further education. I agreed because that seemed like the logical next step.

So I started my Master's around the same time the world shut down due to Covid. I started reflecting on what it is that I truly wanted for myself and what actually lit me up. If I took all other opinions or perspectives away, what did I actually want for myself? I decided that I wasn’t on the right track for what I actually wanted.

I quit. And this was a gut-wrenching, tough decision.

Calling up your supervisor and tell them that you're quitting is a hard thing to do. Calling up my family and friends to tell them I wanted to drop out was scary AF. I could have let that fear hold me back. I thought other people might assume that I was too dumb to finish school or just couldn’t do it. And I could have held on for two more years. But I would have been miserable through it.

So I quit my masters, bought an iPad for $700, and I started selling digital drawings for $15. Instead of following what I thought was the “right” path or the safe path, I chose myself. I quit without knowing what the hell I was gonna do.

I could guess what the people around me were thinking (that I was bat-sh*t crazy LOL)... but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Making that choice has literally changed my life. I’ve had my business since that day. It's been over two years now, and it has changed and evolved so many times since then because I've kept deciding to choose myself and to figure it out along the way. I have “failed” a million times in my business, but it does not stop me from getting up the next day and doing all this shit again.


Starting a business is the biggest form of self-discovery and perseverance you could ever put yourself through. The bulk of it is an internal game. It's all about what shit you can work through and how far you're willing to push yourself.

Even when there's no proof that anything is working, even when you keep failing and falling right on your face in front of everyone. How far can you push? How much can you persevere through that? And how many times can you fail without giving up? I'm just so thankful that I decided to choose myself, that I decided to really pursue something that would keep me excited about my work and that I could call the shots. I know I'm not the only one who hates being told what to do. I've just been able to lean into that.


In order to quit, you really need to have clear boundaries and priorities to back up why you want to quit and redirect your attention. You need to make sure that you're not doing this for anyone

else. How can you do this for you?

I'm not suggesting you go break down everything in your life and quit it all without some reflection first. Don’t go and quit a bunch of stuff for no reason. Because you don't want to get stuck in another cycle of stuckness.

It's easy to just light your business on fire and burn it to the ground every time you get disappointed. But that can become a perpetual cycle of feeling misaligned. Having a clear picture of your boundaries and priorities before taking action will ensure that you’re learning from your mistakes and growing.

If you fail & quit without reflection, it's hard to actually learn from those experiences.

Reflect and ask yourself - why did that happen? What kind of version of myself do I need to become in order for that to work? What kind of life do I actually want, and would that look / feel like?


Noticing my limiting beliefs and intentionally quitting the shit that held me back has led me to this business and this podcast. AND I absolutely CANNOT WAITTTT wait to have these deeper conversations with you moving forward.

I feel so lucky & excited to go on this journey with you, you're the frickin bomb!


DM ME ON IG BESTIE!! @Hollgrafix

Did you enjoy this blog post // podcast episode? Be sure to rate / review the podcast and share with a friend. ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT IS SO FRICKIN APPRECIATED❤️❤️ ILY!!!

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